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Play of the month: Does your team have a working agreement?

Edited
Kristen Roth Atlassian Team Sep 30, 2020

Hello, Team Playbook fans!

Does your team know what to expect from one another? Or maybe an even better question – do you trust each other? By setting a working agreement with your team, you'll be able to better manage expectations, establish empathy, and build real trust in each other so your team can focus more of their energy on getting $#!τ done.

Our Working Agreements is a small investment with a big payoff. It'll help bring your team's emotional intelligence (EQ) front and center and get to the heart of how you'll work together. Whether your team gets into discussing each other's current working arrangements or decides on the primary communication channel you'll use, by the end of the exercise, you will have established a unique culture that works best for your team, while still fitting within the larger culture of your company.

Feeling ready to write up the recipe for your team's very own special sauce? Let us know how it goes and share your experiences in the comments below with other Team Playbook fans. We'd love to hear from you!

The Team Playbook team

13 comments

Brant Schroeder Community Leader Nov 06, 2020

@Kristen Roth - The Rules of Engagement Play link leads to a 404 - https://www.atlassian.com/team-playbook/plays/rules-of-engagement

I searched for the play but is does not seem to exist.  Can you please point me in the right direction.

Ah! We've since updated this play and it's now called "Working Agreements":

https://www.atlassian.com/team-playbook/plays/working-agreements

Thanks for flagging, @Brant Schroeder!

Brant Schroeder Community Leader Nov 06, 2020

Thanks for the quick fix and response. 

Like Kristen Roth likes this
Sajit Nair Community Leader Nov 17, 2020

yes. although not documented we work on an agreement model for clients for providing support round the clock. :)

@Sajit Nair  Could you share your agreement model, please? 

Like # people like this
Charlie Misonne Community Leader May 07, 2021

I like the fact that this contains both communication "soft skill" stuff as real project specific agreements. The former can easily be overlooked.

This looks like what our team needs for sure. We never worked on an agreement together. We kind of have 'not written' set of rules and we seem to agree on the basics, but it always adds value to the team when we work on such matters collaboratively. Will let you know how it goes once we try it!

Mohammed Amine Community Leader May 30, 2021

Yes the work agreement is a "must have". 

One watch item...

Teams may miss that the working agreement they formed when co-located in an office is less effective for full-time remote conditions.  Sounds like time for a refresh!

Perhaps start with a radar-chart retrospective exercise to quickly survey how the current agreement is helping, use that to feed into 1-2-4-All to seek improvements, and select a small number of new agreement items (3-5) as an experiment.  Close out strong with a buy-in check and a plan for when next to refresh the agreement.

And whenever significant changes occur (culture, team members, work locations, etc.), consider refreshing again.

DPK J Community Leader Jul 01, 2021

Cool!

Hi!

Every morning we have a daily meeting in which each team member exposes their tasks, problems...as a team, each one brings their possible solution according to other situations experienced, it is really rewarding to know that you have a team behind you that supports you and helps in any situation.

I am really happy with my work team!

Like Kristen Roth likes this
Hana Kučerová Community Leader Aug 02, 2021

Hi,

it looks so logical, as a first thing you should do, when you start to work with a team. Still, I have never experienced such a thing.

I'm curious how do you handle the situation, when somebody repeatedly breaks some rule.

Thank you!

Like Kristen Roth likes this

Unfortunately we don't have something like this. We didn't have also in my previous job. However, it would be interesting to have such an agreement. Things could be better! :)

Like Kristen Roth likes this

we trust each other - without some working agreement 

Like Kristen Roth likes this

Our team & company culture is we trust you until proven otherwise. We are all adults but of course there can always be some confusion of responsibility. 

I think I would find this useful for new hires who aren't quite aware of the way the ship is run just yet. It could be really helpful for them to get to know the team as well. 

Like Kristen Roth likes this

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