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Supervision Intervention Strategies

Creating a Team Charter [2.8.10.c]

A “team charter” is a document that defines the purpose, scope, objectives and timeframe of a group whose goal is to produce a specific outcome. Similar to a road map, charters can be created at either the beginning of the project or when the team is moving off its mission. In the beginning they help clarify the scope and mission to all involved; when used at other times the charter may help re-focus team members and avoid conflict, providing a framework for the team itself and other interested stakeholders. The charter helps to ensure that everyone is focused on the right issues, staying within boundaries and moving toward the specific measurable outcome.

Part of the value of the team charter includes the process of coming to a consensus among the team members who agree and commit to its scope and the sanctioning by the administration who fully understands the tasks and outcomes. The article, Team Charter: Getting Your Team off to a Great Start, suggests at least seven elements within a charter document (although each charter can be different in order to fit the specific task). Suggested charter elements include: 
  1. Context – the problem to be addressed and how it impacts the organization;
  2. Mission and objectives – what is hoped to be achieved and how it can be measured;
  3. Composition and roles – what skills are needed on the team, who has those skills and how will these staff members be used;
  4. Authority and boundaries – what are the boundaries, what is not included, and what are the rules;
  5. Resources and support – defining the staff, budget, equipment, and time commitment;
  6. Operations – daily/weekly procedures; and
  7. Negotiation and agreement – the agreement process by the members and sanctioning by administration.
The Department of Commerce has posted the team charter for its human resources department online, that provides a good example of an effective team charter. You can read more on the purpose of team charters.  

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