You have a great idea for a product, and you’re ready to get it off the ground. You know that building anything—especially something that people will pay for or use day in and day out—isn’t as simple as getting it done. It requires collaboration, communication, and teamwork. And this is where your product team charter comes into play: A well-crafted charter can diminish common problems such as conflicts with other teams or unclear expectations about what everyone should be doing (or not doing).
What Is a Product Team Charter?
A product team charter is a document that describes the purpose, mission and goals of your product team. It helps you to align your team with your company’s vision and strategy by clarifying their responsibilities and how they relate to other teams in the organization.
A good product team charter will include:
- A description of why this particular group was formed (i.e., what problem are they trying to solve?)
- The mission statement for this group (i.e., what do they want to accomplish?)
- Priorities for this group (i.e., which projects should be done first?)
Why Your Product Team Needs a Charter
A product team charter is a document that defines the purpose, mission, and goals of your team. It should be created at the beginning of a project or initiative and revisited regularly throughout its lifecycle.
The charter helps everyone on your product team understand why they’re working together and how they can contribute to a shared vision. This is critical because you’ll have to make sure your entire team is aligned in order for them to work well together—and having one document that outlines what everyone expects from each other makes it easier for them all to get on board with the overall mission of your project or initiative!
Creating Your Team Charter–Step 1: Clarify the Problem You Are Solving
The first step toward crafting a product team charter is to clearly define the problem you are solving. If you don’t do this, it will be difficult or impossible to identify who should be involved in the process, how they should work together, and what success looks like.
- If your team does not have access to current information about customers and their needs, then a key driver of value creation can be lost. A solution could be as simple as providing each member of your team with access to sales data through Salesforce so they can see where they fit into the larger picture.
- If new hires are not integrated into existing processes smoothly after joining your company, then productivity will suffer and employee morale might decrease as well. A solution could include creating formal protocols around onboarding that ensure new employees have all necessary information at hand within 24 hours of starting their job (e-mail addresses for key stakeholders across departments; training materials on how things get done). You might also want to create an intranet site where new employees can ask questions or receive ideas from experienced colleagues without having these conversations distract from everyone else’s workday.”
Creating Your Team Charter–Step 2: Summarize the Product’s Opportunity and Value Proposition
Now that you’ve been clear on the problem, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of how you will solve it. This section should include a brief summary of your product’s main purpose and value proposition.
Here are some tips for making sure this section is effective:
- Highlight the problem you’re solving by using language that conveys urgency or pain points experienced by customers.
- Describe why your company is uniquely positioned to solve this problem better than anyone else in the market. You can also use this opportunity as an opportunity for self-promotion!
- Focus on customers, not features or functions; keep in mind what metrics matter most when measuring success (for example: revenue per customer).
Creating Your Team Charter–Step 3: Identify the Customer, Strategy, and Metrics
- Who are you building your product for? Who is the customer?
- What is your strategy to achieve those goals and make them happy?
- How will you measure success, so that you know when it’s time to pivot or change direction.
Creating Your Team Charter–Step 4: Describe the High-Level Approach and Processes
This is the most important part of your product charter. It describes the high-level approach and processes that will be used by your team to make sure they are on the same page.
This section should provide an overview of what your team will do during its time working together, including:
- The high-level process flow (i.e., how you expect things to happen)
- The high-level product development process (i.e., how a new feature gets made)
- The high-level product management process (i.e., how you decide what features get built)
- The high-level product marketing process (i.e., how you plan out campaigns).