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Have you frequently lost sleep thinking about how to increase your team performance, satisfaction, and communication, while reducing the potential for dysfunction and performance difficulties?
If so, you need to start using a team charter template.
A team charter is a roadmap that can foster collaboration, clarify individual roles and responsibilities, and make it easier for your team to achieve organizational goals.
Once your team “understands the assignment,” it’s easier to overcome obstacles that inevitably come the way of every project and stay the path.
In this article, we’ll discuss:
What is a team charter template? What is the purpose of a team charter? Ten components of a project team charter template How to write a team charter with a template from CODA Team charter example to draw inspiration from Team charter template FAQs
👉 Get started with this team charter template.
What is a team charter template?
The team charter is a critical project management document that establishes team values, goals, decision-making criteria, conflict resolution processes, meeting guidelines, and other operating procedures. Best created as a collaborative document between team members, the team charter template defines concepts and skills to focus and guide the team.
As a living, agile, and editable document, a team charter template must be updated periodically based on current circumstances, especially when people leave or join the team.
Team charter vs. Project charter
Leaders might be more familiar with the project charter. However, the project charter and team charter are two different documents.
The project charter gives a high-level description of a specific project and its requirements, and it’s only applicable to the team and for the duration of the particular project. Once the project is over, the charter is
On the other hand, a team charter template describes the team’s operating guidelines, values, and goals. It has a more prominent and longer perspective than the project charter.
What is the purpose of a team charter?
Working in a team can be fun and exciting if everyone works well together. However, it can be a terrible experience if everyone has a different idea of what the team is trying to achieve.
A team charter offers more clarity, and its creation can create better cohesion within your team. These are but two out of the several reasons why you should create a team charter template today. Here are some other impressive advantages of using this document.
Demonstrate mission & vision
One of the main reasons for creating a team charter is that it helps to clearly outline the team’s mission, vision, and objectives. When employees realize why a team exists, it becomes easier for them to take responsibility for tasks that lead to the desired outcome(s).
Define measurable objectives
Second, a team charter establishes measurable objectives, thereby serving as a board for team members to project their focus and direction. Developing a charter will reduce confusion about what the team has is expected to accomplish.
Ensure buy-in from all team members
Perhaps the most defining feature of a team charter is that its created and supported by all team members. Therefore, it’s much easier to get buy-in from members than if it were dictated by top management or by only a select few team members.
In addition, since it often includes each team member brainstorming to provide input, it’s easier to get everyone to abide by the tenets of the charter.
Defines the team purpose
Another purpose of this document is that it specifically delineates the team’s purpose, boundaries, and scope.
Therefore, outside project members are clear about what the team is and isn’t responsible for. In addition, it demonstrates to other stakeholders the purpose and mission of the team.
Since the team charter is created collaboratively, there aren’t any “secrets” in the charter. Therefore, there’s an atmosphere of transparency in the team, and transparency is essential if team members are to trust each other.
When things go wrong—as they often do on projects—a team charter helps everyone know who’s responsible for what and why. This definable accountability provided by a team charter reduces t
Improves productivity and engagement
The clarity and cohesion a team charter creates is an excellent way to boost productivity, teamwork, and engagement among team members. Taking the time to develop a team charter, and building it correctly, will inspire team members and help the whole team achieve the set objectives.
Ten components of a project team charter template
While team charters vary because of the uniqueness of each project, there are some elements that most of them share. These elements are discussed below.
1. Project scope
To create an effective team charter, you must define the purpose of the team and the scope of the project. So, set out to define why the team was created, the problem it’s formed to tackle, how the solution it provides fits in with the organization’s main objectives, and how a failure to solve the problem will affect the organization.
Some advantages of creating this first step are:
It helps team members see their place in the whole project It allows you to identify stakeholders that’ll be pleased with the successful completion of the project. By clearly identifying the scope, team leaders know the tasks outside project scope, thus reducing scope creep.
2. Mission statement
Without a clear mission, your team will be confused about what it’s required to achieve. Furthermore, team members without a mission might end up doing tasks that offer no value to the project’s overall goal.
Therefore, the next element is to take the team’s mission and transform it into tangible goals and objectives.
So, ask your team:
What will success look like for us? How does this align with the overarching goals of the organization?
The answer to these questions will help the team create a mission statement that is clear, memorable, and specific enough to guide the team.
The length of time the team will spend together working on the project needs to be documented. It’s also important to consider the estimated time for weekly and monthly meetings.
A gives a high-level view of your project’s timeline and is invaluable to completing a project.
4. Team members’ roles and responsibilities
One of the best things about the team charter is how it helps eliminate any confusion about the roles and responsibilities of team members.
So, use this section to define who the team members are and their responsibilities clearly.
Using can help you identify project roles and responsibilities. Using this template at the start of the team charter can help identify skill gaps and similar gaps and fill them before they become a problem.
5. Budget and resources
After using a RACI Matrix to define roles and responsibilities, assess the resources and budget available.
So outline specific resources the team will need for a smooth operation flow. Creating this section makes it easy to identify issues and aids in a prompt resolution.
It can be plenty of work collating all the resources you’ll need, but using can help you.
6. Team operations
This next section details the daily operation of the team. Depending on the project and team, it can be as granular or minimal as possible. However, no matter the level of detail, this section must outline the workflow such that nobody’s winging it or doesn’t know what to do day-to-day.
A team charter is a living document; thus, it’s regularly updated based on current operational conditions. The team operations section of the team charter also defines the pathway for new team members and an exit pathway for those who leave.
7. Metrics of success
A team is only as successful as the metrics of success used to measure it, so it’s essential to detail the metrics to track clearly.
Many teams have found it beneficial to have and metrics, i.e., metrics that are:
8. Standards of quality
The team charter should also clearly show how the team and team members will be assessed and reviewed, how often individual and team check-ins occur, and the format these check-ins will take.
This section defines the output of the project team. It should detail the KPIs used to measure a job well done. One benefit of creating this section in the team charter is that it eliminates any intangible KPIs.
Many have found helpful in showing a high-level over of a project’s deliverables.
10. Signatures and approvals
As a document created collectively, the end of a team charter template should allow team members to sign off. It ensures that they understand what’s in the document and that they’re on board with the team’s goals, objectives, and operations.
👉 Get started with this team charter template.
After you copy this template, you can start utilizing this free team charter template for your projects and business.
How to write a team charter with a Template from Coda
Step 1: Add project scope, mission statement, and team
The team charter template is on the page. All the data here is dummy data so delete the data and customize it to fit your team’s needs. The most important sections to fill out at the top are the project scope, mission statement, and team. To add your team members to this team charter template, click Share in the top right of this template (after creating a Coda account) and add your team members’ email addresses. After you’ve added their email addresses, they will show up in the dropdown in the table.
Step 2: Create timeline and budget
As your scroll down the team charter template, you’ll see the Timeline and Budget & Resources sections. The Timeline is a simple timeline of events for your project. Just add the event and the date, and you’ll see the events show up on the gantt chart to the right of the timeline table. The Budget & Resources section should also be filled out with your monetary and non-monetary resources available to you for this project.
Step 3: Fill out remainder of team charter
The other sections like the Team Operations, Standard of Quality, etc. are optional. You can add additional sections as needed. The approvals at the bottom of the page gives your team a way to “sign off” on the team charter so that everyone is on the same page.
Team charter example to draw inspiration from
used Coda to create a team charter, and you can draw inspiration from their charter.
The charter starts with the team’s values as the first section, which ties in nicely with the Team Agreements section.
A team charter establishes team values, decision-making criteria, conflict resolution processes, team meetings guidelines, and other operating guidelines—all of which you can find in the example.
These elements come together to form a beneficial document that increases the team’s chances of success.
Team charter template FAQs
What are the benefits of a team charter template?
Some of the benefits of a team charter template are that it:
Helps you quickly create a team charter Steers your project team in the right direction Ensures that everyone knows their roles and responsibilities Improves team member’s buy-in and team collaboration Offers more clarity about the project Demonstrates the team’s purpose to other teams and stakeholders in the organization Increases accountability and transparency Helps institute a periodic evaluation of progress toward company goals Creates a high-performing team
What elements should a team charter have?
A team charter must have the following elements:
Team member’s roles and responsibilities
What are the objectives of a team charter?
A team charter has three main objectives:
To promote a shared understanding To ensure team member buy-in To set the team up for success
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