Norms of Conduct
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A Scrum Team benefits from a common agreement among its members about what they aspire to become, how they will make decisions, how they will provide feedback to each other, and what they collectively value.
Every member of a Scrum Team comes in with as set of preconceived notions about how to behave, rooted in their previous and present culture. They are generally unspoken, either because people just assume that everyone else shares the same notions, or because they aren’t even aware that they have them. But different peoples’ norms of behavior can conflict, leading to misunderstandings and distrust.
People often feel uncomfortable being transparent and exposing vulnerability to others. The symptoms are multiple. In meetings only a few people are really involved. There are decisions everybody thought where made but are not followed up on. People are feeling insecure to hold each other accountable and really say what they are really thinking.
A Self-Organizing Team that is unable to get all issues out on the table runs the risk of things being left unsaid, questions remaining unanswered and possible solutions not being evaluated.
The Scrum Team agrees to norms of conduct to enable it to grow into high performance.
The ideal time to create a norms of conduct is during the forming phase, right after the Scrum Team is formed. The norms provide safety because people can refer to it in Sprint Retrospectives when tension rises in later phases of growth.
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See Community of Trust.