Writing a charter
Stephen Bounds — Thu, 22/01/2009 - 08:52
A charter or terms of reference (TOR) document outlines a basis for the exercise of authority by a group. The group may be an existing team, or specially formed for the purposes of fulfilling the charter or TOR.
The two terms are often interchangeable. However, terms of reference is more appropriate for a group that is responsible for reviewing and monitoring, whereas a charter is more appropriate for a team charged with actually executing a project.
In either case, the document structure will be similar. A good sample structure is:
- Background OR Why is this needed?
- Purpose OR What will the team achieve?
- Authority OR What has the team been authorised to do?
- Key Activities OR What are the main ongoing tasks of the team?
- Deliverables OR What must the team produce and by when?
- Membership OR Who is (or can be) part of the team?
- Structure OR What roles have been defined? How is the assignment of roles decided?
- Schedule OR How often will the team meet and when? Is there a fixed end date?
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