At Modern Tribe, we’ve been working remotely with people from all corners of the world for over 15 years. We know a thing or two about communicating across different disciplines, time zones and cultures. A few years back, we rolled out a Communication Charter to each of our teams and tasked them with developing a set of standards and expectations for how they communicate with each other. It has been so effective, we decided to share this template and process with our customers and industry peers.
Download your Communication Charter Template here.
Creating a Communication Charter
If you are forming a new team, we highly suggest having a few key team leaders seed the Charter a bit with organizational-specific expectations that are non-negotiable. For instance, if the Project Manager has a status meeting every Wednesday morning, they may need all scrum updates to be in by Tuesday evening.
Once the mandatories are out of the way, schedule at least 2 hours with the full team to focus, discuss and debate. The more buy-in you have from your teammates, the more likely they are to follow the charter. We suggest making this a team bonding activity—pairing it with an end-of-year happy hour or team game day would be a great way to unwind before or after.
Make it unique. We’ve seen charters that outline 10 different Slack emojis and their secret meanings. One of our teams encouraged everyone to share a daily photo of their lunch. Whether your teams are virtual, hybrid or back in the office, they spend a lot of time with each other so why not have some fun?
Plan on revisiting your Communication Charter at least twice a year as teammates and projects come and go. But feel free to update throughout the year as schedules change or new tools come into play to streamline communication. Don’t be afraid to scrap something that is no longer working or is no longer useful. You don’t have to wait for the full Charter workshop to make changes.