We can avoid some fundamental misunderstandings by establishing a team agreement: a set of fundamental expectations for cooperation. A team agreement describes the type of information we share, how we communicate with each other and how we know what we do to each other. Welcome to the Superpowers Collaboration podcast. My name is Lisette and I interview people and companies that do great things remotely. Welcome to a different episode, each one. Today we are going to talk about team agreements. But first, I would like to announce that I met another 3.0 facilitator at risk of learning. And on July 25th in London, we will offer distance learning. So if you`re curious about what it is, then keep your eyes on the La La SuperPower Collaboration newsletter. CHECK YOUR AGREEMENT REGULARLY. Keep in mind that the way people work will naturally change over time.
The team agreement is supposed to be a “living document”; adapts to the team as it evolves. Your team agreement should be reviewed and adapted regularly if your way of operating changes. This is a good time if you hire new people or if someone leaves the team. Even if things are going well, take the opportunity to review your team agreement to see if everyone is still on the same side. DOCUMENT THE THINGS YOU DO AND DON`T AGREE ON. Once you`re done, you`re talking about each score as a team – which is important in all three areas. Things you can agree on pon go into your official team agreement (use what tool your team wants to document: Google documents, Word, Wikis, etc.). In every team, there will be things you won`t agree on.
That’s the way it goes. You can also document these things. At least everyone knows where the team is not aligned. The ICC workflow is just one way to create an agreement. The meaning is not in the method. It`s about talking through everyone`s assumptions and documenting the things the team agrees on. Whether you`re working with a new team on a new project or working for years, creating a team agreement will help you create the glue that connects your team. Once we were all done, we took the opportunity to talk about each sticky team note. And the things we agreed on were placed in a Google Doc. At first, I remember it was a relatively painless process. There have not really been any major disagreements about anything for which we have just established the ground rules. What are the expected reaction times? And how are we going to give each other feedback? And what tools would we communicate with? So just a set of fundamental rules.
And the idea was that we would evaluate them regularly. So team agreements. In many interviews I do with remote teams, I hear that creating a set of basic rules helps to reduce misunderstandings. Through my workshops, I learn that very few companies have team agreements. So I wanted to talk a little bit about the process and the experience of the Happy Melly team, which is completely isolated in the hope that it somehow shows how to establish a team agreement and what the process might look like to you. Phil Montaro from all over office led me with a policy he created for team agreements, and he called it the ICC workflow. I have definitely talked about it in the past. And it represents the breakdown of your work into three categories: information, communication and cooperation. So you would actually ask the team what kind of information you need for the projects you are working on, what types of communication you use to do your job, and how they know what everyone is doing.
Instead of restarting the ICC workflow from scratch, I decided it would be easier to go through the Google document point by point of what we had decided last time, and just take a look at everything we wrote and decide on its relevance.