While teams have to be effective for the team charter to improve performance, team charters can be used to improve performance in the areas of productivity, quality, team communications and decision making. The improvement in performance can be determined by how effectively teams use the information contained in the team charter to communicate with team members, assign resources to tasks, and reduce the potential for conflict. The purpose of team charter is to define a mission, project task, and set goals that a team has been assigned to achieve.
The team charter is a mechanism used to provide individual team members contact information such as telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, and other pertinent information such as meeting time availability for the other members on the team. The charter is also used to identify team member skill sets, assign roles and responsibilities, and to set the expectations of each team member with regards to the tasks they have been assigned to perform.
The charter can be used to provide a way for the team to quickly identify conflicts and to develop an agreed upon process to resolve conflicts when they occur. In addition to the team member contact and availability information provided in the team charter, high performance work teams use the team charter as a means to set team ground rules and participation guidelines. Having this information allows the team to effectively plan task assignments, delivery dates, and team meetings.
Team meetings are scheduled to review the team’s progress on individual team member assignments. The effective communication of the team members can directly result in improved performance. It can be common for a person to experience some anxiety when transitioning from performing individual work assignments to depending on a team member to complete portions of an assignment. This is due to the fact that the each person assigned to your team can work and behavior differently. The team charter can be used to identify the individual skill ets of each individual team member so that when it comes time to assign project tasks the team can effectively leverage this information to assign the task to the right team members. The individual skill sets of the team members are very important. It is important to have a diverse team with a broad spectrum of skills which are needed to perform the required tasks to complete the assignment. A team with several individuals with an A type personality could pose a problem in the areas of communication and leadership.
A team that is heavy with creative thinkers and light on analytical and interpersonal skills could also pose a problem. There needs to be a balance so these different types of behavior traits complement one another instead of detracting from each other. The charter serves as a way to ensure the fair distribution and collaboration of the work load so that all team members have an equal part of the project work and contribute equally to the overall completion of the assignment.
Balancing the work load is very important as it can lead to increased productivity. It has been stated time and time again by CEOs of companies such as Proctor and Gamble and AT&T that a team of people working toward a single objective can be much more efficient than a number of individual contributors working toward the same goal. When an organization adopts the team concept and is successful in building high performance work teams it is not uncommon for them to see performance improvement and other tangible benefits.
Benefits like increasing productivity and creativity, improved problem solving and decision making, more effective communications and process improvements. High performance work teams can leverage a project charter to help them realize these improvements in performance. The project charter will enable the team to effectively communicate, set team ground rules, assign roles and responsibilities, make agreements on processes and protocols, reduce conflicts and if necessary resolve them, and ensure a fair and balance work load for each team member.