Establishing Effective Agile Team Working Agreements

Agile practices enable businesses with adaptability and help elevate their levels of collaboration and innovation. Especially when changing landscapes in tech, agile working models are a cornerstone for businesses in navigating through it all. 

Therefore, agile team working agreements are crucial to successfully understand what fuels this collaboration. They serve as the blueprint for agile team members and enable teams to function in tandem. 

In this blog, we discuss the importance of working agreements, best practices, and more. 

What are agile teams?

Agile teams are a fundamental component of agile development methodologies. These are cross-functional teams of individuals responsible for executing agile projects.

The team size is usually ranging from 5 to 9 members. It is chosen deliberately to foster collaboration, effective communication, and flexibility. They are autonomous and self-organizing teams that prioritize customer needs and continuous improvement. Often guided by an agile coach, they can deliver incrementally and adapt to changing circumstances.

What are agile team working agreements?

Agile team working agreements are guidelines that outline how an agile team should operate. They dictate the norms of communication and decision-making processes and define quality benchmarks. 

This team agreement facilitates a shared understanding and manages expectations, fostering a culture aligned with Agile values and team norms. This further enables collaboration across teams. In the B2B landscape, such collaboration is essential as intricate projects require several experts in cross-functional teams to work harmoniously together towards a shared goal. 

Significance of agile team agreements

Agile Team Working Agreements are crucial for defining specific requirements and rules for cooperation. Let’s explore some further justifications for why they are vital: 

  • Setting up clear norms and expectations for collaboration helps avoid miscommunications and conflicts within the team. Pair programming is a prime example of this. It helps in establishing a shared understanding of how developers will collaborate; hence, reducing potential misunderstandings.
  • You will foster a sense of ownership and accountability for the project’s success by including every team member in the decision-making process. It will ensure transparency and trust among the team members as their input and opinions are valued.

Working agreements can aid in fostering openness and communication within the team. When everyone is on the same page on how to collaborate, productivity and efficiency rise.

Agile Team Working Agreements can encourage a culture of continuous improvement because team members can review and amend the agreement over time.

Crafting effective working agreements

Working agreements should be a collaborative process to involve the entire team and get different perspectives. Here are some steps to follow: 

Assemble the team

Gather all team members; the scrum master, product owner, and all other stakeholders. 

Have an open dialogue

Once you have the team, encourage everyone to share their thoughts and ideas about the team, the working styles, and the dynamics within the team. Ask them for areas of improvement and ensure the Scrum Master guides the conversation for a more streamlined flow in the meeting. 

Identify the challenges

During retrospectives, identify the challenges or issues from the previous sprints. Discuss how they propose to solve such challenges from coming up again through the working agreements.

Propose solutions

Once you’ve heard the challenges and suggestions, propose the potential solutions you can implement through the working agreements and ensure your team is on board with them. These agreements must support the team‘s goals and improve collaboration. 

Document the Agreements

Write the agreed-upon working agreements clearly in a document. Make sure the document is accessible to all the team members physically or as a digital resource. 

Key components of effective working agreements

To create effective working agreements, you must also know what goes into it and the different aspects to cover. Here are five components to be included in the agreement. 

Defined behaviors

Outline how you would like the decorum of the team members to be – this will ensure the culture of the team and company is consistently upheld. Nurture a culture of active listening, collaborative ideation, and commitment to their work. Ensure professionalism is mentioned. 

Technology use

Once you have the team, encourage everyone to share their thoughts and ideas about the team, the working styles, and the dynamics within the team. Ask them for areas of improvement and ensure the Scrum Master guides the conversation for a more streamlined flow in the meeting. 


Establish communication guidelines, including but not limited to preferred channels, frequencies, and etiquette, to ensure smooth conversations. Clear communication is the linchpin of successful product building and thus makes it an essential component. 

Effective meetings and working hours

Set the tone for meetings with structured agendas, time management, and participation guidelines that enable productive discussions. Additionally, defining meeting times and duration helps synchronize schedules better. 

Decision-making approach

Clear decision-making is crucial in B2B projects with multiple stakeholders. Transparency is critical to avoiding misunderstandings and ensuring everyone’s needs and team goals are met.

Conflict Resolution Strategy

To maintain a healthy work environment, encourage open communication and respectful disagreement. When conflicts arise, approach them constructively and find a solution that benefits all parties. Consider bringing in a neutral third party or establishing clear guidelines for conflict resolution. This helps complex B2B collaborations thrive.

Best practices for efficient working arrangements

Start easy

It’s essential to start with core guidelines that everyone can agree upon when drafting working agreements. These agreements can be improved as a team grows older, laying a solid foundation for difficult B2B cooperation. Team members can concentrate on what’s essential and prevent confusion or misunderstandings by keeping things simple.

Inclusive team participation

Involving all team members in formulating the working agreements is crucial to ensuring everyone is committed to them. This strategy fosters a sense of ownership and promotes teamwork. When working on B2B initiatives, inclusivity provides a well-rounded viewpoint that can produce superior results.


To guarantee comprehension and consistency, a centralized document that is available to all team members must be maintained. This paperwork is very helpful in B2B partnerships because accountability is so important. Team members can operate more effectively and avoid misunderstandings by having a single source of truth.

Ongoing assessment

Maintaining continued relevance requires routinely reviewing and revising agreements to reflect changing team dynamics. This agility is crucial in the constantly evolving B2B environment. Teams may maintain focus and ensure everyone is on the same page and working toward the same objectives by routinely reviewing agreements.

Onboarding new participants

To guarantee seamless integration into the team’s collaborative standards when new team members join a project, it’s crucial to introduce them to the working agreements. Rapid onboarding is essential for B2B cooperation to keep the project moving forward. Teams can prevent delays and keep the project moving ahead by swiftly bringing new members up to speed.

Attributes of Effective Working Agreements

The following essential qualities should be taken into account to foster teamwork through working agreements:

Accessibility and visibility

Be careful to display the agreements in a visible location in the workplace. This makes it easier to refer to established norms and align behaviors with them. Visible agreements provide constant reminders of the team’s commitments. Feedback loops such as one-on-one meetings, and regular check-ins help ensure that these agreements are actively followed and adjusted, if needed.

Clarity and simplicity

Create agreements that are clear-cut and simple to grasp. All team members are more likely to obey and abide by clear and simple guidelines. Simpler agreements reduce ambiguity and uncertainty, hence fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

Regular reevaluation

Review and revise the agreements frequently to stay current with the changing dynamics of the team. The agreements’ adaptability ensures that they will continue to be applicable and functional over time. Align it further with retrospective meetings; where teams can reflect on their processes and agreements as well as take note of blind spots.

Shared commitment

Develop a sense of shared responsibility among team members to uphold the agreements they have made together. This shared commitment strengthens responsibility and respect for one another, ultimately encouraging collaboration.

Enforcing Working Agreements

Once you have created your working agreements, it is crucial to enforce them to see effective results. 

Here are five strategies to enforce the working agreements. 

Embrace precision through automation

Use automated tools to enforce the code-related aspects of working agreements. Automation ensures consistency reduces errors, and enhances efficiency in business-to-business projects.

Strengthen commitment with reviews and retrospectives

Code reviews and retrospectives help reinforce the significance of teamwork agreements. These sessions support improvement. Serve as platforms for upholding established norms.

Encourage peer accountability

Foster a culture of peer accountability where team members engage in dialogues and provide feedback. This approach effectively integrates working agreements into day-to-day operations.

Regular check-ins for timely corrections

Incorporate check-ins, stand-up meetings, or retrospective meetings to discuss progress and address challenges. These interactions offer opportunities to rectify any deviations from established working agreements.

Recognize consistency with rewards

 Acknowledge and reward team members who consistently uphold working agreements. Publicly recognizing their dedication fosters a sense of pride. Further promotes an environment.

Teams can greatly enhance their dedication to working agreements. Establish an atmosphere that fosters project collaboration and success by prioritizing these strategies.

Cultivating collaborative brilliance

Collaboration plays a role in B2B software development. Agile Team Working Agreements are instrumental in promoting collaboration. This guide highlights the significance of these agreements, explains how to create them, and offers practices for their implementation. 

By crafting these agreements, teams establish an understanding and set expectations, ultimately leading to success. As teams progress, these agreements evolve through retrospectives and real-life experiences, fostering excellence, innovation, and continued collaboration.