The Best Project Charter Excel Templates

This first template is a project charter workbook we put together that includes a financial analysis tab, training tab, and one-page charter (download here).

The format is crisp, and we’ve added a financial justification tab with help from Matt Macarty’s video.

Project Charter Excel Template – Great for Large Projects

Here are the two training tabs, one for the charter and the other for the financial inputs.

Training Tab – Charter
Training Tab – Financials

Template Fields

The header information summarizes the project description, business need, and project ownership / approval.

Header Information
Project DescriptionDescribe the project in one or two sentences. Be specific and succinct at the same time. The project description will often get more attention that any other section of the charter, especially when being reviewed by executives.
Business NeedThe business need is the verbal justification for the project. Examples of business needs include productivity, sales growth, and enhancements to the customer experience.
Ownership & ApprovalThe project manager is the person who will own the project and be responsible for all aspects of it’s approval and implementation. The project champion is often an executive who has a keen interest in seeing the project completed.
Header Information – Instructions

The Financials and Milestones section summarizes the financial justification for the project (pulled from the financial tab inputs) and shows the major timeline for the project.

Financial and project timing goals
FinancialsThe financials are pulled from the Financials tab. A word of caution – work with your finance team to customize the assumptions and calculations for your business as needed.
Capital / ExpenseThis format uses a 5 year justification, so the capital and expense numbers reflect that time period.
MilestonesProject milestones show the completion dates for the project’s major deliverables, from beginning to end. Securing funding for a project can often take several weeks, and is often an early milestone in a project.
Financial and Project Timing Goals – Instructions

Resources and Risks include internal resources (already paid for by the business), external services like contactors, and project risks.

Project Resources and Risks
Internal ResourcesNote internal resources that will be required for the project, including an estimate of total hours and peak hours per week. Noting internal resources up-front can prevent competing for those resources once the project has started.
ServicesThere are also cases where outside services, including contractors, will be needed to support the project. These resources should also be included in the financial justification as costs.
RisksIt’s important to note any risks, or caveats, that could impact a successful project outcome. Discussing these risks up-front in the charter meeting will level-set the team’s expectations and help ensure that these risks are addressed as early as possible in the project.

Resources and Project Risks – Instructions

Here is another example of this charter in use for a new product launch.

Lean Project Template Overview

This next template is useful for any Lean or general continuous improvement project that does not require special funding (download here).

Charter continues – download Excel file above