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Working Agreements Agile Team

In the next iteration, I thought deeply and hard about how, in the previous retrospective, I could have changed the game to improve confidence. I remembered the five dysfunctions of a Patrick Lencioni team and how this team presented almost all the dysfunctions, from lack of confidence and fear of conflict to inattention to results and lack of commitment. Lencioni says: “The confidence is to know that if a team member pushes you, they do it because they take care of the team.” I needed everyone on the team to feel that they could trust each other and hold each other to account so that their contributions would be important. What I should have done was acknowledge their hard work and create a psychologically safe environment before sharing my observations. So I thought I`d try an experiment to improve the safety of the team and overcome the barriers. I told the team that they should be willing to share something personal with the whole group in our next retrospective. Everyone had two minutes to share family stories, images, recipes, songs, basically everything, as long as it had nothing to do with work! When the list of important things grew, everyone was ready to formalize them in the team`s rules as the first work agreements. While we had analyzed several ways to improve our observation of scrum values, we wanted to start slowly and only add what they all were to be there. We also agreed that our labour agreements should be a living document that has developed to reflect new knowledge. The process was simple, each person submitted two proposals that had to be considered, we voted and chose the top 10, which became the ten commandments of the team. I have heard many complaints about poor performance, missed deadlines or unreleamented goals from technology team leaders and managers who have tried to apply a cookie-cutter approach to new agile teams.

It`s not working. Your team may be screaming at the idea, but informal contact may not be the worst idea at the moment… How do I take a coffee break in a virtual environment? Or maybe a distant lunch? There is nothing more frustrating, especially for a project manager, than decompressing team members at an important meeting.

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