While the structure of a charrette varies, depending on the design problem and the individuals in the group, charrettes often take place in multiple sessions in which the group divides into sub-groups. Each sub-group then presents its work to the full group as material for further dialogue.

Charrettes serve as a way of quickly generating a design solution while integrating the aptitudes and interests of a diverse group of people. Although the structure of charrettes may vary, the general idea of a charrette is to create an innovative atmosphere in which a diverse group of stakeholders can collaborate to "generate visions for the future"

Charrettes resulting in community place plans ususally involve planning professionals, public servants and community representation.

The Scottish Government have been providing funding for Charrettes through the Design Charrettes and Activating Ideas fund for several years and the link gives a list of successful awards with access to the final reports.