Working Agreement for Teams
If you get “no” votes, ask the team member what would turn their vote into a “yes.” Discuss what you can do together as a team and maybe adjust the deal. Making social norms explicit to teams may seem unfamiliar. Some team members may feel uncomfortable when asked to write down seemingly obvious professional behavioral expectations, but that`s important. When team members don`t clarify each other`s expectations, they tend to make assumptions about what the other person wants or has planned. Paul Watzlawick wrote a fitting story about it, which he called “The Pursuit of Misfortune.” In it, a man wants to borrow a hammer from his neighbor to drive a nail. But our protagonist, unfortunately, manages to spin so many fantasies in his head that his mind does not make him like to ask at all, and he simply runs to the neighbor to shout to the unsuspecting man and say, “Keep your hammer!” As you can see, these values can help you write Agile agreements because they create a positive and collaborative space to foster efficiency and professional relationships. They can help you create an environment that everyone appreciates for their work culture and increases efficiency and performance accordingly. The role of the Scrum Master can be constructive in creating a work arrangement – the main task being to identify the initial need for it. You should then suggest that the team write their own work agreement and explain what it is and what benefits it has. A work agreement is a tool used in agile working methodology, especially in the Scrum framework, to establish ground rules for working on a software development project. There are guidelines for all team members that must be followed to achieve productivity, mutual understanding and peaceful collaboration. Finally, be creative in solving your problems and have a little fun with the agreement. After all, it`s a “social” contract.
However, in my experience as an agile consultant, the most productive product development teams all had one thing in common: consensus. They all felt included, heard and respected in their own law and were able to clearly establish the link between their individual goal and the vision of the product or project. Agile teams are known for being productive and achieving great results. But each team working on a project is a set of personalities who may encounter difficulties in collaboration and communication. Of course, it all depends on the team, but you can use work arrangements for the following topics. Creating an agile teamwork agreement should be a collaborative process. As I mentioned earlier, there are many ways to do this, and I`m just going to describe a path that has worked well for our teams. When thinking about facilitating this process, ask yourself, “What is your team most comfortable with when it comes to collaboration?” At Crema, it is now a standard that we use a virtual whiteboard called Miro (even if no one joins remotely). Using a product like Miro can be useful because of the variety of features such as voting, reply, timer, etc.
However, you can use a collaborative document like Dropbox Paper, regular sticky notes, or even a physical whiteboard to anchor discussions. It`s really up to you. Team agreements offer a pragmatic remedy here: if the needs are known, they are more easily met. In this way, they highlight aspects of teamwork that are often implicitly mismanaged. Steve starts asking about the agreements proposed in his first area of interest: the daily Scrum start time. After all possible working arrangements, it uses the Decision-making Protocol to quickly seek consensus. If there is no immediate consensus, the person who said “no” to an idea suggests what they think is better. When several people have a problem, everyone is supposed to offer a better idea. If too many people say no, the applicant should consider withdrawing the proposal.
In the case of Steve`s team, the team has its first working arrangements after 20 minutes: the goal of the exercise is to get a boost from all team members for all chords. Ask participants to formally commit to a team agreement before the end of the workshop. In persona workshops, this may include signing the flipchart or whiteboard on which the team agreement was created. Allow participants to virtually add emojiis or photos to the virtual whiteboard. I hope you found this overview of agile teamwork agreements useful. If you have any questions, comments or even arguments against that, I would like to hear them. Go through agreements with the team and combine similar agreements into a single agreement. Before the working agreement session, collect the issues the team is currently facing, either from a table of obstacles (see example), a retrospective, or simply known challenges. Bring them and share them during the session to inform the working modalities. There are no official rules for writing agile team agreements, but we can give you an example of a respectful and productive work process that leads to great results. If you`re a Scrum Master, use your intuition, powers of observation, and knowledge to help everyone get through this process. .