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Value of a Team Charter

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Essay title: Value of a Team Charter

The Value of a Team Charter

A team charter is an essential tool for any successful team. According to Dianna Mosher, a perfect team requires goals, communication, and "committing-in writing" to ground rules. It does not just happen. (2004, pg. 144) The team charter should provide a list of the team members and information about each member as well as an outline of the team goals, ground rules, and conflict management (see the Appendix for a complete team charter). The value of a team charter is evident in the successful operation of the team.

Learning Team Goals

Learning team goals set the expectations of the team. Goals give the team an idea of what they want to accomplish and how they are to accomplish it. In order for a team to be effective, each member must be dependable and the team goals should reflect that. A team Charter should include goals for project assignments and how the team is to complete them. Project assignments are broken into individual assignments and given to each member in order to complete the project. All projects are expected to be completed efficiently, in a timely manner, and with good quality. Each member must know that they can depend on one another if a problem arises in order to complete an assignment.

A team should strive to bring out the best in each member through encouragement and support. Remember that a team is comprised of people from different backgrounds and cultures. Various levels of work experiences and educational backgrounds add strengths to any team. Each member will add something to a team and each member will gain something. A single person can not make a successful team.

Each team member should be responsive to all communications. All relevant information is communicated in the form of an email or through a telephone conversation. Members are expected to respond as soon as possible. If a problem arises the team can discuss the problem and try to resolve the matter as a team. Conference calls are important because when everyone participates in the call, each member has a chance to listen and ask questions as a team. This decreases the chances that ideas and suggestions given by team members will be misunderstood or overlooked. A clearer understanding of assignments and expectations from each member will also be assured.

The confidence level of each team member will increase with the support of the other team members. When confidence levels increase, each member will work to do their best to complete any task. This provides an assurance that assignments will be completed on time and will be of good quality.

Ground Rules

Also according to Scott Beagrie the team should "discuss team ground rules to avert potential problems and to foster a favorable climate where members are keen to participate and ideas flow freely." (2004) Joyce Thompsen stated, "Rules often include keeping commitments, providing feedback in preferred ways, giving everyone an equal voice, sharing important information, acknowledging preference for type and frequency of communications, and other unique points for how the project team wants to unanimously work together. (2000, pg.4) Ground rules help to define a team. They give the team the processes and procedures to reach their goals. All the team members should agree upon these processes and procedures so that each person on the team knows what is expected of them. The teams are comprised of adults and they understand what needs to be done for the team to be successful. Each team member should be responsible for following all of the ground rules in the team charter.

The ground rules should also contain consequences for not following the rules. A good team charter considers this. The team should also be aware of consequences resulting from unfinished task assignments, failure to participate favorably, or failure to communicate. Team projects and team members can suffer when individuals do not follow the ground rules. These rules are put in place to encourage team members to participate and to insure that projects are completed on time. As the team works together, the ground rules help to avoid conflict and insure positive results. Even with ground rules, conflict can still occur within the team.

Conflict Management

All teams experience some type of conflict. How the team manages,

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