What is a Team Charter?:
A team charter is a set of agreed rules and principles for the team. It should be a living document that, although completed as one of the team's first actions, can be brought back for discussion and change as and when necessary.
What sorts of things are in a Team Charter?:
The Team Charter will outline the expectations of the team, it will provide agreed rules for things such as decision making and conflict resolution, and it will provide an overview of the goals of the team and the timeline for their completion. It should address not only the task at hand but the processes that the team will use. And it must be agreed by all members.
When does the Team Charter get agreed?:
The Team Charter should be completed as one of the very first activities after any ice-breaking activity.
Why is this important?:
A Team Charter can fast-track the Forming and Norming stages of the team formation. In these stages, members are trying to understand such things as what behaviours are acceptable, who is leading, if they have a voice (and if not how to make themselves heard), and what the penalties are for missing deadlines or meetings. The Team Charter sets all these rules and principles out so that the team is aware of how it will operate.
What is provided?:
Attached below is a Team Charter template. You and your team should amend this document as you see fit. As mentioned previously, it should not be 'set in stone' but should be a useful document that aids your team. If something is not relevant in the template that is provided, then delete it. If it missed something that is important for your team, then add it.