What is a Scrum Team Working Agreement and How It Helps the Scrum Team πŸ’Œ

Introduction 
 
The purpose of the working agreement in agile software development is to ensure the team has clear expectations and share the responsibilities. A team must understand the scrum values and principles and function together to become more self-organized and cross-functional.
 
While working with a team in a software development project, things which work in textbooks don't really work out in real-life projects, but the right mindset of your team makes practices more effective.
 

What is the working agreement and how does it drive your agile team?

 
People are different and have a different mindset and different attitudes. People can see the same practice differently, we have to consider the fact that "Strength lies in differences, not in similarities"
 
Remember the test match between India and Pakistan in 2006, (India's tour to Pakistan) Sehwag and Dravid opening partnership of 400 runs, where both score a century.
but you can see the difference in both of their batting styles by comparing the strike rates of both. Sehwag's strike rate was 102.83 whereas Dravid plays sensibly with the strike rate 54.94
 
 
Both are in the same team and both have different strengths. In the same way, when we work in the team we have different team members having different attitudes and mindsets.
 

How to create a working agreement

 
Team members themselves set the agreement, that is how they want to work with each other. Maybe a scrum master can help them to craft the agreement.
 
The scrum Master can just kick off the meeting with the team to explaining the benefits of the agreement and share a few examples so that the team can work with each other to prepare their working agreement.
 
After that team will do brainstorming and come up with ideas on how they can work well with each other for a common goal.
 
Image Credit:https://www.burnssheehan.co.uk/events-blog/5-key-elements-of-a-successful-agile-delivery-team/bp1681/
 
For example, the team can consider the following points for brainstorming.
  • Communication: how team members are going to communicate and when.
  • Information: how we are going to share the information.
  • Trust: Trust and support each other to become more Self Organize a team.
  • Collaboration: Work as a team more collaboratively to achieve common goals.
  • Early Feedback: We always welcome early feedback so that we can minimize the risk.
  • Agree to disagree: The team will agree to disagree with some critical decisions.
Consider norms for the events, roles, and artifacts and discuss what should happen if the agreement is broken.
 
Once the team has all the points ready scrum master suggests to vote for best 5 to 10 items. and the best 10 items will be placed on the team's common shared space.
 
The following are a few examples. When I work with my team, we promise that:
  • We believe we can reach the sprint goal.
  • We will support each other.
  • We will inform you immediately if we have problems.
  • Be on time at every meeting and ceremony.
  • Will do face to face conversation and avoid emails and blame game.
  • If we are running behind schedule, we will remove the lowest priority work items first.
  • If we are ahead of schedule, we will add work items from the product backlog as per the priority order.
  • Estimates are estimates. We will be early in some sprint and late at other times. No Blame to each other.
  • Be positive and tell the truth.
 
The working agreement must be reviewed from time to time with the team. If the team wishes to add or remove a few items, the scrum master can facilitate this.
 

Conclusion

 
We have learned about the working agreement and how it drives your agile team. We also looked at what you should include while creating your agile team's working agreement.
 
You can download the sample working agreement template from here.
 
Thank you for reading. if you find this post useful then do share your feedback as Knowledge doubles if you share it.