In this mini-series we will be exploring “What is Agile…” in different functions, and why it’s working and how you can implement today. As learned from previous ADAPTOVATE reports, Agile is now finding strong growth in industry and functions outside of software development. Last time we looked at Agile in Marketing, in this article we are considering how Agile can support a HR Transformation.
We are familiar with the typical challenges HR teams face. Including:
- Too many meetings and no clear decisions or actions
- Too many silos and things get done by relationships
- Making things complex for ourselves
- Saying “yes” to too much which compromises delivery
There are 3 areas where Agile can support a HR transformation:
- Use Agile ways of working in HR to do HR work (be more efficient and effective in doing HR work)
- Change how HR and business teams interact
- Change HR polices and processes to enable scaling of Agile across the business
In 2018, Anna Tavis, a clinical associate and professor of Human Capital Management at New York University, wrote a milestone piece in HBR called HR goes Agile (co-authored by Peter Capilli). In this article they discussed the groundbreaking changes for organisations in their performance management utilising new ways of working.
Travis later discussed in a podcast for MyHrFuture, that, “I think a lot of people use agile metaphorically. They don’t really understand that there is a specific methodology that is associated with it and there are some tools that are enabling agility in organisations that need to be introduced before we even start talking about agility. So, agility for organisations and HR means a lot more than just being nimble and responsive”.
There are two distinct relationships between Agile and Human Resources (HR). The first is Agile “for” the HR team. The second is HR “for” an Agile function elsewhere in the business. Let’s look at both.
In a large global bank we saw the HR team shift their ways of working to deliver on their purpose.
Accelerate the people agenda (Agile “for” HR)
HR needed to transform to deliver on their strategy and support ways of working. In order to do so, they needed to streamline product and service development to free up leaders to focus on more strategic concerns.
The organisation was looking to HR (HR “for Agile)
As agile adoption grew within the business, HR increasingly fielded requests for support in the new model such as: how do we conduct performance management, develop people and define career paths
Agile for HR
If you’ve worked in companies where the HR team sit scratching their heads on how to market to their customers (talent), then you should be engaged with this article. Why isn’t there a marketer at the team meeting – surely they would be the right person? Why isn’t there finance either?