Fun fact, I dated friends a few nights ago and two of them are used to arguing hotly about random topics. While we were driving, I explained the definition of working conditions and explained how their behavior affects everyone, we laughed but agreed, “no lively isolated debates about friendly outings”. It worked! There was no way out because they would agree on that! 😉 Now that you hopefully recognize the value of making work arrangements with your teams and understand how it can help in your organization, the big question arises: how can magic happen? Steve starts asking about the agreements proposed in his first area of interest: the daily Scrum start time. After all possible working arrangements, it uses the Decision-making Protocol to quickly seek consensus. If there is no immediate consensus, the person who said “no” to an idea suggests what they think is better. When several people have a problem, everyone is supposed 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: work arrangements are often used in the context of Agile, but can be used by any team. Through the work agreement process, teams are made more aware of the interaction between individuals.
Given the previous friction between some team members, he opted for a 1-2-4 model to discuss possible agreements. This model is designed to ensure that everyone has a voice in the process: it`s easy to embark on projects with new teams, but the work arrangements create the kind of solid foundation needed for high-performing collaboration, especially between people with different backgrounds, assumptions, and experiences. Working conditions have quickly become an essential part of modern and successful teams. You may have heard the term, especially when new teams are forming, but is it worth discussing with your own team? It is very likely that your list is long. You don`t want everyone with a lot of NO to feel limited, so one way is to make sure that only the important and relevant elements go into the final version to allow members to vote for Top X standards. What is the magic number? Crashes! It depends on the size of the team, their maturity, their knowledge, the time frame in which you plan to execute these agreements, etc. But make sure that each standard that makes the cut is: To keep the discussion on track, use moderation techniques like Fist of Five to reach consensus on all working arrangements. Finally, review and iterate about the effectiveness of your work arrangements to make your team`s ideas worse. You can set WA at the beginning of a project (Sprint 0) and view the list in retrospectives or when the team requests changes. You can also set WA in meetings that you moderate.
Let`s say you`re working with a team you don`t know and you`re doing a retrospective or training, for example. There are a few work arrangements specific to our team that have worked very well: “Don`t engage in unknown stories” and “Check the JIRA chart daily and set a goal for each day.” As we are a distributed team, we have a stand-up in the afternoon when the UK onshore team is in their office. The team has reached this agreement to review the board in the morning and communicate what they will be working on. It worked wonders; There`s a lot of communication in this meeting, and I can see teamwork managing the reach of the sprint. Publish work arrangements in a place that is visible to the entire team, such as Confluence. If you`ve worked with sticky notes, gather the final work arrangements into a document that you then share. After a few rounds of proposals, if there is no consensus on a certain point, go ahead – they cannot reach an agreement in this area at the moment. Consider revisiting this point the next time the working arrangements are discussed. At first, encourage discussion within the team and empower everyone to propose, accept, and reject a deal. Keep in mind that you can`t get people to change their feelings, but you can focus on (enforceable) behaviors. You`re welcome! That`s far from all there is to do for work arrangements, so go ahead and learn more about it! And if you wish, share some knowledge in the comments Team members share their suggestions and reasons why they think it should be part of the working arrangements ☺. Some points could be relatively simple.
The Scrum Master takes note of these ideas on the board. The team compiles all the individual agreements into the work agreement and attaches them to the wall of the team room. In the months that follow, team members slowly get used to reminding their colleagues of behaviors that don`t respect the agreement. Every few sprints, Steve asks in a retrospective: “Is this still our working agreement? Is there anything you`d like to change? The list evolves as team members find other areas where they see benefits. After six months, they are much more able to cope with tense problems within the team, or when the pressure from the outside increases on them. For more information and examples of working arrangements, we recommend: Check frequently and remember that agreements can always be renegotiated, especially if new members join or situations change. Each new team has a distinct dynamic, with individuals who prefer a certain mix of behaviors and practices. Respect your uniqueness! Let`s start with the definition: working modalities are standards or guidelines created by a team to improve their interactions in order to achieve better performance and create a common language.
In practice, these agreements define the expectations of the group, establish opportunities for collaboration and create the kind of atmosphere necessary for empathetic and psychologically safe work. Your WA list should be clear so that it is easy to follow and stick to. The aspects it needs to contain depend on the team and the most pressing issues they face, when maturity levels are low, you may need to steer the team in the right direction as a facilitator, but always remember that these are their agreements. A work agreement is a short set of guidelines created by the team for the team that determine what the team`s expectations are for each other. A well-written agreement should help establish and strengthen a clear and shared understanding among all team members of what they recognize as good behavior and communication. It is usually called a single “work arrangement”, but in reality it consists of many individual agreements for each topic or theme. The Scrum Master opens the meeting by explaining to the team what a work arrangement is (as mentioned above) and then sharing some examples of work arrangements to give them a fair idea. For example, “I will regularly update the status on the Scrum board.” “Be on time for stand-up.” And so on – this could be anything the team considers crucial to its success or improvement. The Scrum Master then suggests that the team think about the essential points for their improvement and asks them to share the points that they think should become work arrangements.
You can use the first few minutes of the meeting to define a short list of work arrangements that apply only to this event. This approach helps all participants adopt the same mindset and helps you, as a moderator, to manage the event smoothly and with clear expectations. Divide groups of more than five people into subgroups. In my experience, it is easier to make a small group agreement first and then bring it back to the whole. First, set the context for working arrangements with your team. As a group, you can use whiteboards (physical or numeric), sticky notes, spreadsheets, or flip charts. After the brainstorming session, the Scrum Master informs the team that they need to select the five most important ideas as work arrangements based on the votes. It`s a good idea to give each team member three or five votes and ask them to vote for the board agreements they deem crucial.
Other work modalities include: “Documentation for critical tasks” (the team schedules them as a subtask in the schedule, if necessary) and “Identify dependencies” (to identify dependencies early on and document them on tickets, whether in prospective meetings or planning meetings). Since VAs are accepted by all team members, everyone feels responsible for raising their hand if someone breaks the agreement, and the author is reminded that he/she has agreed to follow the standards, it is his/her own word that is at stake and all issues are dealt with in the team`s circle of trust. It gives control over how people want to interact and what works best to help them achieve their goals instead of being imposed by the “big bosses.” Ask all team members to come together to define your custom list. Remember that your role is that of a moderator. So make sure you have your agenda ready and clearly communicate the purpose of the meeting. If this is the first time the team has made work arrangements, start by clearly defining what they are so that people know what is expected. .