Most people say they want to achieve high performance. A smaller number will actually put in the effort to achieve that goal. When pressed, many cite they are too busy to do the things necessary to reach a higher standard. In practice, it has little to do with busyness; every professional is busy. It is not important enough. Achieving a higher performance is important for many people, but not more important than the myriad of other tasks, the same tasks they complain about and call time drains, a waste of time, and inefficient, day in and day out. They are working hard to sustain mediocrity.
If your team does not have a working charter, you’re likely wasting valuable time and falling far short of excellence. At its most basic, the team charter should be the written guidelines that each member agrees to abide by to achieve a higher performance standard. Every time the dynamic of the team changes, the charter should be verified and in necessary updated.
Below are the six fundamental pieces of a charter.
1. Organizational and Team Vision, Purpose, and Values – The Organization’s vision, purpose and values are the foundations of the team charter, and they provide the context for the team’s existence. The team’s vision, purpose, and values must be in alignment with those of the organization. The vision is a picture of the ideal end-result and determines how the team pursues its purpose. The purpose identifies what the team does, for whom, and why it is important. It provides the direction for assigning roles, setting goals, and determining strategies. The values are the enduring beliefs that guide the team’s choices and actions, and define what is right or important.
2. Team Norms and Member Roles – Norms are the explicit or implicit ground rules that identify appropriate behavior for team members. They clarify expected behavior, provide a basis for corrective action and help team members hold each other accountable. Team member roles define the individual responsibilities for the successful operation of the team.
3. Key Responsibility Areas and Goals – Define the primary function areas which are responsible for achieving the team’s purpose. Effective goals and milestones measure the right outcomes to be successful.
4. Communication Strategies – Ensure the timely sharing of information among team members, stakeholders, and the organization.
5. Decision-making – The system of authority and accountability that the team uses to make decisions. Authority defines the scope of the team’s responsibility and decision-making, and accountability ensures commitments are satisfied.
6. Resources – The tangible materials and support e.g. Budget availability/constraints, Time demands, Necessary training/skill development, Access to relevant information needed by the team to accomplish its goals.
High performance does not happen by accident. Leaders set the pace. Download a helpful Checklist for Chartering a Great Team to keep you focused.