Over 20 years ago Steve Jobs uttered the words, “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology.” Some point to this moment as the birth of Design Thinking or Human-Centered Design.
A Team Charter Template You Can Use Today
What qualities define a successful, productive team?
The list goes on and on...
There are many concepts that qualify as "positive team attributes", but not every team works in the same way or values the same things - so there's no universal guide that every team can follow to find success.
With a Team Charter, you build a shared understanding of how your unique teammates will best work together - by outlining the essential elements of your team's communication and defining a set of concepts and skills that will focus and guide you.
It's a roadmap you create at the beginning of the journey to make sure your team is clear about where they're heading, and to give direction when times get tough (and trust me, they will 😇).
The exact format of a Team Charter can vary from team to team. Some get extremely granular, while others stay high in the sky. Some build word documents, and some visualize through sketching. Any format is the best format, as long as it sets your team up for success.
Sketched charter from my Innovation Studio project team - MBA in Design Strategy, California College of the Arts, 2016.
🙌🏽 to my teammates @LisaKaySolomon, @Jeanette.Melgarejo, @Louis_Kejizheng, @IblerPlaus, @DanielQuon
And the collaborative process of creating the team charter is arguably the most valuable, especially with newly formed teams. Brainstorming, discussing, prioritizing, and aligning on your team identity is a bonding moment as much as a functional exercise.
With that in mind, we've created a Team Charter template that you can use right now - regardless of your teammates' locations - to kickstart the journey to becoming a high-performing team.
Working through the Team Charter template in MURAL - shown at actual speed. (Just kidding, we sped it up a bit 🤓)
Read on to learn how our charter is structured, for links to access the templates, and my personal tips for success. 🍻
Part A is a collaborative area broken into 6 sections where the team works together to establish the essential elements of their foundation.
There are 3 steps for each section:
- Brainstorm: record all of your team's thoughts
- Consolidate: choose your team's top values
- Refine: turn your notes into concise sentences
Part A consists of 6 color coded sections. Part B combines the key points from those sections into a single asset.
These are the 6 sections we've identified to craft the framework of the charter, and the expectations of each:
- Team Members: Who is on the team?
Each team member list 2 of their strengths and 2 of their weaknesses to help better understand each other.
- Core Values: What do you care about?
Discuss which shared values can help guide how you approach your work and how you collaborate with each other.
- Group Norms: How will you work?
Establish a framework of ideals that you can expect each other to abide by.
- Roles: What roles are necessary?
Determine the types of roles that will keep the team focused and drive productivity.
- Metrics of Success: What does success look like to you?
Consider how success can be measured beyond a letter grade or score.
- Standards of Quality: What are your standards for high quality work?
Think about the level of quality you deliver and expect from your teammates.
Part B organizes all of the concise sentences from the 6 sections into a 'final' asset. This provides an easy way to review the charter if (when) your team needs to refocus further down the road.
Use these custom MURAL templates to establish the ground rules for how your team works together as a cohesive group.
Invite your teammates to the example template and review together, then move into a blank charter and begin your journey to becoming a high-performing team.
Create a mural from template in your workspace:
TEAM CHARTER - EXAMPLE: Start from a completed example
TEAM CHARTER - BLANK: Start from an empty charter
Tips For Success
💡 Build your charter early on when a new team is formed
💡 Make your charter visible/accessible to everyone on the team
💡 Consider your charter as an evolving document, not written in stone
💡 Use your charter for accountability and direction, not policing
💡 Review your charter during quarterly retrospectives (or as needed)
If you've made it this far, no doubt you're ready to get started. So, go!
Have any questions, ideas, tips - or just want to say hi?
Don't hesitate to get in touch ✌🏽
Content Strategist at MURAL // Moving beyond the pixels to connect intuition, reason, and opportunity.
August, 17 2018