Working agreements, also known as team standards, are guidelines developed by teams on how they should work together to create a positive productive process. If I share my story, I hope it will inspire others to realize that the process of creating work agreements has uncovered opportunities for collaboration and guidance that have helped a distributed team deliver better value. Please note that if I cannot disclose the name of the company, I can only report that it is a financial services company based in Texas. The names of all parties have been changed to protect privacy. For other readings and examples of employment contracts, we recommend: I have never been a big fan of employment contracts. Of course, I knew what they were, I knew what they had to do, I had even integrated one or two versions into some Agile classes that I had taught, but I never understood how powerful the development process of it can be! All sprints should update the labour agreement, often through a retrospective review and a question such as: “Are these still our work agreements? What do we want to update? What are the areas that require new agreements? 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 are a simple practice that you can use to do wonders for building new teams and reforming existing teams. These agreements are a consolidation of guidelines defining how groups want to work together and what they ideally want, both in the workplace and each other, to promote a safe and open productivity environment. 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.

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[2] 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 arrangements after 20 minutes: now that the team felt more comfortable, they were better able to communicate and share ideas to improve.