Building Your Blueprint: The Importance of Team Charters

Failure to plan is planning to fail. This is an oft-cliched saying and this is for good reason. And unfortunately it is far too easy to apply this saying to the world of self directed volunteer teams™. The process of creating an SDV team can be an exciting one. It is a process of gathering together motivated like-minded individuals that ready and raring to face an organization’s challenge. The organization is excited to have a team of individuals to meet this challenge, and the volunteers with their new roles are eager to start work right away. It becomes dangerously easy during this time to confuse momentum with productivity.

You can assemble the world’s most skilled group of construction workers, plumbers, electricians and bricklayers, but unless they unless everyone is working from the same blueprint you will never be able to build a proper house. Such is the case with the team charter. The team charter is the blueprint that the volunteer team and the organization create together and use to ensure that there desired objective is met.

So what exactly is a Team Charter?

A team charter is a document that is developed as a group, by the volunteer team and the agency, to specifically define the goal and direction of the team, it’s project and it’s scope.

The team charter is a high-level project guide document developed together by the organization and the team. It is an agreement  that clearly defines the respective expectations for the two groups. This document clearly defines, amongst other things, the team’s mission, objectives, roles, responsibilities and other attributes.

It is important that development of the team charter begins early and in such a way that all relevant stake-holders are able to be part of the development process. This ensures that both the organization and the team are fully educated on the nature of the project and that there is a collective feeling of responsibility and ‘buy-in’.

While developing the team charter can seem to be a tedious process, it is able to save countless hours in the long-run. The process will quickly bring to light possible future challenges, conflicts and most importantly ensure that everyone is working from the same blueprint.

To gain more information on how to create a Team Charter as well as to receive a sample team charter template Enroll in one of our training workshops.