At the end of the day, it doesn`t matter what you call. What matters is that you have it. ME, without strong work agreements, scrum teams rarely perform at high performance, because team members rely on standard expectations of what is considered “professional behaviour in the workplace” and “manifest common sense.” If the Scrum and Agile teams want to achieve high performance (the standardization and performance levels of the Tuckman model), they must consciously create their team culture. Working agreements are a tool to help them do so. Ideally, the entire Scrum team participates in the backlog refinement meeting. If not everyone can participate, participants should be identified based on the use of the work and current tasks. The Agile team consisted of 11 people, working both locally in Texas and remotely in Mumbai, India. Local members of the Texan team included both MS and PO, as well as two engineers: a tech-lead and a senior developer. They worked from home three days a week, but would be at least two days in our headquarters. The SM and the PO were almost always present at the office. The India team consisted of seven engineers, one of whom was the supervisor and effectively our team leader in India. The other members of the Indian team had various other roles in the development of our solution. The team approached the end of the current sprint and would keep its team in review the next day.
Fortunately, the timing worked. I was invited to participate in the retrospective and conclude all the team agreements that are required during each sprint ceremony. Table 2. Questions that the team responded to to reach a work agreement The ScrumMaster opens the meeting by explaining to the team what a work agreement is (as mentioned above), and then sharing some examples of work agreements to give them fair representation. For example: “I`ll update the status on the scrum board regularly.” “Be on time for stand-up.” And so on — maybe that`s all the team considers crucial to their success or improvement. The ScrumMaster then suggests that the team reconsider the points that are essential to their improvement and ask them to share the points they think they should become work agreements. I hope this conversation will help you and your team empathize with each other, reduce stress, inspect and adapt the way you work, and succeed, whether you use Scrum or not.