What is it?
The Social Contract is a simple, yet highly effective manner to enable team autonomy and self accountability for engagements. It looks to codify the behaviors and expectations of the team. It also provides a mechanism for the team to radiate and share its desired behaviours with management and other stakeholders.
To effectively use this practice you should look to create the following outcomes:
- Public display of the social contract
- Nobody is above the contract
- The team agreed holds each other accountable to the contract. Having every team member physically sign the contract can provide a good starting point for this.
- Revisit the social contract often and update it as necessary
Why use a Social Contract?
- Quick means to clearly determine team dynamics and expectations
- Promote autonomy and self governing of team behavior
- The contract keeps the team consciously aware of how they work together
- Collaborative Face Drawing1 is a great ice breaker or after lunch activity. Your Social Contract can be a nicely decorated with the faces of the team to show their commitment to the contract.
- Working Agreements2 are a form of social contract often used to help establish behavioral standards between peers on a team. This is a great alternative if you do not have stakeholders or sponsors buying in to a Social Contract.
- Use retrospectives as a tool to revisit and update Social Contract based on learnings of team members working with each other
Who do you need?
- The Team
- ~10 min
- Facilitator: Easy
- Participants: Easy
Facilitation Materials Needed
- Wall space which will hold sticky notes.
- Whiteboard markers
- Stickies (preferably a wide variety)
How does it fit?
- Typically done in the Culture and Collaboration area of the Foundation of the Open Practice Library