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What is a Team Charter? - Definition & Example

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  • 0:04 Definition of a Charter
  • 0:48 Composing a Charter
  • 2:20 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Amber Dixon

Amber works with graduate students enrolled in a virtual program and has a Master's of Social Work degree.

This lesson will define a project charter and explain how to develop one. We'll also detail all of a team charter's components and review the benefits of creating one.

Definition of a Charter

What makes a project team successful? Organization and communication is key to team success when working towards a mutual goal. A charter can help team members remain focused, responsible, and productive.

A charter is a reference document that helps members of a team learn more about their purpose and role. It accomplishes this through a narrative that explains the goals of the team, provides a specific description for how the team functions, includes details of who its members are, and explains the tasks on which the team will focus.

Teams benefit from using a charter because it gives their work direction. A charter also helps other company staff better understand the roles and responsibilities of the team. Teams are more successful when individuals outside of their team have knowledge about their purpose because this provides more support for their decisions and implementations.

Composing a Charter

A charter requires documenting several steps. These are the sections of a charter document that must be included:

  • Purpose
  • Stakeholders
  • Membership
  • Responsibility
  • Decision Making
  • Team Name
  • Life Span
  • Communication
  • Financial Needs

Now let's take a closer look at each one.

Purpose

This section is to identify goals, objectives and participants of a team.

Stakeholders

This section of the charter should identify the team's stakeholders so that these individuals may be included earlier on in discussion and decisions.

Membership

This section should clearly define the team's members and their roles within the group.

Responsibility

This section outlines the expectations of team members. It especially emphasizes the degree of involvement and commitment that is expected.

Decision Making

This is an important section that details how decisions will be made by the group. For example, will a voting process be used? If so, what is the minimum number of votes for an idea to advance within the work group? Another way to prioritize decisions is to rank them in order of importance.

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