Designed Partnership Alliance (DPA)


When people work together on a daily basis, the DPA[1] helps them to agree on how they want to work together. This significantly improves the chance that they will succeed, and aligns their expectations on how to deal with it when they don’t.

Prepare for success

  • Invite everyone that is closely involved in the project (key stakeholders, Product Owner, Development Team)
  • Make sure that participants know the goal of this meeting before it starts
  • Make sure you have an experienced facilitator to prepare and run the DPA


Based on the 4 DPA questions, the facilitator will help the project team in defining the way they will work together, and what they want to achieve together:

  • What kind of atmosphere do we want?
  • What would help this team flourish?
  • How do we want to behave when things get difficult?
  • What can we rely on from and with each other?

Definition of Done[2]

  • Team members that know each other a bit better
  • Team agreement & commitment on things like atmosphere, ambition & communication.
  • Team agrees to get back to the DPA on a regular basis (e.g. during retrospectives)

Real Life Example

Team agreement & commitment for an actual Kabisa project: “As a team we want a transparent and respectful ambiance in which we openly communicate and we honour existing commitments. We use Slack as a primary communication platform and only when a direct answer is required we call directly. For the first couple of sprints we commit that we work at least three days a week on the same location. We write technical documentation (or documentation that only concerns the development team) in English, all other documentation will be written in Dutch. All agreements we make will be recorded in the Development Team document.”


  1. DPA - Designed Partnership Alliance
  2. Definition of Done - A shared understanding of expectations that the Increment must live up to in order to be releasable into production. Managed by the Development Team.