Tips and Tricks to Writing a Team Charter

Team Charters can come in a variety of formats but ultimately they all serve the same purpose: defining and aligning the team

July 19, 2022
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How would you describe your job to a five year old?
What season would you be?
What is a weird food you have tried? Would you eat it again?
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Would you go in the mother-ship with aliens if they landed on Earth tomorrow?
What is your favorite season?
Do prefer working from home or the office?
What is your earliest memory of this job?
What is the best thing you have bought so far this year?
What is the earliest book you remember?
If you had to move to another country, which one would you choose?
You are the best criminal mastermind in the world. What crime would you commit if you knew you would get away with it?
What is your favorite movie genre to watch?
What was the last thing you ate?
What person from history would you add to Mount Rushmore?
What is a weird fact you know?
What is your favorite part of working from home?
Were the Spice Girls a good team?
Imagine you can instantly learn any language. Which would you choose?
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
Which fictional team is the best team of all time?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
What do you usually eat for a quick lunch?
What simple food will you never eat?
Show us the weirdest thing you have in the room with you right now.
Would you rather stay at a hotel or an AirBNB?
What is your favorite movie genre to watch?
Are you more productive in the morning or at night?
Who is someone in your community that makes a difference?
Who was your most unique pet?
Choose one famous person from history you want on your team during a zombie apocalypse.
What is a good way to give back to the community?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
Is Hugh Grant funny?
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Would you want to have an imaginary friend today? Did you have one as a child?
What actor or actress would you want to play you in the movie about your life?
What is the best super power?
What is your New Years resolution?
You can only eat one food again for the rest of your life. What is it?
What is the best work holiday?
What is the first gift you remember receiving?
Would you rather join Metallica or Backstreet Boys?
What is the best example of a community you have seen?
What is an easy way to do something nice for someone?
Show us your phone background and tell the story behind why you picked this image.
What was your first job?
Pick any band to play at your funeral.
If you could have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
Which superpower would you give to your arch enemy?
What is the most obscure superpower you would want?
What emoji best describes how you are feeling right now?
If you could live in any country, which country would you pick?
Would you rather live in a city or a town?
What is your favorite holiday?
What is something you accomplished as part of a team?
What is your standard office lunch?
What is your most used phone app?
What is your favorite season?
Have you ever won something as a team?
Imagine you are a professional baseball player. What is your introduction song?
Beach holiday or ski trip?
Have you ever been to a funny comedy show?
Would you rather live at the North Pole or the South Pole?
What is your favorite song to sing?
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
Imagine you could teleport anywhere. Where would you go right now?
What is the most unusual job you have heard of?
What was the last thing you ate?
You can visit any fictional time or place. Which would you pick?
What do your family and friends think you do all day?
What movie do you wish you could watch again for the first time?
Show us your most-used emoji.
What was the most unique style or fashion trend you ever embraced?
What movie defined your generation?
You are stranded on a remote desert island. Are you alone or with your worst enemy?
What is your favorite knock-knock joke?
Have you ever told someone Santa is not real?
Do you know how to speak more than one language?
On a scale of 1 – 10, how much of a team player are you?
What is your #1 recommendation in this city?
What is your favorite holiday?
What bucket list item do you most want to check off in the next six months?
What is your favorite mythical creature?
What was the first way you made money?
If you could be great at any Olympic sport, which would it be?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
When did you start liking/hating mushrooms?
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Do you take your PTO all at one time, or another way?
Which show do you remember most from your childhood?
Which beverage goes best with pizza?
Would you want to have a personal assistant follow you around everywhere and do what you asked of them?
Have you ever met your idol?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Would you rather live 100 years in the past or 100 years in the future?
What is your hobby?
When you are alone in the car, what volume is the music at?
Imagine you no longer have to work. How would you spend a Tuesday?
What is your favorite type of sandwich?

HR Daily Advisor defines a team charter as a document that “ensure[s] that everyone involved at the team (and senior management) level knows why the project needs to be carried out, understands what the objectives and measures of success are, and has a clear idea of who is doing what and with what resources.”

Team Charters can come in a variety of formats but ultimately they all serve the same purpose: defining the team, aligning it to a specific set of goals, and focusing the team on a specific set of responsibilities.

Well defined teams ensure that work gets done faster, that communication gaps are bridged more easily, and that leadership can maintain an understanding of how teams should be resourced over time.

What is a team charter?

A team charter is a document designed to be the north star for a given team and the summary of the team’s activities to all other stakeholders.

It is written and updated over time to reflect the core organizing drive behind a team and to serve as a store for important information about the team. A good team charter will clearly declare the team’s leadership, the team’s members, the team name, its purpose, its goals, and the context surrounding its founding.

We write team charters to set strong foundations for our teams. The founding of a team or the decision for an existing team to write their charter are moments that are pivotal to how successful that team will be. The clearly defined team charter gives a team the alignment necessary to get things done and gives others the information necessary to collaborate well with that team.

How to write a team charter?

First you must ask yourself the core questions that are underly the organization of your team:

  • How is the team led? Who leads it? Who is accountable for it?
  • Who participates on the team? Who supports the team from outside?
  • What is the team responsible for?
  • What outcomes is the team looking to drive?
  • How is responsibility distributed throughout the team?

Try using our Team Charter Workshop Template to guide your brainstorming session.

With the answers to these questions all laid out, you have the bones of your charter, from their the format and style are all up to you. The best team charter is visible and accessible to all stakeholders. It should live in your central file store, intranet, or within your internal wiki and be made available to everyone in your organization.

Tips for Writing a Team Charter

  1. Nail the “Why”. Know exactly why this team exists, how it fits into the broader organization, and who it exists to serve.
  2. Keep it shorter than a page. The document should be readable, accessible, and understood in a glance.
  3. Provide rich context. What is the history of the team? What is the background behind its founding? How has leadership changed over time?
  4. Inspire and align. Teams will turn to the charter in order to prioritize work that serves its mission and brings it closer to its stated goals. The charter should inspire the team to chase that mission down relentlessly.
  5. Ask your team for feedback. You may be the author of your team charter, but your team will live it every day. Does the mission inspire them? Do the goals feel impactful and urgent? The voices of your team will ensure that the charter is defining them, their work, and their reality, not just the idea of what the team be.

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