‘Agile’ has been around as an approach for decades in software development, but is spreading through organisations as they realise that all teams would benefit from working less rigidly. Personnel Today looks at how HR can become more agile as we enter the new year.
To thrive in today’s environment, businesses need to adapt quickly to market or industry change; something that often means a fundamental transformation away from long planning processes to become more agile.
Those who make a successful transition have the opportunity to achieve a raft of benefits including performance improvements, growth, better customer satisfaction and improved employee engagement.
So, what does agile look like in 2020 and what can HR do to support it?
In software development agile is well established as an approach. The agile manifesto has been broadly adopted by thousands of software teams around the world.
And it’s easy to see why other areas of the business want to follow suit – agile working has the potential to help organisations manage rapid change and become more customer-driven. It helps us navigate difficult complex decisions in a rapidly changing environment which must be a win-win for every business function.
However, people working outside of tech can often struggle with the cultural change. Unlike in software development, there isn’t a manifesto on how to implement agile work in the rest of the business, so it often leaves HR departments with the challenge of creating a new policy. This might mean updating company values and definitely means training mangers to help their teams make the shift. How can HR help managers and their teams embrace an agile mindset?
The agile world is about iteration and learning. According to Dr Simon Hayward from Cirrus in The Agile Leader: “To be effective leaders in a digital world we need to be both an enabler and disruptor.”
On a practical level, this means a push and pull from HR to enable teams to make fast progress by focusing on an outcome (a minimal viable product). HR needs to reinforce learning agility by facilitating frequent check-ins to share progress, solve problems and ensure alignment.
© Personnel Today 2019