The concept of the project charter refers specifically to the input/.output device that is traditionally in the form of a document that is ultimately issued by the person, persons, or group that are responsible for initiating and or sponsoring the project. The project charter serves the specific purpose of granting or providing formal authorization and or approval for the actual and real existence of the project as well as providing the actual project manager with the ultimate authority to go ahead and apply and predetermined or preconceptualized project and project team resources to any and all project activities. The project charter, by definition, should be developed in a fairly complete at the very onset of the project; however, there are some instances in which the project charter may be modified at a later date with the approval of all parties involved. It is essential however if changes are made that all parties be provided wit a newly dated charter.
This term is defined in the 3rd and the 4th edition of the PMBOK.