It is easy to get into projects with new teams, but work agreements create the kind of solid foundation necessary for effective cooperation, especially between people with different backgrounds, assumptions and experiences. The ScrumMaster is the custodian of employment contracts, but the whole team has a responsibility to question if someone breaks the agreement. As the work agreements have been agreed by the team, the perception of personal attacks and confrontations is eliminated. In the spirit of transparency and continuous improvement, team members should review employment contracts from time to time and ask, “Should they be updated?” Teamwork agreements should describe how team members work together to create a positive productive process. For each team member, the only way to do that is to add their two cents to the development of these policies. The views of all members are important and inclusion is the glue that keeps the agreement in common. Save often and keep in mind that agreements can always be renegotiated, especially when new members join or situations change. Each new team has a strong dynamic, with individuals preferring a certain mix of behaviors and practices. Respect your uniqueness! The main factor in developing a team work agreement is identifying the challenges your team faces.
Introduce yourself with unique collaborative challenges for your team, then focus on solving those issues. Most agile transformations begin with training. You discuss the form of the teams and some details of methodology. For example, I had a scrum training session. We discussed how and what a team can do to establish its own agile work agreement. Your teamwork agreement must be made accessible and easy to maintain by all team members. It`s easy to forget something you`ve only seen once in a meeting. Find creative ways to get the most important elements of your agreement consistently in your team`s line of sight. One way to do this is to create a mural in the main work area where the instructions are displayed.
Work agreements are often used in the Agile context, but can be used by any team. Through the work agreement process, teams are given an increased awareness of the interaction between individuals. Let`s start with the definition: work agreements are standards or guidelines developed by a team to improve their interactions for superior performance and create a common language. In practice, these agreements define the expectations of groups, define paths of cooperation and create the atmosphere necessary for sensitive and psychologically safe work. To keep the debate on track, use facilitation techniques such as fist of five to reach consensus on all labour agreements. Teamwork is such a fundamental part of human experience that one would think that after 200,000 years of human evolution, it would be discovered. Unfortunately, the secret formula for creating large, agile teams always eludes us, and it probably always will, because teams are made up of people – and people are complex and dynamic. An important part of the agile process is the maintenance and refinement of the backlog, where an activity involves assigning estimates to stories that have not yet received one.
This estimate is usually made by planning poker, where sizes are assigned based on the Fibonacci sequence. Working agreements, also known as team standards, are guidelines developed by teams on how they should work together to create a positive productive process.