What Is A Team Charter?

Source: Pixabay

In today’s agile-driven project developments, working along with many people, be it in person or remote seems a great experience! However, if resources are pulled in different directions, it can be deteriorating for any project.

When it comes to providing a proper direction ensuring transparency amidst processes, extending support & guidance, and efficiently defining roles and responsibilities, a team charter is a game-changer document for project teams.

Decoding a Team Charter:

A team charter is a document that provides a bird’s eye view of a team’s mission, the scope of operation, time frame, and short & long-term objectives. Not just that, it establishes a shared vision about a project, indisputably defines roles & responsibilities, highlights scope & milestones, and boosts coordinated efforts among team members.

In other words, a team charter is a document, often designed by the teams themselves, which in turn highlights goals, key project aspects, work classification & allotment, and timespan. The document also serves its purpose as a reminder for teams to stay focused on intended goals and accomplish results with success.

Now that we understand what a team charter is! Let’s move ahead and explore how you can create a revolutionary team charter for your teams for the upcoming project:

1 . Provide The Context:

The first thing to do while creating a team charter is to provide the groundwork or background about the project. An ideal team charter may begin by summarizing the project, the key stakeholders, the expectations, and most importantly, it should highlight the team leader!

This step allows teams to see how well they fit the project’s requirements and scope while also setting apart stakeholders invested in the project’s success. To ensure nothing falls through the cracks, project managers can leverage a ready-to-use RACI chart template and plot details about the project, stakeholders, roles & responsibilities effectively.

2 . Cover Mission & Vision:

The next step is to define what success looks like in the project’s scope. Start by defining the characteristics of the end product or service, acceptance criteria, key deliverables & constraints. If done right, your team will be able to answer what constitutes success for this project.

This is also the opportunity to define SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant & Timebound) goals. Defining SMART goals in the team charter can provide a sense of direction to the entire team while helping them organize and transition towards the desired goals.

3 . Opportunity Assessment:

Before you kickstart your next project, it’s advised to take a step back, sit along with your team and do an opportunity assessment. This helps your team members determine what opportunities exist for them. The opportunity assessment is nothing but answering a set of questions that goes into anybody’s mind before starting something new.

The focus should be on answering key questions such as why are we here, where are we going with this project, what is our current stance, what are the expectations from us, or what are the things we should achieve as a team. Capturing these details in your team charter not only refines the roles & responsibilities of team members but also allows them to align their career goals with the project.

4 . Glance at the Project Plan:

There is no denying that a project plan is perhaps the most important document for any project and its stakeholders. Including a quick glance of your project plan in your team charter can provide a focused roadmap to the team members while highlighting details such as what, how, and when to implement deliverable elements.

Highlighting the project plan in the team charter can also help team members identify potential tasks, milestones, sprints, risks, costs, and resources. Hence, all the stakeholders can be on the same page and avoid long-term project contingencies or failures.

5 . Resources & Support Available to the Team:

Another important section of a team charter is the resources available for your teams to accomplish set business goals. The resource & support section can talk about budgets, equipment, time, and people. This section is imperative because it outlines who the team will approach on a day-to-day basis for their project-specific needs or as the situation warrants.

For instance, if you’re about to manage a team of software engineers for your next project, be specific while jotting down resources & support available in terms of hardware/software allocation, additional cloud resourcing, product licensing, etc. This eliminates communication gaps and helps team members understand whom to approach during contingencies.

Wrapping It Up:

An ideal and well-thought team charter is a by-product of negotiations among stakeholders. Where the client lists the end goals, the project manager along with the team defines the objectives, composition, resources, boundaries, roles & responsibilities. Ultimately, the team charter captures the project information such that the team believes in the mission and commits to it.

About the author

Saman Iqbal

Saman is a law student. She enjoys writing about tech, politics and the world in general. She's an avid reader and writes fictional prose in her free time.

Daily Newsletter