The creation of a new multidisciplinary team can go a number of ways. In my past production experience, I have had teams work really well together from the get go and also teams who struggled to work efficiently together. Ever since those bad experiences, I realized how vastly important it was to have a breathing document for the team to share their concerns and guidelines for functioning; I like to call this a working agreement.
In the first day of my Production II class, I was assigned a brand new team. This team has two programmers and two designers. We scheduled our first meeting for the night after class, and I began referencing my previous working agreements. To me, it’s important for everyone to be treated with respect, and for the work environment to be goofy and fun but not to the point that no work gets done. I made sure to say this when I started the agreement.
I went around to each team member asking what kinds of things they wanted covered in the working agreement. Things they mentioned include having the team work together as much as possible, as well as having members give adequate heads up if they won’t be able to attend one of our daily standup meetings. By having everyone involved in this process, it creates an ownership over the document.
Since this document was created collaboratively, it creates a mutual respect about the guidelines included in the document. Each team member is aware of what is in the document, and can always reference it at any time in our shared Google Drive folder. If the team wants to make changes to the document, they can always bring it up in our meetings and add to it. It’s a great way to hold team members accountable and to begin forming an amazing team dynamic.