Creating an Effective Team Charter Too often teams spend a considerable amount of their valuable resources trying to figure out what it is they are supposed to do, write’s contributors John Moran, Grace Duffy and Michael Rudis. Before starting any type of a process improvement work, it is important to know where youre headed. Heres how a Team Charter can help.A Team Charter is the official document from the team sponsor that empowers the teamto act. It is a written document describing the mission of the team and how this mission isto be accomplished. The Team Charter is one of the most under-used and under-valuedtools available to sponsors, team leaders, and facilitators for helping a team succeed.But it is often overlooked because it is time consuming to develop. To write a clear,concise, and inclusive Team Charter requires great forethought and effort. Often thesponsor is in such a rush to start the teaming process that they skip the basic step offilling out a Team Charter that clearly defines the goals and objectives to be achieved.When a team is started without a formal Team Charter many meetings are often wastedtrying to figure “why we are here, what we should do, and when it should be done.” Theteam spends a considerable amount of time and energy trying to second guess what thesponsor really wanted when the team was formed. This is a loss of valuable time andtalent that could be avoided by designing a clear mission statement prior to the team’sformation. Thats why a sponsor must take the time to fill out a Team Charter.The Team Charter is an official work contract. This document delineates the strategicgoals, boundaries, measures of success, constraints/limits, and available resources. TheTeam Charter provides a framework for ongoing discussions between the team and itssponsor with regard to the team’s direction and progress.It is an iterative process until a base line acceptance is established. It must be reviewedon a regular basis by the sponsor, the team leader, facilitator, and team members toensure that it is reflective of what the team is doing or will be doing in the future.The following example of the use of a Team Charter in a Public Health Department is anexcellent adaptation of the concepts in the original team charter article to provide aguidance document to beginning Process Action Teams.Delaware (US) Public Health PROCESS ACTION TEAM (PAT) CHARTER The DPH Process Action Team (PAT) Charter is the official document from the executive sponsor that empowers the PAT to act. It is a written document describing the mission of the team and how this mission is to be accomplished. The DPH Process Action Team (PAT) Charter is the official document from the executive sponsor that empowers the PAT to act. It is a written document describing the mission of the team and how this mission is to be accomplished.
The PAT Charter is one of the most under-used and under-valued tools available toexecutive sponsors, team leaders, and facilitators for helping a team succeed. The PATCharter is often overlooked because it is time consuming to develop. To write a clear,concise, and inclusive PAT Charter requires great forethought.Too often folks are in such a rush to begin the teaming process that they skip the basicstep of completing a PAT Charter that clearly defines the goals and objectives to beachieved. The executive sponsor must take the time to complete a PAT Charter so theteam will clearly understand the why, what, who, when, and where of the process theyare to undertake.The PAT Charter is an official work contract. This document delineates the strategicgoals, boundaries, measures of success, constraints/limits, and available resources. ThePAT Charter provides a framework for ongoing discussions between the PAT and itsexecutive sponsor with regard to the team’s direction and progress.The Team Charter is a repetitive process until a base line acceptance is established. Itmust be reviewed on a regular basis by the sponsor, team leader, facilitator, and teammembers to ensure that it is reflective of what the team is doing or will be doing in thefuture.After a few iterations of this charter, the executive sponsor, team leader, and facilitatorwill have a written document that describes in detail what the team is to accomplish. Thisbecomes the official work contract for the team leader and the facilitator to begin theteaming process.As an option you may use the “Working Copy” of the PAT Charter to draft the document(freely available for download here). When you have a document that the executivesponsor, team leader and facilitator agree upon, enter the information into the form copy.This will serve as the official document that all players will sign and work from.For a full downloadable version of the PAT Charter forms please download the PDFhere: Creating a Project Team Charter - TemplateEssential Components of a Team CharterThe table below describes the different components that a good team charter requiresfor success. The following tables are included for download the in the Charter Templatedocument. WHAT IT WHY IS IT SECTION EXAMPLE TIP DOES? IMPORTANT? WIC (Women, Infants, Enables the team to Identifies the and Children) Waiting Keep it simple, unique, and PAT Name distinguish the effort from team. Room Time Reduction easily stated. others. Team. Identifies the Clarifies the intent of the WIC Intake Department Subject Make it clear and succinct. area of focus. project. waiting time States why this Orients team and others WIC applicants are This is the most important part Process effort was to the true need for the complaining that it takes of the Charter. It is the Improvement initiated and what effort. The source and too much time to foundation for PAT formation. Opportunity will be affected analysis of the data that process their in-person Its important to ensure that it is
by the outcome. identified the problem or application and there is well thought through and opportunity should be a lack of privacy while agreed upon by the Executive included and used as a giving information to the Sponsor, Team Leader, and baseline. clerk. Facilitator. Keeps the team focused Signifies the day on “beginning with the Charter Start Date: Make sure these dates are the charter goes end in mind. This is not September 17, 2011 reasonable and agreed upon by Charter Dates into effect and necessarily the date the Charter End Date: the Executive Sponsor, Team the date the team Team Leader reports December 20, 2011 Leader, and Facilitator. adjourns. results to the Executive Sponsor. This Leadership Team Identifies the member has overall senior leader that authority and supports and/or responsibility for initiated this organizing the team that effort. will address the Process It’s a good idea for all members Mary James, Local Executive Designated by Improvement of the PAT to meet the Health Department Sponsor the leadership Opportunity. They have Executive Sponsor prior to the Administrator team to hold overall operational initiation of the Charter. overall accountability. The responsibility for Executive Sponsor will the strategy and be expected to break its execution. down barriers and “go to bat” for the team. Establishes who will conduct team meetings, Identifies one provide focus and individual who direction, and will ensure will guide the productive use of team Select a Team Leader that has team to achieve member’s time. This Josephine Smith, WIC a broad understanding of the Team Leader successful person is not necessarily Manager process improvement outcomes and the same individual who opportunity. who will will be “in charge” of the communicate to process, but should be a senior leaders. person who will “lose sleep” over the outcome. Quality facilitators use Moves a team observation, intervention, forward through feedback, coaching, and To eliminate the possibility of a series of team member personality personal bias and the risk of scheduled differences to conduct Joe Bagodonuts, getting involved with decision Facilitator meetings aimed effective meetings. Facilitator making and solutions, it’s at attaining the Quality facilitators are not Extraordinaire important to select a facilitator goal established subject matter experts, that knows as little about the by the team and but rather focus on how process as possible. team leader. effectively the team is working. Team Defines who will Assure that all the people Team Member: Wilma You may have people that youMember/Section/ be on the team necessary to effect Bates – WIC Intake do not need on the core team.
Area of Expertise and why change will be involved. supervisor. However, they are key stakeholders and must be consulted with, and made aware of, changes. These individuals should be identified in the Charter. Refer to the high level process utilized to define the scope to verify that the team has representation from each major process step. It describes what the team intends to do, providing Clarifies where the team the team with a is going and enables Most successful improvement focus and a way them to know when they efforts have a succinct aim with Process to measure get there. A well stated a measurable stretch goal. The AIM: To reduce the Improvement progress. The aim affords a team the measure should be monitored waiting time by 50%. Aim aim should be opportunity to improve over time and tracked in the derived from a many aspects of the form of a statistical process known problem system or process control chart. (data) and need related to the aim. for corrective action. Process Listing out the Improvement Group similar objectives and specific and Objectives It enables the team to Eliminating Waste give them a descriptive title; for measurable (SMART = reach consensus on Eliminate unnecessary example, Eliminating Waste. objectives for the Specific, what will be addressed waiting time Grouping objectives into change effort will help Measureable, during the course of the Reduce duplicative data concepts facilitates creative define the Achievable, effort. entry thinking with improvement opportunities to Realistic, Time teams. improve. Dependent) Be specific. Agree to definitions & data sources. It is ideal to Defines how you Metrics help the team have a balanced set of measure the and sponsor to Overall applicant cycle measures: Identify one success of the understand when and ifSuccess Metrics time to get service and overarching measure that can improvement an implemented (Measures) complete an application be a gauge for the entire effort, effort or the improvement is meeting will be reduced by 50%. measure it over time and use a project as a the desired goal. control chart. This should relate whole. Use sampling. to the Process Improvement Aim. Current State Marks significant Schedule milestone reviews on Assessment due March expectations Holds the team senior management calendars 15th.Key Milestones and/or accountable. Maps well in advance to make sure Recommendations to deliverables the progress. time is available when the team be presented to senior team can expect. is ready to present. leadership in 6 weeks. Available Articulate who Provides both the team Facilitator: Joe Validate availability of resources Resources and what is and senior leadership Bagodonuts. Training as part of the definition stage of
available to with an opportunity to workshops. the process improvement support the team. negotiate what the team Up to $5,000 for project. The team sponsor or This might needs to be successful. miscellaneous office process owner is usually the include a expenses. function that controls resource facilitator, availability. trainers, or funds. Recognizes any Resources are scarce in additional most organizations. It is resource the best to be realistic in the Physical layout changes may Support from Location team believes is use of resources and take time to design, schedule Facilities department to Required necessary to identify requirements at and implement. Have the team re-work client waiting Resources achieve the the onset of activities. If think ahead to anticipate areas or create client objectives of the resources are bottlenecks that may occur booths. process unavailable, then options during the improvement project. improvement can be pursued for project. alternative strategies. Describes both positive and negative factors that must be discussed and understood prior Assumption: The WIC to the work intake area can be beginning. rearranged to make for Assumptions: Clarifies expectations; private booths Communicate with all areas of statements of requires people to reflect Constraints: Information the organization affected by the requirements that on the effort in a more Technology solutions process improvements must be thoughtful way; can will not be entertained Considerations anticipated. Record any barriers accepted; redefine the work; may at this time (system (Assumptions, or obstacles identified during Constraints: an facilitate the removal of upgrade planned in 2 Constraints, these conversations. Some element that known obstructions in years).Obstacles, Risks) items may be simple to might restrict or advance; gives credibility Obstacles: address, others may need regulate project to teams (that they have Departmental practices significant effort. The sooner actions or considered possible related to scheduling these are identified, the better. outcomes; issues). applicants differ widely. Obstacles: factor Risks: Changes may that might not conform to legal impede progress; requirements Risks: a course of action that might pose a hazard or cause loss. Specifies the Map out a 7-9 step high-level boundaries of the “The time the person process flow for the scope process you are arrives in the WIC you’ve defined. involved in. They Sets the stage; provides Department to the time Boundaries This will help you understand may be stated in focus; identifies limits. they have successfully what you need to be successful, time frames filled out the application including validating team and/or process and leave.” membership. steps.
Identifies individuals and/or departments that Stakeholders may be affected may be impacted directly by the anticipated by the outcome. It recognizes their changes or be politically Key These individuals importance and John Smith - essential to the acceptance of Stakeholders/ should be sought increases the team’s Information Systems the recommendations.Area of Concern out as a resource awareness. Stakeholders can ease the and progress of the project or communicated greatly delay progress. with on a regular basis. Identifies everyone who is expecting to receive Over-communicate rather than communication on this The entire team will give under-communicate. team effort. The Clarifies your a report out to the Communication should match communication plan has activities for stakeholders 6 weeks the style of the audience. If a two purposes; 1) keeping from the start of the senior leader likes to see charts Identifying how the teamCommunication necessary and project (~ Nov15). The and graphs, format the status will work internally to Plan useful functions Team Leader will report accordingly. If the Quality achieve smooth or leadership update the Executive Council wishes to have the interaction, 2) Establish aware of project Sponsor weekly whole team present a requirements for keeping progress. (agenda item at the milestone, then practice with all stakeholders and other regular staff meeting). members contributing to the external decision makers communication. informed of project activity. Serves as a contract agreement Creates buy-in, everyone between the has an opportunity to Its a good idea to have allSignature Page Executive meet all the players parties sign the Charter at the Sponsor, Team involved in the process same time and place. Leader, improvement opportunity. Facilitator, and Team MembersReferences: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forming,_storming,_norming_and_performing- Tuckman,Bruce. "Developmental sequence in small groups". Psychological Bulletin 63 (6): 384–99, 1965, accessed 12/21/09http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3954/is_200104/ai_n8943663.
About the AuthorsGrace L. Duffy, CMQ/OE, CQA, CQIA, CSSGB, CLSSMBB provides services in organizational and process improvement, leadership, quality, customer service and teamwork. Her clients include government, health care, public health, education, manufacturing, services and not-for-profit organizations. Duffy holds a master’s in business administration from Georgia State University. She is an ASQ Fellow and past vice president of ASQ. Duffy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.John W. Moran, MBA, Ph.D., CMC, CMQ/OE, CQIA, is senior quality advisor to thePublic Health Foundation. He has over 30 years of quality improvement expertise indeveloping tools and training programs, implementing and evaluating QI programs, andwriting articles and books on QI methods. Dr. Moran is a retired senior vice president ofinformation systems, administrative and diagnostic services at New England BaptistHospital. He was previously chief operating officer of Changing Healthcare, Inc. Dr.Moran was employed for 21 years by Polaroid where he held various seniormanagement positions. His last position was director of worldwide quality and email@example.com.Michael Rudis is Training Administrator for the Delaware Division of Public Health,Office of Performance Management. He is responsible for implementing an effectiveperformance management system that will improve the quality of the organizationsprograms to better serve the people of Delaware. Michael can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.I invite you to join as a member of the PEX Network Group http://tinyurl.com/3hwakem,you will have access to Key Leaders Globally, Events, Webinars, Presentations, Articles,Case Studies, Blog Discussions, White Papers, and Tools and Templates. To accessthis free content please take 2 minutes for a 1 time FREE registration athttp://tiny.cc/tpkd0PEX Network, a division of IQPC, facilitates access to a wealth of relevant content forProcess Excellence, Lean, and Six Sigma practitioners. Further enhanced with an onlinecommunity of your peers, we will provide you with the tools and resources to help youperform more effective and efficiently, while enhancing the quality operations within yourorganization. As our industry becomes more and more dependent on the Web forinformation, PEXNetwork.com has been developed to provide Six Sigma professionalswith instant access to information. Leveraging our strength and foundation in education,IQPC and the Process Excellence Network are uniquely positioned to provide acomprehensive library of webcasts gathered from our events, as well as exclusivecontent from leaders in the industry.