Working agreements are essential in any agile team as they set the tone for how the team will work together. The ultimate goal of agile is to have a productive, collaborative, and efficient team working towards a common goal. However, without clear working agreements, conflict and disagreements can arise, making teamwork challenging.
Working agreements are a list of guidelines that the team agrees to follow. The list is created collaboratively and is reviewed regularly to ensure it`s still relevant and useful. These agreements help to establish clear expectations and boundaries, keeping the team aligned and focused on delivering results. Here are some key points to consider when creating working agreements in an agile environment:
1. Make it collaborative
Working agreements should be created collaboratively. This means that all team members should be involved in the process. When everyone contributes, the team has a better understanding of why each agreement is necessary. This creates a sense of ownership, and everyone is more likely to follow the agreements.
2. Keep it simple
Working agreements should be simple and easy to follow. They should be clear and concise, so everyone understands what is expected of them. Complicated agreements will be difficult to follow, and the team will struggle to adhere to them.
3. Review regularly
Working agreements are not set in stone. They should be reviewed regularly to ensure they are still relevant and useful. As the team grows, new agreements may need to be added, and old ones may need to be revised.
4. Be specific
Working agreements should be specific. Vague agreements will be difficult to follow and could lead to misunderstandings. For example, instead of saying “Be respectful,” it`s better to say “Don`t interrupt when someone is speaking.”
5. Be positive
Working agreements should be framed in a positive light. It`s much easier to follow agreements when they are presented positively. For example, instead of saying “No gossiping,” it`s better to say “Discuss concerns directly with the person involved.”
Working agreements are a vital component of any agile team. They help to establish clear expectations and boundaries, keep the team aligned and focused on delivering results. By creating simple, collaborative, and specific agreements, reviewing them regularly and framing them positively, the team can work together seamlessly towards a common goal.