CREATING A TEAM CHARTER

How to clarify expectations before the start of the project and a template of a sample team charter to use.

Why a Team Charter is Important

A team charter defines your team’s overall objectives, resources, and constraints. It is not always necessary but can be helpful with getting the project started and keeping it on track.

  • For teams to be successful, they need to have a basic understanding of why they exist, where they fit, and how they’ll accomplish their objectives. 

  • Documenting procedures and roles can help identify the quality of work the team prescribes to. It also helps hold everyone accountable in a manner agreed to by the whole team.

Create Your Team Charter

by discussing the following components:

Team Purpose

  • Why does the project team exist?

  • What is the team trying to accomplish?

Context

  • Who is the team accountable to?

  • With what other groups/teams do we connect? 

Goals

  • What specific results do we expect from our efforts?

  • What outcomes (cost, quality, speed, service, quantity, innovation of X) do we want? How can we measure that?

Roles

  • Who is on the team?

  • What perspective does each member bring?

  • Are there special roles (e.g., leader, facilitator, etc?) or sub-groups within the team?

Work Processes

  • What processes will we use to do the team’s work? (List them out, step by step.)

  • How often will we meet?

  • Who determines and manages our agenda?

  • How will we connect with our stakeholders and other sponsors of our work?

Decision-Making

  • How would we like to make decisions together? What decision process will we use?

  • What level of decision-making responsibility do we have?

Communication

  • What is everyone's preferred method of communication?

  • How should we communicate if we are unable to meet a deadline?

  • How will we communicate with each other?