Getting your team to work like a team can often be helped by setting up some initial “rules” that everyone on the team agrees to follow. By laying the groundwork early in the formation of the team, you can avoid misunderstanding and even deliberate “misconduct” by always going back to the rules. Instead of, “No, this is how we’re supposed to do it,” you’ll be able to say, “No, we all agreed to work this way.”

Every team should create their own ground rules. If they are imposed from outside the team, they become a lot harder to enforce — the developer can just say, “Hey, I didn’t agree to do that.” So, in your very first gathering of your team, we recommend setting up some ground rules to help govern future behavior and decisions. While you want your team to come up with these rules, here are some good ideas to include on the list:

  1. We all agree to follow Scrum as defined in the Scrum Guide.
  2. If I don’t want to be on the team, I will take steps with management to get removed from the team (the “escape clause”).
  3. We will, to the best of our abilities, be on time for, and participate in, all team events (e.g., Sprint Planning, Daily Scrums).
  4. We agree to support team decisions, even if we disagree with those decisions.
  5. Make sure everyone gets heard.
  6. Stay focused on the Sprint Goal.
  7. Don’t say, “no,” say “Sure, add it to the Product Backlog and let the Product Owner prioritize.”

This short list can get you started, but make sure it’s the team that creates the list — don’t impose it on them.



Scrum Framework Quick Guide

Download Now!

Swipe this FREE DOWNLOAD for a Scrum framework overview.

Normally available ONLY to Artisan students, we’re offering this handy guide to you for a limited time!

More About #TransitioningToScrum

Agile Transformations – Is It All-Or-Nothing?

If you're thinking about transforming your organization to more of an agile mindset, your first question is going to invariably be "where do I start?" Should I pick a single team? A single project? Maybe we should just training everybody and go? These aren't easy questions to answer. Depending on the situation, the right

Leading the Way to Organizational Change

Helping an organization learn how to change means getting an organization to learn that “the way we’ve always done it” works but doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve found the BEST way to do something, or even a reasonably good way to do something. As a ScrumMaster and change advocate, you’ll need to teach your organization

What Causes Conflict on a Team?

Creating change in an organization is also going to create conflict. A good change agent in an organization, and that should be the ScrumMaster, knows what kind of conflict will be encountered and how to handle it. In this section, we’ll discuss how people respond to change and what causes conflict in an organization.

It’s All About Value

One small change can make a BIG difference to your Product Owner success. Before worrying about putting value on backlog items, here's some simple tips.

What Does it Mean to BE Agile?

With the Agility mindset, it's critical to understand the concept of "being" Agile. Some people want "to do Agile", but you don't DO Agile, you must BE Agile.