Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Agile Team Agreement

In Scrum we have the DoD and also if added the DoR. However these set of explicit policies as KanBan would say are made by the team are with a focus on the Product. What about something for the team?

We need an Agile Working Team Agreement. But what is an agreement? Who creates the agreement? How do we maintain it? Why do we even really need one?

As per usual long before I became enlightened, within a wonderful info poster someone else has already came up with an Agile Working Team Agreement.

However  here I hope I answer some of the questions above by expanding upon the original info-graphic [1].

What is a Work Agreement?
Work agreements aim to forge commitment and an agreed upon shared approach that will help the team meet their goal. The team agrees to follow this as much as possible to make themselves more efficient and successful.

The working agreements do not have to represent a check-list and do not have to tie back to the product. They are sustainable agreements that help the team identify core values and build a shared understanding of what it means to work as a team. They are for the team not the Product and thus are different from the DoR or DoD.

Who creates and owns the agreement?
Team members themselves create and own it. The team also reviews them periodically during retrospective meetings. They set the agreement because we want teams that are self-organizing and cross-functional. Self-organizing teams choose how best to accomplish their work, rather than being directed by others outside the team.

Why would a team need an agreement?
  • To develop a sense of shared responsibility
  • Increase members’ awareness of their own behaviour
  • Empower the facilitator to lead the group according to the agreements.
  • Enhance the quality of the group process
What is the best time to organize this meeting?
Just before the very first Sprint starts and from then on review within the Retrospective meetings. These can also be separate meetings by themselves.

Where should it be placed?
  • Somewhere visible by the team.
  • Next to the KanBan board.
  • On the wiki. Printed out and stuck on the desk of every team member.
  • Tattoed on the left arm. Right arm can be used for the next version and then laser the left arms old version away. From then on swap between arms :P

Agile Working Team Agreement example:
  • Show respect
Don’t interrupt; let people finish what they’re saying. It’s OK to disagree with each other. No personal attacks, attack issues, we debate the merit of ideas, not people. You can be wrong and that’s okay.
  • Contribution
Everyone has an equal voice and valuable contribution. Use every work activity as an opportunity to learn. We make decisions together as One Team.
  • Team Meetings
Be on time by arriving before time (it is the only way), end on time, have an agenda, take away an outcome.
  • Be transparent
No hidden agendas. We will give feedback, we will receive feedback, and we will act on feedback.
  • Impediments
Solve roadblocks within the team. If the impediment cant be solved within the team, give it to the Team Lead to take away.
  • Make commitments as One Team
We as a team will be held accountable to our commitments. – we work as a team to make a commitment and deliver on it. Remember this is the team not one person.  Help the team achieve their task and team-work goals. There is only the team.
  • Incomplete work items are not valuable
It is better to help get an existing work item to “done” than to start another that can’t be finished in the current sprint. Value is what needs to be produced not allocated activity.

Of course agreements will evolve over time and adapted when they are inspected.

Agile Link:
It's for the Agile team and is represented on my Poster by the back drop of One Team [2].

[2] Agile Poster:

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