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Guest Post: Why are Team Charters more than just identifying roles?

Team Charters aren’t nuts!

By Jeremy Berriault

A couple of weeks ago, during a conversation, the topic of Team Charters came up. The person I was speaking with was starting to move their development shop to agile delivery and was getting some advice from me.

As we talked about Team Charters, it was clear that there may have been some old project management view of what is involved in a charter mixed in with what should be in with an agile development team. When discussing the Team Charter, it was just about identifying roles and responsibilities within the Team.

Project charters provide the main details of the project at hand, providing some descriptions of what the project is about, what groups are involved and will have a RACI chart of the stakeholders along with some details on the roles within it. They are an excellent tool to have to get that overview of all the players involved on a project, yet in a small agile team, it is a bit of overkill and not so much fun.

When working on Team Charters, there needs to be a little bit of fun added to it, as well it needs to be the guiding principles on how the Team is to work together over time. One of the critical things that need to happen when creating a charter is that the Team is the one that comes up with it. That is the whole purpose of it for self-managed teams.

Let’s break it down more. If you do a Google search on “Agile team charters,” you will get a large number of sites coming up describing the why, what, and how on them. What is interesting to look at are the images from that search. Most of them are short, to the point, written on sticky notes and put on a whiteboard, or written on a whiteboard/flip chart paper.

They also have a varying level of detail within them. Some have 5 or 6 bullet points while some have different sections, yet still in point form. From looking at them, you can tell that it is a team, not management, that wrote them. There was a little bit of fun added in as they took ownership of how the Team was to conduct themselves and get the work done. Some even didn’t have roles described in them. The critical thing in all those images was the level of respect and accountability the teams have for each other is on full display for everyone to see.

The beautiful part of a Team Charter is that it changes, things get added or taken out over time. Unlike Project charters that tend to be signed off and considered “etched in stone.” There is one image that has not to be negative scratched out and replaced with Be Positive. It is a great team-building exercise and creates a strong foundation for them to move forward.

Most of you know Jeremy as a monthly contributor to the Software Process and Measurement Cast.  As they say on infomercials, but there is more! Jeremy recently put out his shingle at and can be reached at

By: tcagley
Title: Guest Post: Why are Team Charters more than just identifying roles?
Sourced From:
Published Date: Thu, 05 Mar 2020 23:55:53 +0000

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Written by Michael Paul

Michael is the Founder of the Fuseology Creative Brand and Socialtap. Michael's passion is in seeing and helping small business succeed. Some call him a "local genius" with a knack for uncover and connecting all the dots in chaotic digital world helping it make sense. Whether it is Website development, mobile websites or social media Michael and his team at Fuseology Creative & Socialtap are a great choice.

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