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. What would a teamwork agreement look like? Here is an example that was produced by a team of a fully distributed national health care provider: I would then like to add that we will now create together our first version of our employment contract. It will lay a foundation for the behaviour we want to see, capture our expectations of each other and define what we should be able to hold ourselves accountable to each other. By creating a work agreement, we create an understanding of what is important to us in order to work well as a team. “Becoming a team means that we are committed to working together and supporting each other in our common goals. I suspect that running a meeting with a team to help them start a work agreement is the most common workshop I have made possible in recent years. And I learned a lot about what works for me (and what doesn`t). In my experience, this approach works equally well for the agile team, the department management and the flight team.
This blog documents how I facilitated these sessions. Steve begins to ask for proposed agreements in his first priority area: Daily Scrum Start Time. After any possible work agreement, it uses the Decider protocol to quickly examine the possibility of consensus. If there is no immediate consensus, the person who said “no” to an idea suggests what they see as a better idea. If more than one person has a problem, everyone is expected 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 work agreements after 20 minutes: Thanks, I intend to use this as a policy to facilitate a TeamCharter/Working Agreement workshop with my Scrum teams. I like the fact that the expense is fuelled exclusively by positive behaviour and strengthening collaboration.