The living agreement

The living agreement

When a scrum team is founded one of the first things to do is to set up a working agreement. A working agreement is a contract between the members of a team. All members should adhere to the contract at any point in time.

A working agreement in scrum usually contains a set of rules that the team agreed upon. These rules can be technical ones (e.g., “Translations have to be present before deployment.”) or interpersonal ones (e.g., “Every team member should pair twice a week with a member from a different discipline.”).

Say hello to the living agreement

I thought about the working agreement in scrum and if it can be applied in my family, too. Well, turns out that it can!

What we have done is to write down all the things that we think make living together enjoyable. For us this includes what meetings we have in the family and how often, how we want to communicate and that we want to get out of bed on the weekends as usual besides other things. In fact, it also includes our dog and that we want to try to take him with us as much as we can.

The advantage of having such an agreement is that it is clear what we can expect from each other. Everybody is able to point to the agreement if necessary and discussions about the topics mentioned on it are reduced.

A living (agreement) document

The living agreement is a living document. You do not just write it once and it is true forever. Take the time to go over it once in a while and ask yourself (and your family) if the agreements are still valid. If not erase the specific item. Add new items when you think that it may help you and your family to live together.

Post image taken by Melanie Holtsman, published under CC BY-NC 2.0.