Modern Project Management

(ISSN: 2317-3963)

Charters, Mandates, Roadmaps and Other Artefacts at the Launch of a Project: Characteristics and Similarities

Pierre Bonnal
CERN Switzerland Switzerland
Christopher Rauser
CERN Eng. Dept. Switzerland


If the Abernathy-Utterback model about the innovation of technology was applied to the approaches and methodologies of project management, it would be clear that, five decades after the birth of modern project management, the domain would persist in a “fluid phase”, where approaches are still numerous and no dominant design or particular methodology really emerged yet. Comparing the many standards and methodologies one by one would be certainly useful. However, the task is ambitious and can only reasonably be undertaken in bits and pieces. In this article, we are interested in the only artefact that initialize a project: according to the authors and obedience, this one takes different names: project charter, project mandate, project proposal, roadmap, project mission statement, project brief or statement of work (SoW). System engineering also promotes two additional types of documents: ConOps (concept of operations), replaced in 2010 by the OpsCon (operational concept) or OCD (operational concept document). First, we have tried to compare a few documents which reflect the main obedience, according to their temporal locations along a project life cycle, their managerial aims and their typical contents. In a second step, we propose a model of a unifying document that could be satisfying to all. In any case, it is this artefact that the CERN Engineering Department promotes through a system engineering framework called openSE ( to federate multidisciplinary contributions to the many programmes and projects on going at CERN.

Keywords: Project Charter, Project Mandate, Project Proposal, Roadmap, Project Mission Statement, Project Brief, Statement of Work.



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