All sprints should update the labour agreement, often through a retrospective review and a question such as: “Are these still our work agreements? What do we want to update? What are the areas that require new agreements? If I share my story, I hope it will inspire others to realize that the process of creating work agreements has created opportunities for collaboration and guidance that have helped a distributed team deliver better value. Please note that if I cannot disclose the name of the company, I can only report that it is a financial services company based in Texas. The names of all parties have been changed to protect privacy. Keeping and respecting a fresh work agreement is really the place where the magic happens. I can`t tell you how many teams forget it after spending a few hours creating it and not using it. People, especially engineers, are not very good at resolving conflicts, and when that happens, the best way to do that is to pay attention to a work agreement. Here are some important things you need to keep in mind when creating your own teamwork contract. Teams must hold each other to account. People will have differences of opinion and will have to re-examine them. “In the spirit of transparency and continuous improvement, team members should reconsider employment contracts from time to time and ask, “Should they be updated?” Don`t let things go too far. Teamwork agreements should describe how team members work together to create a positive productive process. For each team member, the only way to do that is to add their two cents to the development of these policies. The views of all members are important and inclusion is the glue that keeps the agreement in common.
Steve begins to ask for proposed agreements in his first priority area: Daily Scrum Start Time. After any possible work agreement, it uses the Decider protocol to quickly examine the possibility of consensus. If there is no immediate consensus, the person who said “no” to an idea suggests what they see as a better idea. If more than one person has a problem, everyone is expected 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, after 20 minutes, the team has its first work agreements: Gitlab, the open source development tool company, has infused its distributed team culture with a work agreement that describes how remote work should be done. They call it “The Remote Manifesto,” which is part of onboarding for new employees.