Describing Agile4HR

This is not a revolution.

This is not new age stuff.

This presumes that organisation’s culture constantly evolves according to people interactions also called Human relations.

This is not another collection of ideas picked from Laloux’s, Semler’s, Getz’s or other amazing Freed Company experiences.

This is a collection of reflexions, patterns emerging from both Agile Leaders and HR professionals from more than 10 countries.

From an Agile Perspective

During the last 15 years, Agile people thought that agile is only IT engineering related work and we discovered that we were wrong.

Then, a portion of agile people went to improve management regards delivering the most value as fast as possible through close relationship with organisation, customer and user until they reached the level where « agile mind-set » challenged hardly the old way of doing things: command-and-control, opacity, bad communication, disengaged users, stop-and-go, etc.… And we discovered that stressing a system stress its health regards sustainable pace (one of the agile principles).

From a HR People perspective

Human Resources people are curious about agile. They have a sound of scrum and lean but didn’t felt concerned.

Human Resources is looking like IT 10 years ago where people mostly work on daily routine in a fix-this support manner.

But it is it that simple? No, in reality, HR has to manage mostly two main work-streams:

  • transactional work
  • human relations and organisational effectiveness

Transactional work is day-to-day activities like:

  • hiring
  • firing
  • evaluations
  • compensations
  • on-boarding
  • regulation
  • payroll
  • retirement
  • a lot more….

This type of work is “business-as-usual” which means that this has to be done but it’s from low value. It’s typically a back office work.

HUMAN RELATIONS AND ORGANISATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS ARE TYPES OF WORKS THAT IMPACTS DIRECTLY THE WAY HOW THE ORGANISATION REACTS TO BUSINESS EVOLUTION. THIS IS WHERE HR CAN REVEAL ITS POTENTIAL AS BUSINESS PARTNER.

Emerging from the ITs, now people are willing to move to Agile but this is distilling chaos in the traditional HR area:

  • how can we hire agile people because profiles do not match anymore to traditional grid?
  • what about incentives?
  • what about our organisation pyramids?
  • what’s about scoring (disc, process com, Mbti, etc…)
  • how can we measure behaviour?
  • how do you manage change?
  • why are these « bloody » agile guys doing our job?
TO BE HONEST, TRADITIONAL HR PEOPLE HAVE THE HIDDEN GOAL TO GET SEEN AS BUSINESS VALUE DRIVERS FOR THE COMPANY. AND WE THINK THAT AGILE4HR CAN BRING THIS TO THEM IN A WIN-WIN MANNER:
  • We thought that Lean was our new silver bullet.
  • But we discovered that there is still variability in the process: it’s called human.

Filling the gaps between Operations (developers), Management (organisation), Business (customer) and Users (UX- user experience) changed completely the old factory like production flow to a more interactive organic approach that redefine both the work and the organisation. Functional silos blowed up for new work streams.

Agile coaches in their fieldwork do no more face project management or IT works, they are spreading out the boundaries to product development, service alignment to user centric deliveries with short feedback loops and constantly improving the work with management, users, customers and operations.

Side effect is that nowadays we know that an agile transition starts with organisational change.

We discovered that even born in IT, Agile isn’t related only to IT but embrace the whole communication layers of the organisation.

We think that Agile challenges the culture of the organisation or the missed one to create the boundaries of your own.

Agile people have to learn from HR, HR people have to learn from agile people to “hack the culture”.

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