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Norms Of Agreement

22:57 13.12.2020 Napsal: petr.stibor

Different types of agreements are used for different purposes. When a team develops agreements, it helps to know what it is trying to accomplish, because different types of agreements are used for different purposes. Some teams feel that it makes sense to have both simple rules (which contribute to the implementation of values) and working agreements (which deal with specific practices). A lot of the teams I meet have a lot of agreements on how to act. The groups best placed to have a short list and update it if needed. I visited a group that had a list of 20 team rules. It`s too many things someone remembers. And such a long list suggests another problem – probably that the group members had not developed a common language around the firms, and had very different mental models about how software development works. Cooperation and high performance are possible without explicit agreements. However, it is much easier (and more likely) for a team to achieve high performance if it pays attention to the model it wants to create and uses these tools to shape the pattern. The process of developing agreements satisfies (at least) three things: teams establish a model of interaction and implicitly understand what people can do, should, should not do, should not do, should not do and should not do. Patterns often form without thinking too much about the implications. Team standards are formed, where people are in a meeting or accept an acceptable late arrival and if someone has to bring cookies on Tuesday.

But there is no need to leave that to chance. Effective teams have a common approach to work (but not a rigid process). They explicitly define working agreements on „how we do things.“ Team agreements are developed to meet challenges and aspirations. Teams find a way to talk about what matters and decide how they implement these priorities on a day-to-day basis. I have also seen new groups enter into agreements that are neither realistic nor sustainable. Not all groups need a list of team values, team standards, ground rules, work agreements and simple rules. It is not a question of explicitly controlling all aspects of behaviour. And when you visit a group, don`t just look at the list of values and agreements. Look at the rules posted, and see how people really act.

What is the purpose of team values, standards, work agreements and simple rules? Working agreements are protocols that the Group is ready to develop and follow. The protocols aim to forge a common commitment and approach that helps the team achieve its goal. I don`t think every group should have a list of values, basic rules, group standards and simple rules. It is not a question of explicitly controlling all aspects of behaviour. I once visited a group that had a list of 20 basic rules. It is always interesting to see how and if the team members meet the standards of the group and individuals.