How to Create a Team Charter

by Ann Westin; Updated September 26, 2017
A team should be designed to encourage successful communication.

Teams are often formed in business to accomplish certain goals and objectives. Team members are talented individuals with the necessary skills to complete the assignment. Yet most of these teams progress slowly and some never reach completion of the assignment. When this happens, the team is most likely lacking a team charter. Developing a team charter clarifies the purpose of the team’s existence and serves as the road map for the team’s success. A manager or sponsor should start the process of developing the team charter and provide support and direction to the team.

Step 1

Identify the rationale for the team by clearly defining the goals and objectives to be reached. It is imperative to set this direction for the team. After all, it is difficult to succeed if you do not know what outcome is expected.

Step 2

Provide a chance for the team to reach agreements on how the team will operate. The team should decide on logistical issues such as how often to meet and how it will make decisions.

Step 3

Develop a plan or checklist for successful action. Planning is extremely important and can save the team time. Too often, teams move forward too quickly, building a solution without planning. The benefits of planning will ultimately prove it a wise endeavor.

Step 4

Identify roles and responsibilities of individual team members. A team leader should be selected and each member should understand what expertise he can provide to the team. Clearly defining responsibilities and establishing time lines for each task is essential to making progress.

Step 5

Outline the boundaries of the team and clearly establish any limitations. The team needs to understand its level of authority and what resources are available to it. For instance, whether it can hire consultants or experts from outside the organization and what a project’s budget is.

Step 6

Create a living document for the team to use as a guide. The discussion involved in making the document realistic is much more relevant than the format used. The ultimate benefit of the entire process is that it will take less time to achieve greater results.

About the Author

With 20 years experience in the area of grant funded fiscal management, Ann Westin has extensive knowledge of Federal regulations and how to establish sound internal controls to ensure fiscal compliance and accountability. Ann Westin earned the designation of Certified Community Action Professional in 2004 and holds Bachelor of Science degrees in business administration and accounting.

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