How not to leave team discovery to itself with the help of the Team Charter Canvas
When new business models and projects emerge, the teams behind them often have to regroup as well.
Especially in the context of New Work, startups and open-minded people joining forces for new projects, one often imagines that the collaboration of a young team will work smoothly right away. After all, one assumes that in a fast-paced world, everyone can immediately deal adequately with their environment. However, the fact that especially in agile contexts harmony within the project team is one of the most important aspects and should be proactively ensured so that the work leads to success is not necessarily seen from the outside.
How do "traditional" structures and project teams fit together with an agile mindset?
One way to approach team compositions but also team changes in a structured way is the Team Charter Canvas (TCC).
Once a team has been formed to jointly realize a business model idea, it is important to align the individual personalities. The starting points are different in each case: Sometimes the existing team knows each other from a previous constellation of colleagues or even from their private lives, while other times they are people who have never had anything to do with each other. In any case, it makes sense to coach a team that has been put together for a new project, especially in the context of new working methods.
In the past, I have had positive experiences with the TCC with different teams. For example, by using the Canvas, we were able to divide an initially large intrapreneur team into several smaller ones, each of which then had clear work assignments. It was only through the TCC that different goals and expectations emerged that the individual groups had not been aware of before. In another case, additional team members joined in the course of building the business model. With the help of the canvas, they were able to integrate directly into the existing structures more easily because they were able to transparently understand the background of the existing team.
Source: Team Charter Canvas: https://designabetterbusiness.com/2017/08/24/team-charter-canvas/
What is this canvas supposed to be?
The TCC is a tool for coordinating and visualizing all aspects that affect an intrapreneur team in order to successfully develop a new business model together. The goal is to clarify expectations, roles, and behaviors within the team and to define rules of the game for collaboration as well as common goals in a more or less binding manner. This structured approach leads to an a priori acceptance of different roles as well as a common plan on how to deal with challenging situations. This avoids inefficiency and unnecessary stress within the team. Basically, it is always important for each team member to know with whom they are approaching the joint work and where the journey is leading. The Canvas helps to build commitment.
What exactly do you do and how do you go about it?
As with many agile methods, it is advisable to get out of the familiar, physical environment and start with a round of introductions of all team members to break the first ice.
Then you start with the individual points the Canvasses, starting with the question of who wants to sit where on the bus. After all, each team needs a driver, otherwise the bus will not move. In this way, you arrive at a unified idea of how you want to work together through shared expectations, team values and goals, sources of energy, but also obstacles and annoyances.
Finally, you can ask team members to sign the canvas, which has been found to be helpful because it increases the sense of commitment for everyone involved.
And what's next?
The TCC should always be within sight - analog or digital - of the team members so that everyone can see the contents. It is also worth actively reviewing the canvas with everyone after a certain period of time and checking whether and how the team's situation has changed.
Overall, in my view, a TCC is recommended for every team that consists of at least two people and is either newly forming or starting a new project in its existing constellation. All team members should be open to the method and willing to openly discuss the individual points.
From a coach's perspective, before using TCC - as well as all other canvasses and new methods - one should once deal with the structure. Ideally, one has the opportunity to be present during the implementation of a corresponding coaching session or to have an experienced coach explain the procedure.
This ensures that you ask the right questions when you apply it and that the discussion doesn't end in dead ends.
Do you need help with the implementation?
If you need help implementing TCC or want to take a newly formed team offsite for a while to break the ice, meetreet can help you find the right location for your team offsite.
Author: Maja von Lewartow Lewartowski,
DigiVision initiative at Volkswagen Group Services GmbH