Setting the ground rules, an Agile working agreement

Working with a Agile team can be fun and challenging.  When Kent McDonald and Arin Sime facilitated our transition to Agile for HealthCallings.com they had us develop our team working agreement or “Team Norms”.  This is a simple exercise to set some ground rules of how we will function as a group.  This is an example from a team at Dice.com.

Team Norm Example

Team Norm Example

One important concept was that of the groups core hours.  When you have a team you will have a few early birds and some who come in later and a lot in between.  Setting core hours help guide when to set Agile meetings, such as the daily scrum and sprint planning meetings.

The definition of “done” is a big topic to decide as well.  Developers may thinks its done when it works on their machine in Chrome, but Quality Assurance will want to check in other browsers and pass an automated regression too.  The product owner might want to review it as well, each group has its own definition.

Definition Ready and Done

Definition Ready and Done

How to address bugs or fires that come up during a sprint.  We want to avoid changes that come up during a sprint but, things happen.  Do we want to designate someone to handle these things?  Try not to make one person do this all the time, rotate this responsibility.

The use of information radiators, or planning boards and sprint boards.  The group needs to come up with guidelines for what information radiators to use and who uses them.  Primarily the product owner is responsible for keeping the planning board up to date and prioritized.  This important when sprint planning is starting.  The team can them update the sprint board as they complete development and complete testing.

What do you have for your team ground rules or working agreement?

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