Team Charter: Ultimate Guide (with Examples)

Team Charter: Ultimate Guide (with Examples) - How to create a project team charter

Project completion is achieved successfully when the project team is in sync with project objectives. One of the biggest issues that often plague projects is the confusion among team members regarding their roles, responsibilities, and boundaries. An effective team charter can help provide the project team with much-needed clarity and keep it focused on the road ahead.

What is a Team Charter?

A team charter or group charter is an important document that keeps a team focused on the big picture. A team charter definition can vary when describing the document itself; , we can say that a team charter provides a clear explanation of the purpose of a team, its objectives, and the roles, responsibilities, authority, and boundaries associated with it.

A Team Charter Template serves as a road map for a project that shows everyone the big picture. Such a charter should be drawn a few weeks (such as 6 weeks) before the project. Once the team has been assembled.

A team charter keeps the team focused, accountable, and productive towards a mutual objective. Since a team charter is a reference document, it can help team members acquire clarity regarding their purpose and role. This is because the document contains everything from the goals, team members, functions of the team, and tasks. It gives the team a direction and a better understanding of how to be a part of the complete picture as the project proceeds.

What to Include in a Team Charter canvas?

A team charter canvas contains all the basic details necessary for the team to acquire clarity regarding their function in the project. Starting from the basic information regarding the project to details about workflow and operations.

What is written in a Team Charter?
Team Charter Illustration – Source: SlideModel

Context

Once a team has been assembled, this is the first step toward creating your charter. The context clarifies details regarding the key stakeholders, team leader, and the expected contribution and expectations from the team. The context can be refined after discussion with the team when creating the charter to ensure everyone is on board and understands the context.

Goal, Purpose, and Mission

A team charter contains the goal, purpose, and mission of the team to ensure that everyone is on the same page. A mission statement helps the team better understand the purpose and mission. It is an action-based, yet brief description of the objectives associated with a team. It defines what success looks like and clarifies the team’s purpose.

Resources

The charter states the available resources at the team’s disposal to help achieve its goals. This includes the workforce, staffing, budget, time, equipment, training, and support the team shall receive.

Roles and Responsibilities

The charter clearly explains the roles and responsibilities of team members. This is one of the key aspects of a group charter and helps prevent confusion and keeps the team focused on their respective tasks.

Authority and Boundaries

Like roles and responsibilities, a group charter must also explain the authority and boundaries associated with team members. This can help ensure that no one oversteps their boundaries and can help prevent conflict during the course of the project.

Workflow and Operations

A team charter also provides details about the timeline, workflow, and the way operational aspects of the team are to be handled. This section can be as long or short as needed and might have very detailed information or just a few bullet points.

Team Charter vs. Project Charter

While a Project Charter provides a high-level description of the project and its requirements, the Team Charter document establishes the relationship between agreements, operating guidelines, and team values. According to PMBOK Guide (Project Management Body of Knowledge, 2017), these elements are essential depending on the kind of project and the project’s scope, which helps to clearly define the individual and team Roles, Responsibilities, Rules, and Results (generally known as the 5Rs).

The 5Rs model is a valuable framework that will guide the team through the different stages of project team development.

How to Make a Team Charter?

Creating an effective charter for your team requires being clear enough about key aspects of the document to ensure there are no conflicts or confusion regarding the road ahead.

How to make a team charter? (Infographic) The process of creating a team charter.
How to Make a Team Charter?

Have Everyone Onboard

A project manager should engage the team and other stakeholders to create the document by starting with the project’s scope. It is essential to have everyone on board when making a team charter to ensure the project’s success. The participation of stakeholders is also necessary to mitigate potential conflicts beforehand.

Define the Scope

When writing a charter, you should start with clarity regarding the context for creating the charter and what the team has set out to do. This includes the context, the purpose of the team, and its goal. Defining the project’s scope is the first step in creating your group charter.

Identify Roles and Responsibilities

The next step should be to identify all team members and define their roles and responsibilities for the project. The team charter in this context is also a kind of roles and responsibilities charter.

Plan for Effective Resource Utilization

It’s important for the charter to have information regarding resource utilization for the team. This can help the team understand the financial limitations to keep in mind when working on the project, as well as the available equipment, training, and other resources at their disposal.

Have Realistic Workflow Expectations

Your charter should have realistic workflow expectations. Getting over-ambitious with timelines and resources can result in a document that is unable to aid in the smooth functioning of project tasks.

Example of a Team Charter presentation
Project Team Charter Presentation

Make the Charter Dynamic with Room for Flexibility

Your document should be dynamic with room for flexibility. When creating your charter, ensure that it isn’t too rigid and that there is ample scope for tweaking it in case there is a need for course correction.

How to Present a Team Charter?

Suppose you are a project manager that needs to create and present a team charter while collaborating with team members for its refinement and finalization. In that case, you can follow a few simple steps mentioned below.

Note: Before you start presenting a team charter, it is best to have a rough draft to work with. This can either include a team charter template or a draft with sections filled out for further refinement after consultation with stakeholders.

Explain the Purpose and Context Behind the Charter

It’s obvious to start with the charter’s context while taking all stakeholders onboards, including the team. Beginning with the basic information is necessary to set the tone for the sessions ahead.

Briefly Discuss the Roles, Responsibilities, and Limitations of the Team

A group charter is a dynamic document that requires collaboration from all stakeholders. You should try to briefly discuss and describe the roles, responsibilities, and limitations of team members in your next session. This session should be interactive, and you can continue to refine the document or gather feedback to ensure that any necessary changes to the draft you have created can be refined.

Create a Chart to Show Workflow

In the next session, you can create a chart to show workflow. You might create this chart on the spot or take a draft with you for further discussion. You can use a whiteboard, flip chart, or edit the PowerPoint, Word, or Excel template during this session.

Focus on Conflict Resolution

As a project manager, you might also need to resolve conflicts and arguments regarding the workflow, budget, resource utilization, etc. It is best to resolve possible conflicts beforehand to avoid any issues later.

Finalize the Team Charter

At the end of the presentation, show the big picture to the team in the form of the complete charter and give the stakeholders time to analyze and provide feedback. It is also quite possible that making and finalizing the charter in a single session might not be possible. In this case, you can opt for multiple sessions over a couple of days before you finalize the charter. This can also give stakeholders the time needed to analyze the draft before providing their detailed input.

Team Charter PowerPoint Template

If you would like to see what a team charter looks like, you can see the following Team Charter PowerPoint Template. This PowerPoint template is a team charter sample for presenters, with editable slide layouts that can help you create and present your document with some visual aids.

Team Charter PowerPoint template

Free Team Charter Template

Download our Free Team Charter Template and use it as a Roadmap to carry out your project. The Free Team Charter Template is available in different formats and allows you to establish the fundamental aspects of a project work.

free team charter template
Download Free Team Charter Template (.docx Word) | PDF Format | Google Docs

Final Words

A team charter is a powerful document that can help project managers and teams remain on track over the course of a project. Nevertheless, assuming too many things, unrealistic expectations, unresolved conflicts, and stakeholder resentment can be many stumbling blocks that can affect the smooth functioning. These need to be resolved beforehand to avoid any complications later. However, flexibility in your charter can help improve course corrections even later in the project. If a group charter does not exist for a project, there is no harm in making one midway to ensure the smooth flow of operations for the rest of the project. This might be, for example, in the case of small projects, where such a document might have been initially deemed irrelevant, resulting in issues later in the project.

A team charter, like any project management tool, can only work as well as how it is used. To make your charter effective, you must ensure that you collaborate with your team and have their cooperation in finalizing the document to ensure project success.

1. Team Charter Canvas PowerPoint Template

The Team Charter Canvas PowerPoint Template is a presentation compatible with Microsoft PowerPoint and Google Slides that provides very important and essential resources when generating a Team Charter. In its different Slides you will be able to establish relevant information about Team Members, Core Values, Group Norms, Roles and Responsibilities, Metrics to measure success, and Quality Standards.

Use This Template

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