Working agreements

by Atlassian

Create guidelines that explain how teams will work best together.

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Working agreements

Working agreements are a set of guidelines that teams create together in order to get the best from each other. They define what teammates should expect from each other in pursuit of their team goals. Use this working agreements template to easily run the Working Agreements Play. Created for the Atlassian Team Playbook, the Working Agreements Play is a team exercise that helps lay the foundation for an open and collaborative working environment.

How to use the working agreements template

Step 1. Team prep

Create a list of team members in the Team Preferences table by typing /user profile  in each cell. Share the page with your team and provide context around a Working Agreement and the importance it plays in setting up a team for success. At the top of the page hover above the header to use the Page Status feature to mark the page status as a draft or work in progress.

Send out your Team Poster to familiarise every team member with what you’re doing as a team, and why.

Ask each team member to share the following:

  • Name
  • Working location and timezone
  • Working hours and commitments
  • Working environment and preferences
  • How they like receiving feedback
  • Context about themselves. Limit this to one or two points for this exercise, but bonus points for linking to your User Manual to explain more about how you like to work.


Step 1. Team prep

Step 2. Leader prep

In advance of the live workshop, ask your team leader to complete a first attempt at the following sections in the template.

Communication channels

Consider how the team is going to communicate effectively. Fill in the communication channel, its purpose, audience, and any expectations for communications in that space. For example, they may use Confluence for the documentation of the official source of truth for a project and Slack as their daily team communication space.

Escalation Process

Any good team knows that failure to plan is a plan to fail. Consider how the team will escalate when there is a pressing issue that just can’t reach a consensus. Fill in who the decider is, how they will handle an escalation, what level of transparency deciders will provide to the rest of the team, and how they will inform others of the decision.

Not sure of how to handle escalations? Review our DACI Play, a decision-making framework.

Step 2. Leader prep

Step 3. Working agreements Play

Run the Working Agreements Play with your team.

Step 3. Working agreements Play

Step 4. Accountability

Keep each other accountable! If any working agreements get skipped, raise it in your next team retrospective and discuss whether you need to revise, or run the ritual reset.

Atlassian is an enterprise software company that develops products for software developers, project managers, and content management.

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