Work agreements are a simple and powerful way to create explicit guidelines for the type of work culture you want for your team. They are a reminder of all, how they can profess respect and communication. In this article, we help you understand why these agreements are useful and how you can help your team create its own agreements. There is no formal or correct way to create work agreements, so Steve uses the approach I share in my workshops. As usual with a ScrumMaster, good preparation pays off. Consider informing the team in advance of the agree categories/areas. Here`s what the PO observed in his own words: “Before coaching, our team experienced challenges and dysfunctions. There was no team because we were a team of people who lived in Texas and India. Since we had never met and our tools (Skype, X) did not work, we never met face to face, even virtually. Sensitivity to geographical cultural differences is important, in this case, the highest person in the offshore hierarchy has spoken to all offshore members, because they are normally trained in American cultural norms and as a third-party consultant, they are motivated to appease their American clients. 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. 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.