Project charter vs. scope statement

In theory, the project charter is a kind of official document in which all stakeholders are aware of what they are committing themselves to perform. In the meantime, the project scope statement is a detailed fact sheet about each specific step.

But let’s get to know in detail what each of these documents is, the differences between them and the benefits for your company? Follow the reading now and check everything!

What is the project charter?

The project charter is a document that contains the main information about the project that is being started. It defines the objectives of the project and authorizes its beginning.

It is in the project charter that you will find all the details with which those involved are in agreement. When the project includes outsourced contractors or suppliers unrelated to the company, it is recommended that the charter is attached to the contract itself.


Among the main items for a project charter are:


Project justification:

reasons that motivate the execution of the project and the arguments previously debated to validate its beginning.

Purpose of the project:

what the project intends to achieve when it is completed.

Goals and objectives:

set of clear, realistic and measurable goals to which the project proposes;


list of all parties involved in the project (internal staff, customers, suppliers, etc.).

Stages and deliveries:

schedule detailing not only the overall completion of the project, but the delivery of steps during its execution.

Term and cost (estimated):

estimated final completion and required investment.

Exclusion list:

clear and complete list of what the project is not going to do , that is, actions that are outside the scope of the project in question.

Criteria and assumptions:

items whose fulfillment are indispensable, and true initial assumptions, for a delivery to be considered finalized.


conditions that explain the restrictions for cost management in the project , deadline and objectives.


identification of noises that may happen and offer risks to the effective fulfillment of the project within its opening term.


The project charter is essential to the project scope. Thus, it is essential that this document is formulated with the participation of all those involved, signed, attached to the other documents of the project, and constantly verified as guiding the execution of the project.

What is the project scope statement?

project scope statement is a more in-depth document that aims not only to offer a macro view, but an in-depth detailing of all the work that will be expended to deliver the project’s outcome.

The scope of a project is essential so that everyone involved knows the details of its execution. In fact, it is a consensus among managers that a poorly designed project scope is the first step towards bad results .

The project scope statement consists essentially of four items: description of the project scope, set of deliverables, acceptance criteria and exclusions from the project. See each of the items:


Project scope description:

detailing what will be done step by step and how the project will be conducted until its completion. This breakdown includes:

  • Stakeholder names and their roles;
  • Amount of financial resources needed, how it will be applied and budgets that support the application;
  • Deepening of general and specific objectives by which the project is being put into practice and why this was the chosen path;
  • Exactly what is expected at the end of the project.


Delivery set:

detailed and accurate description of how the processes will take place and when, and in what way, deliveries will take place during the project. Details include:

  • How deliveries will happen and what are the prerequisites for delivery;
  • Accurate delivery schedule including the relationship between different deliveries and the professionals involved.


Acceptance criteria:

detailed detailing of what is accepted, what is not accepted, and the premises for the delivery to be considered valid. Here, all items that cannot be absent must appear in order for the project to be considered finalized within the scope.


Project exclusions:

complete list of everything that the project does not propose and explanation of the reasons why the project goes to certain limits.
Although there are different ways and methods of preparing a project scope statement , these are paramount items that make all the difference for your project to be put into practice.

Differences between project charter and scope statement:

As we mentioned at the beginning: The project charter is a kind of official document in which all stakeholders are aware of what they are committing themselves to perform. In the meantime, the project scope statement is a detailed fact sheet about each specific step.

As much as the opening statement seeks to be precise considering risks and possible deviations, not everything can be discovered beforehand. Thus, possible changes in the scope of the project that arise during its execution must be registered in the scope statement, considered and approved by all involved.

Why draft the charter and scope statement?

The advantages of clarity and accountability in the tasks are not the only ones of the use of project charter and project scope statement . Now that you have seen in detail what these documents are, it is important to understand why you should develop each one and what are the benefits of using them to manage your projects.


Among the benefits of using the charter and scope statement, certainly one of the main ones is clarity . Specifying deadlines, stakeholders, goals, assumptions, exclusions, etc. makes it much more possible to delegate functions, collect responsibility and collect knowledge of the project’s progress.


Like clarity, registration is a point of extreme benefit. It is of little use, especially in large projects, for everyone to be clear about how things should happen if this is not properly registered so that it can be checked throughout the project.

However united the team is, registration is essential so that there is no doubt about what has been established.

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