Agile Team Working Agreements: A Guide to Improve Team Performance
Agile is a methodology that emphasizes flexibility, collaboration, and constant development of a product or service. Agile teams work together in an iterative process, continuously delivering value to their customers. However, successful agile teams require more than just a set of processes and principles. They also need effective communication and a shared understanding of how they will work together. This is where agile team working agreements come in.
Agile team working agreements are a set of guidelines that team members agree to follow when working together. They define how the team will work, communicate, and collaborate to achieve their goals. These agreements can be created at the beginning of a project or at any point during the process. They can also be adjusted as needed to ensure the team is constantly improving.
Benefits of Agile Team Working Agreements
Agile team working agreements provide many benefits to teams, including:
1. Clear expectations: They set clear expectations for how the team will work together, which reduces confusion and misunderstandings.
2. Improved communication: They encourage open communication and ensure every team member has a say in the process.
3. Increased accountability: They hold team members accountable for their responsibilities, which increases motivation and responsibility.
4. Better collaboration: They promote collaboration and teamwork, which improves the quality of work and reduces the risk of project failure.
5. Greater flexibility: They allow the team to adapt and adjust, which is essential in agile methodology.
Creating Agile Team Working Agreements
Creating agile team working agreements involves the following steps:
1. Start with a team discussion: Hold a team meeting to discuss the purpose and benefits of agile team working agreements.
2. Identify key areas: Discuss and identify key areas that need guidelines, such as communication, collaboration, accountability, and decision-making.
3. Brainstorm guidelines: Using the areas identified, brainstorm specific guidelines that will help the team work more effectively together. These guidelines should be practical, measurable, and achievable.
4. Review and refine: Review the guidelines as a team and refine them to ensure they align with the team`s values, goals, and culture.
5. Document and share: Once the team has agreed on the guidelines, document and share them with the entire team. This will ensure everyone is on the same page and knows what is expected of them.
Examples of Agile Team Working Agreements
Agile team working agreements can vary depending on the team and the project. Here are a few examples of guidelines that could be included:
1. Daily stand-up meetings: Agree to hold daily stand-up meetings to discuss progress, issues, and priorities.
2. Communication channels: Agree on the communication channels to be used, such as email, chat, or video conferencing.
3. Decision-making: Agree on the decision-making process, such as consensus-based or a formal voting system.
4. Responsibilities: Agree on each team member`s responsibilities and how they will be held accountable.
5. Continuous improvement: Agree to regularly review and improve the team`s process and guidelines.
Agile team working agreements are a powerful tool that can improve team performance, communication, and collaboration. They provide a framework for how the team will work together and can be adjusted as needed to ensure continuous improvement. By following these guidelines, agile teams can increase their productivity, reduce the risk of project failure, and deliver greater value to their customers.