Team Charter Canvas


So, you've gathered a team of unusual suspects and diverse characters. How will you agree on your goals, expectations, and values? And how will you deal with challenging situations? Design a team charter together to avoid unnecessary counter productivity or unwanted surprises. And basically it is good to know who you are travelling with! The Team Charter Canvas was created by the Design A Better Business Team based on ideas developed at CCA.


Time± 45 minutes
Difficulty3 / 5
People3 - 5
AuthorDesign A Better Business

How To Use the Team Charter Canvas

You don’t always get to decide with whom you work with. Even if you do, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be successful. Con icts of interest and differing values or goals often get in the way of a team’s progress.

A team charter will help you create a blueprint for the engine behind a project: a well-balanced team. As a co-created document, the team charter will help clarify the team’s direction while establishing boundaries.

Tool Overview

  1. Team Members Who is on the bus and what will each person individually bring to the team: e.g., role, personal core value, skills, personal slogan, character trait?

  2. Driver Who is behind the wheel? Who is navigating?

  3. Expectations What do the team members expect from each other in order to be successful?

  4. Team Values What are the values the team lives by? Are these values recognized by all team members?

  5. Slogan What is the slogan you want to have on your bus? Is there anything that stands out and is recognizable for others?

  6. Obstacles What could prevent the team from working together fruitfully and reaching their goal?

  7. Energy Sources What generates energy in the group? What gets everybody running and going for the best results?

  8. Team Goal What is the goal the team wants to reach? When are all the team efforts successful?

  9. Trouble What will you do when the shit hits the “van”?

Step-by-step guide

1 Before you start

Arrange for a comfortable environment. Surely not a meeting room.

Let everyone do a short introduction. The person speaking should be standing. Another way is to have everybody make one simple visual of who they are, what is important for them, and what they strive for. This is a great way to getting to know each other and for breaking the ice!


  • Arrange a relaxed, positive and private environment
  • Have markers (fine tip) and paper for everybody
  • Print or draw the canvas on a big sheet of paper
  • Have plenty of sticky notes and markers ready
  • Allow yourself 45-60 minutes of undisturbed time

2 "Hello, my name is..."

As mentioned it is very important that everybody is introduced properly, that people know what everybody's expectations are (why they are in the room) and that there is a relaxed atmosphere. If there are things preventing this, make sure they are dealt with upfront.

3 Back in the van y'all

Ask every team member where they want to sit in the bus. If someone wants to sit in the drivers seat. That's great! More room for you as a facilitator to facilitate!

4 Individual

Individually people need to write on sticky notes what their expectations are (max 3), what they see as obstacles (max 3), their 1 most important value, and what will give them energy. Also each should write down the most important value they want to add to the group.

Tip! There is no right or wrong. It is about finding the common ground and goals of the team.

5 Review

Take a step back and have a discussion about the values expectations, values, energy sources, and obstacles. Again it is not a discussion about right or wrong, but about making sure they all can identify themselves with what is put on the charter. Either the team as a whole will come up with common input. If not, the sum of the sticky notes is what the team represents.

Tip! Focus on one subject at a time. When every member has explained their input, only then move to the next topic.

6 Identify common themes

When clustering the sticky notes per topic. Overarching themes may arise. This is great, but should not be forced. Don't try to be too practical here as a facilitator.

Tip! Being too practical is dangerous, you might overrule someones personal input. Challenge all members to be explicit. No buzzwords. If it's unclear it will not serve the team.

7 Team Goals

Now that everything is filled in an everybody recognizes themselves as a acknowledged and valued team member, let's fill in the team goals! The team should discuss and come up with a maximum of 3 goals. Make sure they are not all directly related to their functional goal.

8 Next Steps

After the session is finished, have all team members sign the team charter canvas. It is their contract amongst each other to make the team successful.

Tip! Visualising the finished charter together will make the coherency even bigger, together with the commitment towards the eye popping end result.


  • Take a snapshot picture of your team charter
  • Make sure every member has it as a reference
  • In times of trouble: refer to the charter