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When people get together for project meetings, there are usually agreements in place on how communication between team members should happen. Sometimes, these agreements are implicit and don’t require explicit discussion — but that’s not always the case. Instead, teams may choose to use a working agreements template to clearly configure how interactions will take place.

Having clear guidelines can ensure conformity among both old and new members of group meetings. It can outline in clear terms the most efficient way to communicate so that your projects don’t experience any unnecessary delays. This article covers what exactly working agreements are, why you might consider using one, and how monday.com can help your team create clear communication guidelines.

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What is a working agreements template?

Working agreements are a set of guidelines that team members agree to follow in order to improve communication and collaboration. These guidelines can cover a wide range of topics, from how and when to communicate with each other to what standards to adhere to when completing work.

Working agreements are typically developed at the beginning of a project before any work has begun. This allows team members to get on the same page regarding expectations and helps to avoid potential conflict down the road. In addition, working agreements can be revisited and updated as needed throughout the course of a project. By setting clear expectations and maintaining open communication, working agreements can help ensure that projects are completed efficiently and effectively.

Why use a working agreements template?

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A working agreements template can help prevent misunderstandings and conflict later on. Below are eight benefits of using working agreements in project management:

  1. Creates a common understanding: A working agreement helps to ensure everyone involved in a project has a clear understanding of the expectations, rules, and procedures that will govern the project.
  2. Builds trust: By setting out clear expectations and procedures, a working agreement can help build trust between the project manager and each team member.
  3. Facilitates communication: A well-crafted working agreement facilitates communication between the project manager and the project team. Clear communication is essential for successful projects.
  4. Prevents scope creep: One of the most important roles of a working agreement is to prevent scope creep. By defining the scope of the project upfront, a working agreement can help ensure that the project stays on track and doesn’t balloon in scope.
  5. Ensures clarity of purpose: A good working agreement should include a clear statement of the purpose of the project. This ensures everyone involved in the project is aware of its goals and objectives.
  6. Outlines roles and responsibilities: A well-designed working agreement should outline the roles and responsibilities of each person involved in the project. This can help to ensure that everyone knows what is expected of them.
  7. Manages expectations: By setting out clear expectations at the outset of a project, a working agreement can help to avoid disappointments later on.
  8. Defines success: A good working agreement should include a definition of success for the project. This helps to make sure people know what to aim for and can work towards achieving it.

Let’s explore some examples of working agreements in project management.

Examples of working agreements templates

For working agreements to have a positive impact, they generally need to be important for the team, clear, and accepted by the whole group. Here are some examples of items frequently included in working agreements:

  • Taking responsibility for your part of the project
  • Communicating politely and respecting other team members
  • Respecting the team’s Scrum master
  • Keeping cell phones off during meetings
  • Listening with respect when others are speaking
  • Keeping your points short and sharing airtime
  • Always arriving for meetings on time
  • Respecting confidentiality agreements

Using a working agreements template can help you focus your team’s thought process and start your project off on the right foot.

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Working agreements templates on monday.com

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monday.com is a Work OS that helps teams get organized and stay on track. One way it does this is through the use of a working agreements template. These can cover topics such as communication methods, meetings, decision-making processes, and conflict resolution. Having a working agreement in place can help to ensure that every team member is on the same page and aware of the expectations. It can also help catch and address issues while they’re still relatively small and easy to manage. monday.com includes a template for creating working agreements, which can be easily customized to fit the needs of any team and even used in tandem with other templates to exponentially increase productivity and positive outcomes.

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Related templates on monday.com

monday.com’s Work OS is designed to meet a wide variety of client and team needs. Our portfolio includes a diverse array of customizable templates suitable for every stage of project management with comprehensive functionality that lets you add and remove features as your project requirements evolve. Whether you need a design template for the initial stages of your project or customizable marketing templates for an upcoming product launch, monday.com templates can help you streamline and strengthen your existing processes or create entirely new ones.

Frequently asked questions

What should be included in a working agreement?

A working agreement should include a description of the duties and responsibilities of the employee as well as the compensation and benefits that the employee receives. The agreement may also include clauses regarding confidentiality, non-compete, and non-solicitation. In order to be enforceable, the working agreement must be signed by both parties and must conform to all applicable laws.

How do you create a working agreement with your team?

It can be helpful to use a working agreement template and hold a group meeting to fill in the details. You may also wish to consider allocating a Scrum master (a discussion facilitator) to ensure that everyone adheres to the agreement. Put the agreement in writing so new members joining the team are also aware of the guidelines and can hit the ground running.

Working together for success

One way to streamline communication and collaboration within a team is to create working agreements. By setting clear expectations and guidelines for behavior, working agreements templates can help prevent misunderstandings, conflict, and hold-ups. Use monday.com working agreements templates to cover a range of topics such as how you want to run meetings, share information, and handle conflict. By taking the time to create a working agreement, teams can ensure that they are on the same page and can work together more effectively.