This is the story of how I was able to help a team I coached to improve working relationships and work together to achieve better results. While the result of this trip was a series of work agreements that reflect a new way of operating, the story focuses on the team`s journey of self-discovery and self-improvement. Through this trip, the team has gained a better understanding and respect for each other, transcending cultural and geographical boundaries. Fast forward to March 2020 and the global context has changed dramatically. I bet your team has experienced at least one incident like this in recent weeks. I would also bet that there was little or no shame. Why would there be that? The work agreements should be reviewed at the end of each final sprint during the retrospective session. As soon as team members feel that they are doing well with each agreement and that there is something else that needs to be addressed/discussed and added as a working agreement, they can replace it with another consensus agreement. 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. Team members share their suggestions and why they feel they should be part of the working agreements. Some relatively easy points. The ScrumMaster takes note of these ideas on the Board of Directors. In this context, it is necessary to build the planning stunt so that the team has a clear idea of what awaits them when. After several miscalcrations with a team I was working with, we decided to create an ”There Is a Time and Place for Everything” clause. Are time zones important in our context? Do we understand the times when we can work without problems with our teammates or stakeholders in other time zones? (See WorldTimeBuddy below, with thanks to Pieter V) In serious Scrum`s Slack work area, we want to share tips and tricks with local teams so they can inspect and customize them. Your remote team agreement could help other teams: bring yours and talk! (Your invitation is below). Work agreements are the rules/disciplines/processes that the team is ready to follow, without making themselves more effective and simplistic about the self-administered aspects of the Scrum. These agreements help the team develop a common understanding of what it means to work as a team. The following are proposed as reading suggestions for a moderator of a remote team agreement.
It is not a normative program. 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. As I wanted to do SM to facilitate the process, I coached her to create a list of questions for each value, to generate a discussion and to help teams decide on all the ”rules” we should create to ensure that everyone respects that value. We didn`t care where the answers were placed as long as they were captured.