As a project management professional with over 25 years of experience, I start every project by devising a team charter. A team charter typically includes a problem statement, mission and objectives, roles, responsibilities, resources, operational details, and signatures. Leading a team charter scope document creation effort involves scheduling the meeting, inviting the participants, organizing activities and facilitating the session. A team typically includes sponsors, stakeholders, workers and management. To define the scope of a project, you need to know the parameters and constraints, such as time and money. Create a comprehensive team charter by following these steps:
- Download a project charter template or develop your own format.
- Ask your stakeholders to describe the business problem you need to solve. If you have multiple stakeholders, discuss any potential conflicts.
- Brainstorm possible approaches. You can capture ideas using free online mind mapping tools.
- List the project objectives. Align these with your company’s strategic goals.
- Decide what activities fall within the scope of the project and what do not. For example, if you are designing and developing a new training course, your project team may be responsible for conducting the analysis, creating the materials and conducting a pilot offering. Your team may not be responsible for delivering the course on an ongoing basis so those activities are considered out of scope.
- Discuss the project’s mission and vision. Document the risks and dependencies associated with the project to set expectations with sponsors and stakeholders.
- Present your document to team members for validation. Incorporate feedback before you distribute it to a wider audience, including management and possibly suppliers and customers.
- Establish an ongoing communication plan. For example, you may meet every week to discuss project details, submit status reports every month and present to management every quarter. Create a template for your status reports, email messages and presentations. This creates consistency and reinforces the team mission and identity.
- Store the online document in a place where all team members can access the file, such as a Microsoft Sharepoint site set up for collaboration. You can also distribute the file through email.
Developing a team charter helps your team focus on the task at hand. Leading the effort to create a team charter involves coordinating discussion and documenting the results. Creating a team charter helps your team define the policies, procedures and rules for getting work done efficiently. When people share a common purpose, they work together more effectively.