December 5, 2017

Working Agreements for Agile Teams (Part 4)

  —Working agreements and the inability to recognize the importance of interaction.

In Working Agreements for Agile Teams (Part 3), I discuss how working agreements should be principles. Good working agreements are principles and that reasonable people can construct arguments on when and when not to apply them. I’ve run into a couple of problems with this approach.

In each case, experienced people asserted their experience by choosing not to perform a design. And they got into trouble. What’s interesting is that our working agreement on design is focused on an interaction between the author and two reviewers. The intent is to ensure knowledge sharing and to build some level of consensus that the right problem is being solved.

In the cases where these people got it wrong they failed to consider alternative designs or they failed to consider what other team members considered a valuable opportunity for knowledge transfer. It wasn’t a question of whether a design was created it. It was about the communication that would have resulted had they carried out the agreement.

The interesting part is the failure to understand the importance of the interaction and the communication element. This confounds me.

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