Team Charter

Team Charters are

  • a genre of discourse in workplace contexts
  • a tool that teams use to provide greater clarity about the goals of their team and the responsibilities of team members. Team Charters help managers and team members coordinate the work product the team is responsible for producing
  • a form of procedural rhetoric: they define the professional roles and responsibilities of a group of practitioners

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 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.

A Team Charter is used

  • to help coordinate collaboration among team members. Team Charters bring focus to the team’s charge or mission, roles and responsibilities, work plan, and schedule. Team Charters clarify the conventions roles and rules and standards of interaction.

Groups vs. Teams

Effective teams, especially when they are first coalescing around ideas, benefit from ongoing reflection about (1) what the team needs to accomplish; (2) how the team will accomplish its goals, specifically what are the roles and responsibilities of team members.

Groups are random collections of people; teams are an interdependent group of individuals working toward a shared goal. 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.

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

In the workplace, managers and team leaders use Team Charters to help develop consensus around shared tasks and goals. This sames time and money and unnecessary aggravations Without a focus, conversations and presentations can meander. People will get off topic.

Conventions

  1. Cover Page for your Recommendation Report
    1. Name of Team
    2. Names of team members & their contact Information
    1. Organizational Structure/Roles & Responsibilities
    2. Bio
  2. Mission, Purpose
    1. Summarize your aim in a paragraph or two. Conceptualize this as as an early draft of your Executive Summary.
  3. Team Workspace
    1. What is the url for your Team’s gDoc Folder?
      1. Inside each team’s gDoc folder,
        1. create a folder for each teammate’s work
        2. start the Recommendation Report
          1. populate it with appropriate headings
  4. Operational Procedures
    1. When will you meet, where, how often?
    2. Team Communication:
      What tools besides gDocs will the team use to manage writing projects? Notion? Slack? Microsoft Teams? Snapchat?
    3. Ground Rules/Expectations of all team members:
      What happens if someone doesn’t respond quickly or at all?
    4. Identify the organizational structure and roles and responsibilities for each team member.

Readings

The following readings will help you navigate writing the Team Charter.

Co-authorship
Conflict Resolution
Critique
Leadership
Peer Review
Teamwork
Tools for Project Management

Resources

Read More:

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