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If you have found yourself as the project manager for a project and are scheduled to lead a group of people, you may wonder what it is you should be doing first. Many times, a group project will fall apart because group members weren't sure of what they were supposed to be doing, what the purpose of the group was, or even what the details of the project are.
Developing a team charter will help to eliminate these sorts of scenarios by providing a set of rules in which the group will follow and be aware of, thus making the project a little easier to manage.
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Tips for Developing a Team Charter
The point of using a team charter is to describe the different roles, purposes, and agreements when dealing with a group. This is to make sure that you have a plan together at the start of the project, preventing confusion from the group on what their roles are within the group, the objective of the group in general, and any deadlines for the project.
As you put together the charter, here are a few tips to keep in mind and suggestions on what the charter should include.
1. Introduction - The introduction states why the group was put together in the first place, what their role is in the project, and other things. Think of this as an overview of what the rest of the charter will be about. An example introduction would go over why the group was formed, what the purpose of the project is, and when the project is set to be completed.
2. Mission Statement - The mission outlines what the project group is supposed to achieve while working on the project. This is a little more insight into what the group will be doing on this project.
An example of this would be, "The mission of this group is to develop a plan for better communication within the corporation."
3. Team Roles - This delegates which person will do what for the project. This is usually geared toward projects that would suit certain people; for example, a group member who is skilled at writing may be assigned the task of doing the write ups for the project, like meeting notes and final paper analysis.
An example of this would be, "Mark Harper will take the role of being the group leader. As group leader, Mark's responsibilities are: <list of responsibilities>"
4. Management - This states how the team will manage time for the project and which person is allowed certain directions in order to get the team going or to delegate team tasks.
An example of this would be, "The group will have two months to work on this project, with each group member putting in two hours to devote to the project during normal business hours. If a group member would like to work on this project on their off hours, they will need to speak to the group leader or the person who is handling scheduling assignments."
These are a few tips to help someone get started on building a team charter and certainly, depending on the type of project that the group will be dealing with, you may find the need to add more items, such as travel expenses or financial obligations in regards to the company or the project. Developing a team charter helps to keep group members on track as they work on a project; it helps to inform them of what their role is within the group, what the purpose of the group is, and any deadlines that need to be met.
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