The Team Chartering Experience

Why should we bother with a chartering experience? The chartering process accelerates the path to excellence for any team.

Nine women can’t make a baby in a month. The chartering process can’t be rushed. Each team will need to take its own time to learn, discover and agree on the elements of chartering for their own specific situation.

In a nutshell, the sections below will give you a taste for the questions that the team will learn to answer during the sequence of workshops that make up the chartering experience. When you’ve covered all these topics, you’re done. You’ll be in a much better position to start improving both your work products and your work process.

Chartering for Purpose

Why are we setting out to work together as a team? Starting with why is excellent.

Vision

What’s our specific purpose? Why are we doing our work? Who are we serving and why?

This is usually articulated as a single statement that’s co-created by the team members. Your facilitator may use a 1-2-4-all technique to arrive at the vision statement.

Mission

What are we setting out to do?

This is usually a list of three to six key objectives that the team is setting out to achieve in the next three to six months. While this list may start with a draft put forward by leaders or managers, it’s up to the team to reframe, slice and re-order the mission elements to best achieve the vision.

Mission tests

How will we know we’re achieving success for each of our mission elements?

This is usually a list of no less than one and no more than six specific measures or criteria for each of the mission elements. Be gentle to yourself as a team, don’t overdo your mission tests. Strive for simplicity.

Chartering for Alignment

How will we work together?

Core team

Who’s in the core team? Who will actually spend most of their working time with us in this team?

Values and Principles

What values and principles do we really share? While the team may draw inspiration from ready-made sources, like the Disciplined Agile Manifesto, or the Disciplined Agile Principles, be sure to confirm your own preferences that are most meaningful to you.

Your facilitator will guide you in this process of discovery.

Market of Skills

How should we rely on one another? Who do we go to for help with any specific thing to do? What are we curious about and want to learn more of?

The Market of Skills exercise provides a solid foundation for teamwork and pair work.

Working Agreements

How will we structure our way of work? Will we use a rhythm of activity? How will we visualise the flow of our work? What process policies will we establish and enforce?

Chartering for Context

Boundaries

What are the boundaries of our team? What are we responsible for, exactly? What are the responsibilities of the various teams around us?

Community Interactions

What specific interactions are we expected to have with other teams, organisations or functions? What reports or other communications must we prepare, and on what schedule? What types of communications and what collaboration tools will we use?

Committed People and Assets

In addition to our core team, what other people or assets do we have access to? If we need something, who do we turn to for help?

Prospective Analysis

What contingencies should we plan for? What dependencies, issues, risks, assumptions and constraints should the team be aware of?

To learn more about chartering

Read Ainsley Nies and Diana Larsen’s excellent Liftoff: Start and Sustain Successful Agile Teams.

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