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 meet the whole team The goal of setting up team standards is to build an ONE team culture, and this is something that is fired when it becomes stony within the team. Until then, the team had a hard time hating each other. But all finally accepted that many of the misunderstandings were due to cultural and logistical differences that were only compounded by jet lag. The pressure on the Indian team to deliver those who had hindered the team was suddenly understood and appreciated by the American team.
Things that were previously taken for granted have suddenly taken on a new meaning. The members of the U.S. team began empathically to find ways to involve offshore members more and increase their engagement. The moment of revelation came when everyone recognized the true strength to hear everyone`s voice. They were eventually created as a team. They were all co-responsible for the same commitment and they had to work better together. The chains were finally broken and the team could see a new light! 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. It was a regular incident in a team I was leading, and something had to be done. Cue our “no distractions” clause.
This refers to meetings as non-phone areas and indicates that laptops must be closed unless the work done directly relates directly to this meeting. 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. Suppose you have 20 product delay items, nine team members and one hour to cross them all. They guide the team through each PBI (product delay element), make sure the team members have all the relevant details and answer any questions they may have. Let`s start with the definition: work agreements are standards or guidelines developed by a team to improve their interactions for superior performance and create a common language. In practice, these agreements define the expectations of groups, define paths of cooperation and create the atmosphere necessary for sensitive and psychologically safe work. So many people that I have to thank for the support they have given me during this trip, I would like to thank first of all the teams who have really been up to the task through this process. If they had not, I would not have been able to understand the power of employment contracts, and it is more about know-how than building words. I would especially like to thank Kelli Derum, the PO, for the team. I attacked her a few years later, and she was always so eager to help.