Creating a group charter is an idea that I have to credit to the CommunityBuilders within IBM. It sounded like an excellent best practice to share with the My developerWorks enthusiasts group. But I didn't want to just toss it out there and say "Have a group charter". I wanted to think about it first: What IS a group charter? What should be in one? What's the purpose of it? How do you share it with your group members?
And more importantly, I wanted to practice what I preach. Before I shared this, I wanted to create a group charter for the My developerWorks enthusiasts group
. I procrastinated for several weeks and when I actually sat down to write it, I found I was over-thinking it - I mean "group charter" - that sounds so serious. It sounds like it should be at least 10 pages written in legal gobbledy-gook. Until I realized this should be quite simple! Hopefully I can make it simple for you too...What is a group charter and why you should have one:
- Define what your group is about - what's your topic and your purpose
- Share what to expect from your group
- Share any guidelines for your group
What should be in your group charter:
- What is the purpose of the group (this could also include who the group is for, what the group will provide, etc.)
- What types of activities should you expect from the group (for example, is there a project going on, are you actively building wiki pages, etc)
- What types of communications should you expect from the group (for example, will there be weekly blog posts on X, or monthly emails on Y)
- What is the role of the group members
- Who are the group moderators/owners and what is their role
- And anything else you feel is important to share... There is no "perfect template" for this - it's up to you!
- Keep it simple - don't say more than you need to!
- Create a page in your group wiki for your group charter - here's an example
- In your group overview description, link to your group charter - here's an example
- When new members join and you thank them for joining your group, you may want to provide a link to the group charter.
If you're interested in meeting fellow My
developerWorks enthusiasts, keeping up with the latest My
developerWorks news, and sharing tips and best practices for using My
developerWorks and social networking, come join us in the My developerWorks enthusiasts group