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Project Mandate

Project Mandate: Summary

The project mandate is a central document in project management that contains all important information and agreements for a project. It serves as the basis for planning, controlling, and communication within the project and thus sets the course for project success. In this glossary entry, you will learn everything you need to know about project mandates, their significance, their contents, and how you can create a project mandate.

Project Mandate: Detailed Description

The project mandate is an essential element in project management and forms the foundation for a successful project. It describes the scope, objectives, and conditions of a project and serves as a binding agreement between the client and the project manager. A clearly articulated project mandate enables efficient communication, ensures that all participants have the same information, and creates the basis for effective planning and control of the project.

The Importance of the Project Mandate

A project mandate has several important functions in project management:

  • Binding Agreement: The project mandate serves as a contract between the client and the project manager and sets out the expectations and services of both parties.
  • Information Base: The project mandate contains all relevant information about the project and thus represents an important source of information for all project participants.
  • Planning and Control: Based on the project mandate, project managers and the project team can undertake further planning steps, such as the creation of a project structure plan or a schedule. The project mandate also serves as a basis for monitoring the project in terms of time, costs, and quality.
  • Communication: The project mandate enables clear and uniform communication about the project since all participants have the same information.
  • Definition and Decision-Making Basis: The project mandate outlines the boundaries of the project and serves as a basis for decisions that need to be made during the project's duration.

Contents of a Project Mandate

A project mandate should contain the following information:

  • Project name and number: The unique designation of the project and a project identification number for better allocation and management.
  • Project objectives: The objectives of the project should be clearly and unambiguously described so that all participants know what they are working towards. It is helpful to formulate the objectives according to the SMART principle (specific, measurable, accepted, realistic, time-bound).
  • Project scope: The scope of the project describes the services and results to be delivered or achieved within the project. It should also be determined which services do not belong to the project scope to avoid later misunderstandings.
  • Conditions: This includes, among other things, the time, financial, and personnel resources available for the project, as well as legal or internal regulations that must be observed.
  • Organization and Responsibilities: The project mandate should define the organizational structures of the project, the roles and responsibilities of the project participants, as well as communication paths and rules.
  • Risks and Opportunities: An analysis of the potential risks and opportunities of the project helps to identify possible problems early on and to plan appropriate countermeasures.
  • Milestones: The definition of milestones serves to monitor project progress and enables better control and management of the project.
  • Acceptance Conditions: The conditions under which the project results are accepted by the client should be set out in the project mandate.
  • Documentation and Reporting: Provisions for the type and manner of documentation and reporting in the project to ensure information flow and transparency.

Creation of a Project Mandate

The creation of a project mandate is usually carried out by the project manager in close coordination with the client. All relevant information should be collected, analyzed, and incorporated into the project mandate. It is important that both the client and the project manager discuss and approve the project mandate together to prevent misunderstandings later on.


The project mandate is a central element in project management and forms the basis for a successful project. A clearly formulated and coordinated project mandate sets the course for efficient planning, control, and communication in the project and ensures that all participants have the same information. This prevents potential conflicts or misunderstandings and paves the way to a successful project completion.