This Article is About
team charter
paper and pen
leadership skills
all ears
piece of paper
first meeting
code of conduct
good time
twenty years
health care
Teambuilding: The Six Parts Of A Good Team Charter
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

After a team has been formed one of its first functions should be to develop a team charter. A team charter is a collection of papers that provides motivation and purpose for a team as it tackles its job. I have over twenty years of successful senior leadership and entrepreneurial experiences in health care, and I have found that a good team charter can focus and motivate a team to extraordinary success. Below is a narrative that will provide the components of a good charter.

I was in Elliott's office again. He is my director of rehabilitation. Some time back, I had worked with him on his leadership skills, but today I was in his office discussing the value and parts of a good team charter. He had put together a team from several departments to tackle the challenges of decreasing the time that new total joint patients stayed in the hospital. They had only met once.

"So, how's it going?" I asked after we swapped our usual lies about our golf games.

"Good," he said. "I think."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"Well, I met with the team, and we had our introductory meeting. Everyone introduced themselves. It was pretty informal, you know, as the group is forming and feeling each other out."

I nodded.

"Basically all I did was provide them with a copy of the code of conduct that I want us to follow as a team."

I nodded again.

"That was it for our first meeting," Elliott said. "Our next meeting is tomorrow, and I am not quite sure how I should start with the next meeting." He paused and looked at me.

"This would be a good time to have them work on your team charter," I said.

"Team charter? You mean a set of papers that defines the team?" he asked.

"Yes," I answered. "It should have six defined parts. It will ensure that your team has focus and continued motivation."

Elliott took out a piece of paper and pen. "I am all ears, Boss. Let me have it."

"The first element is to have a compelling business case," I said. He wrote this down.

"The business case should describe what the project team is doing. In your case, trying to reduce lengths of stay on total joint patients well preserving high quality care," I said.

Elliot continued to write, nodding his head as he went.

"It should," I continued how your project team is going to affect the business objectives of the organization."

"It will save money and resources, while preserving quality care," Elliott interjected. He scribbled even more furiously.

"Exactly," I responded. "You will use the business case as a motivational tool. It tells why the project is worthwhile and it should explain the consequences of not doing the project now."

Elliott looked up, "We will continue to lose money on our total joints," he said.

I nodded. I waited until he finished writing and looked up. "The second part of a good charter is the problem statement."

Elliott again began to write.

"The problem statement should," I said," be specific and measurable."

"Number of days and cost," Elliott said not looking up from his paper.

I nodded and continued," It should tell how long we have had the problem. It should describe the impact to the hospital. It should describe the gap between where we are now, and where we want to be. Finally, you want to use neutral language."

"I can answer these right now," Elliott said, "But it would be better if the team addressed them, right?"

"Yes," I answered. His pen was posed, so I continued, " The third part of a good project charter is to define the project team's scope. These are reasons that the project could fail."

"By identifying them, we minimize them?" Elliott asked.

"Yes." I answered. "Project scope should first define the boundaries of the project. We want that well defined. A focused group is likely to be more successful."

Elliott nodded and wrote.

"Next your project scope should really be defined by the team leaders or champion, which in this case is you." I said. "We do this to minimize the chances for scope creep."

"Scope creep?" Elliott asked.

"Yes, that is when a project expands outside of its boundaries and tries to bite off more than the project at hand," I answered. Elliott nodded.

"The fourth part of a project charter is to establish some goals and objectives. We have data on how long our total knee patients are staying in the hospital now, but we don't know how we can get really. I would start with some generic goals of 25 to 50 percent improvement and as data comes in define them more clearly."

Elliott finished writing. "Is that it for goals and objectives?"

Yes," I answered. "The next part of the charter is to establish some realistic milestones. Each goal and objective should have its own milestones to keep the team focused. Since this is the first team you have led, and it is the first time many of the group have been on a team, we would expect things to take a little longer. It is the usual for first time team leaders".

"As the group gets forming and storming, right" Elliott said looking up from his paper.

"Yes," I said. "Which brings us to the last part of a team charter, roles and responsibilities. Describe the project team champion's duties of allocating resources, removing roadblocks, and identifying the team. You have already done that one, but identify it as a role anyway."

Elliott nodded and continued to write.

"I will attend the meeting," I said. "Not to overshadow you, but to let them know my role is as coach for you. We should ask the hospital's quality director, Cecelia, to come as well. Her job is to set the strategic tone for the project team."

Elliott nodded again, noting to call Cecelia. "That's it," I said.

"That's it," Elliot said. "So let me review. There are six parts to a good charter."

"Yes," I said.

"They are the compelling business case, a problem statement, the project's scope, goals and objectives, realistic milestones, and finally clearly defined roles and responsibilities," He said.

"Yup. Sounds like you got it," I said standing up.

Elliott nodded. "I can't wait. I think this will really help focus the team and keep us motivated."

"If done right, it should," I said. "I will see you tomorrow. I am looking forward to watching you lead this team to greatness, Elliott."

"Thanks, Boss."

"No," I said. "Thank you. No further questions?"

"Nope," Elliott answered.

"Then have a good day," and I left.

Thanks for reading.

Street Talk

I find your narrative format an entertaining, easy read, yet informative. Am I alone?

  about 1 decade ago
You May Also Like
Teambuilding: Why Project Teams Fail
Ever been on a project team that failed in its efforts. Knowing the reasons for project failure can allow team leaders and members to work proactively to keep them from occurring. I have over 20 years of successful senior leadership and entrepreneurial experiences in health care and knowing the causes…
By:  in  Business  >  Team Building   Aug 22, 2011  
  Likes: 1

Team Charters: The Importance Of Establishing Mission, Vision, And Value Statements
Establishing collectively agreed upon team charter of mission, vision, and value statements with your team or business group is of great benefit. A common culture of accountability and singular focus can help a group's performance. I have had over twenty years of successful experiences as a senior leader in health…
By:  in  Business  >  Management   Aug 17, 2011  
  Likes: 1

Tips On Writing
Lately, I've found that writing is my new way to vent. Whether I'm writing an article, a poem, a story, or whatever for some reason I just feel better afterwards. Though I like to write I feel like its hard to sit down and just write mainly because I have…
By: Travis2 in  Writing and Speaking  >  Writing   Nov 09, 2011  
  Likes: 1

What I Take With Me When I Go Out
What do you take with you when you leave your house in the morning? If you are like most people, you grab your cell phone, your lunch, and your car keys. If you are a student, you also grab your backpack. You then head out the door and go off…
By: Hollie E. Townsend in  Business   Apr 04, 2013  
  Likes: 2

Medical history
If you read this, you will know that I do not write them. Someone drives my right hand against the will of its owner. This "someone" does not give me rest, forcing to take paper and pen, alone at night on the second floor of a small country house. Pen…
By: evkosen in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Short Fiction   Aug 22, 2011  
  Likes: 0

Team Building: The Phases to Expect With the Evolution Of A Team
Teams can often address challenges that are too large or complex for an individual. But teams, themselves, can be a challenge as they evolve and mature from the infancy of formation to a unit that overcomes obstacles. I have over twenty years of senior leadership experience in health care and…
By:  in  Business  >  Team Building   Aug 22, 2011  
  Likes: 1

Undergraduate Advice: Making The Most Of Your Casual Work Experience
When undergraduates are coming to the end of their courses and start applying for jobs one of the frequent complaints is that that they can’t get into their chosen field because of their lack of experience. Although some courses may have work placements as part of the course or some…
By: BIS_Coach in  Reference and Education  >  College University   Aug 22, 2011  
  Likes: 1

Leadership: Guiding the Head, Heart, And Hands Of Employees
"Are you asking me how I intend to lead?" I asked. I tried to hide any sign of incredulousness at even being asked. I have been a manager and now senior leader for over 20 years. I came into the working world when most new employees just seemed happy to…
By:  in  Business  >  Management   Aug 24, 2011  
  Likes: 2

Be at the Top With A Diploma In Strategic Management
This program is specifically designed to suit the needs of those who are already a management professional and is dealing with the leadership skills and management. With a comfortable study frame, this diploma might help you gain that extra potential which will in turn aid you to reach the top…
By: Jan Felton in  Reference and Education  >  Online Education   Apr 05, 2013  
  Likes: 0

Women And Drama
Women love drama. There, I said it. I said it and I meant it. Lets think about it for a second guys, women are the only ones that constantly have to gossip. They are the only ones that no matter what will always have some sort of crisis on their…
By: Romeo in  Relationships  >  Dating   Aug 07, 2012  
  Likes: 0

Choosing Catering Cyprus Service Provider for Holding A Cocktail
If you are to host guests for a cocktail reception in Cyprus, you have all the reasons to find and hire the right catering Cyprus service provider who will be able to handle the event. In order to create a lasting impression on your guests, you would need to find…
By: jfab7 in  Business  >  Team Building   Apr 01, 2016  
  Likes: 0

Leadership: Getting Your Team Or You Back on Track
"J., what have you been doing the past few weeks?" said the voice I was all too familiar with. It was my conscience."Are you talking to me?" I answered, not sure I was alone or not."Do you see anyone else in here," my conscience said. I have a way of…
By:  in  Business  >  Team Building   Oct 18, 2011  
  Likes: 1

Don't Defeat Yourself Through Petty, Personal Rivalry: Team Building Advice We All Could Use
Here is an important piece of team building advice for more success and satisfaction in your workplace experience: rise above petty personal rivalries. You waste energy, stress yourself out, and distract your attention when you engage in a vain ego-conflict with a corporate team member. This relates to one of…
By: Bob Lancer in  Business  >  Team Building   Jan 31, 2012  
  Likes: 1

How To Build A Great Team: Aspects Of Team Building Too Often Overlooked
Team building for success means more than just gathering a bunch of people together. It means gathering the RIGHT people together. By “right” I don’t mean it in a moral sense, but rather in the sense of lining up people whose strengths match up well with the work that needs…
By: Bob Lancer in  Business  >  Team Building   Jan 18, 2012  
  Likes: 2

Teambuilding: How to Select Your Team
Teams are groups of people assembled to overcome obstacles. They are typically comprised of people with varied backgrounds and skills and they are accountable unto themselves. Should you ever be asked to assemble a team, you may be curious as to where your team members will come from. I have…
By:  in  Business  >  Team Building   Aug 24, 2011  
  Likes: 1

Article Views: 3986    Report this Article