More Information About AFE

Agreements for Excellence™ ("AFE") is a proven team-based organizational development program that has been in use within the WRHA since 2003. It is a practical "working session" which introduces teams to a system that enhances their performance and overall effectiveness, and improves team morale, by building and supporting increased individual and team accountability. (Click here for additional information regarding the accountability concepts underlying the Agreements for Excellence process, and how they assist in "Building an Accountable Organization"


In 2007, through a telephone survey administered by an external research and survey firm, managers of teams from across the WRHA which had used the AFE process were contacted to gather their feedback regarding their teams’ overall experience and its ongoing value. 93% of managers found that the AFE process helped their team establish clear directions and plans to support enhanced team performance, and 96% would recommend using the program to others. To read more about the experiences of these health sector mangers and their teams, view "Results of a Survey of Managers - May 2007"

The Components of an AFE Working Session

The AFE working session provides a structured process for  team members come to "agreement" around  a number of components of team functioning which are essential "for excellence" in  the team's current and future performance.   The team’s agreements about these key components are framed as "deliverables," which document the agreements and outcomes achieved during the initial working session, and provide a structure to support the team as it moves forward after this session. 

These AFE deliverables are as follows:

  •  Vision: Each team creates and comes to agreement around an operational (as opposed to strategic) “vision of excellence” which enables team members to align their individual efforts toward a common purpose and direction.

  • Success Factors: Team members identify and describe a range of factors (including structural, process-related or relationship-based aspects of the team’s current situation) which are key to the successful execution of their team’s responsibilities/mandate.  These "success factors" form a “blueprint for success” which helps the team to prioritize and focus their efforts to improve and strengthen team performance.

  • Improvement Goals: A limited number of short term, practical action plans are developed, which focus the team’s collective efforts on improving their effectiveness around key aspects of their performance.
  • Team Priorities: For those teams which have  to complete projects or implement changes, the full range of these activities are identified and the team then comes to agreement around those around which cross functional accountability and commitment is required.

  • Accountability–Based Project Plans and Meeting Processes: Teams are provided with tools to track, monitor and maintain focus on team priorities and to maximize the effectiveness of their meetings in accomplishing those tasks that are priorities for the team as a whole.

  • Interaction Agreements: Based on each team’s assessment of its current strengths and weaknesses in a range of interpersonal relationship factors, the team develops agreements that support effective conflict resolution, decision making, communication and overall interpersonal effectiveness.

Measurement Tools and Processes

AFE uses a number of tools, through which the team self reports and measures its level of functioning in a number of key areas.  Base-line levels of performance are identified and documented during the initial AFE session.  These measures are used again, during the “Measurement of Results and Recognition of Success” AFE follow-up sessions, in order to monitor and track changes and improvements.  These follow up sessions are scheduled for 6-9 months after the initial AFE working session., and may be held annually for teams that have been using the AFE system on an ongoing basis.  

Improvements and results achieved, as documented through the AFE measures are significant.  Internationally, AFE guarantees a 40% improvement in the performance of a team’s “Success Factors”, accelerated achievement of business goals, and a 12% improvement in team relationships within the first 6-9 months. 

Measurable Results Achieved

A "Review and Analysis of Measurable Outcomes and Team Results", undertaken in 2006, entailed a compilation analysis of data that documented the changes and improvements achieved by WRHA teams using AFE.  This study demonstrated that participation in Agreements for Excellence has a measurable positive impact on teams’ operational performance. 

Getting Started

Delivery of AFE working sessions is coordinated through the Organization & Staff Development Department within WRHA Human Resources. Use the link obtain the AFE Working Session "Request for Participation" Form

Alternatively, contact Louise Armstrong, OSD, at 787-8946 if you have further questions about the program, and how it might fit with your team.

OSD Home

About Us

Contact Us

How to register for courses

Clinical Education

Educational Resource Materials

HSC Programming

Management & Leadership Development


Organizational Development

Staff Development

Workplace Wellness

Education Portal

WRHA Logo This site is not intended to be used by the general public. If you are not a health care professional or a WRHA staff member, please refer to our public website.