Team Charter

The Team Charter is designed to help students develop the interpersonal competencies prized by employers:

  • choose coauthors and better understand the importance of diverse perspectives and competencies to successful teams;
  • develop project-management competencies, particularly the ability to structure productive teamwork by defining roles and responsibilities; and
  • create an archive that can be used to negotiate and manage workplace conflicts.

Context

The Team Charter is the third project in an eight-week long group project that involves a Consultancy Simulation.

In the assignment sequence, the Team Charter follows the Client Proposal. The Team Charter is the first step toward the collaborative project that will culminate in the Final Recommendation Report and Collaborative Work Reflection Memo & Peer Evaluation

Purpose

  • help team members define the roles and responsibilities necessary to successfully complete the Consultancy Simulation.

Instructions

Preliminaries

After your classmates have submitted their initial single-authored Client Proposals, you can benefit from learning as much as you can about their proposals. Here you want to endeavor to be open to other people’s unique ideas.

Select Co-Authors

For the Consultancy Simulation, following the Problem-Definition Heuristic and Client Proposal, it’s time for you to seek co-authors for the remaining collaborative projects:

  1. Group Research Proposal
  2. Research Notes + Executive Summary
  3. Visual Progress Report
  4. Recommendation Report.

Before choosing co-authors, review the Team Charter guidelines outlined below. Notice that effective teams are diverse: they include people with unique skills and mindsets. Ultimately, to successfully complete the project you’ll need a range of competencies, such as

  • a team leader;
  • a chief researcher for textual research;
  • a chief researcher for original, empirical research
  • a person with design skills to assume leadership over the presentation of the required documents.
  • a person with strong coding skills
  • a person with quantitative competencies.
  • a writer
  • an editor.

In addition to assessing who possesses the competencies invoked by the upcoming assignments, consider interpersonal relations (e.g., Intellectual Openness, Work Ethic and Positive Self Evaluation). If possible, seek partners who seem to have a growth mindset and strong work ethic.

Also, this might be a good time for you to self-assess your own attitudes about collaborative work. If you have had past negative experiences with groups, how can you leverage that experience to enhance the upcoming projects? In other words what’s your mindset when it comes to teamwork?

Establish a Team Charter

When a group first forms there is minimal trust, no shared goals, no history of past performance, and roles are unclear. Despite this lack of clarity, members are usually eager to jump into the task at hand. Jumping in without a roadmap, however, is a recipe for failure.

The single most critical success factor in high-performing teams is having a shared understanding of why a team exists and what it is trying to accomplish. Creating a team charter is the first step in developing a shared understanding and ensuring that everyone is on the same page from the start.

At a minimum, the charter should

  • identify the Project Manager
  • identify other roles.

Remember a Team Charter is a vision/mission statement for a group that identifies the group’s purpose and means of achieving that purpose. Having a group charter promotes

  • greater clarity of goals
  • accountability
  • transparent communication, which, ideally (somewhat) avoids conflicts
  • a way for people to contribute to tasks based on their strongest capabilities.

Note: Team Charters are subject to change as group members interact with one another and the group’s mission. Your group leader should have a weekly discussion about this Team Charter and revise as needed.

Recommended Schedule

ScheduleAssignments & Suggested ActivitiesReadings
One Class MeetingYour mission this week is to develop your Team Charter. The first logical step in this task is to carefully review the major projects associated with this team project: (1) Group Research Proposal; (2) Recommendation Report.

Next, before defining roles, it makes sense to define the problem and potential solutions you’ll explore. Next, identify the rhetorical situation for your Group Project. Ensure your purpose is achievable given your time frame and group member’s expertise. Name your group.

Once your group has defined the scope and rhetorical situation, team members can outline the expertise necessary to successfully complete the project. Furthermore, team members can discuss the collaborative tools they’d like to experiment with during the project (e.g., Google Docs, Google Sheets, Slack, etc.)

Once tasks and processes are well defined, individuals can discuss their unique competencies and interests. Obviously, the biggest subsequent hurdle is defining who the Project Manager will be, and that role can be defined by an anonymous vote. Here, you want someone who is fastidious and punctual, someone who can lead and has the confidence and tact to keep the team on track, someone who also understands others may not perform as planned and can live with that adjust accordingly.

Subsequently, other roles can be defined.
Collaboration
Co-authorship
Conflict Resolution
Critique
Leadership
Peer Review
Teamwork
Tools for Project Management

Submission Guidelines

  1. The Team Leader will
    • upload the url for the Table of Contents/Homepage for the Team’s Project Management Portfolio at Google Docs.
    • ensure all required Google documents/folders are shared using the Edit tag. Your instructor may want to provide feedback directly on your portfolio at the Google site.