7 ways for HR & people leaders to make Agile a success

The benefits of Agile are increasingly well understood, but not all organizations know how to make the Agile dream a reality. It’s not enough to implement the tools and processes; you have to have the culture in place to support it. Shaping and supporting that culture is where HR comes in. We asked our panel of transformation experts about the role of HR in transformation success, and here’s what they shared with us.

7 ways for HR leaders to make Agile a success

  • Understand how Agile really works. Get familiar with the tools, ways of working, mindset and culture of Agile.
  • Own a deep understanding of your company’s culture. If you want to make your car run better, you need to understand the engine, the mechanics, the electrics, the fuel, and how all the components work together. The same is true of culture: to change it you need to know what makes it tick.
  • Understand where Agile does and doesn’t work in your organization. One size doesn’t fit all: you need to work out what flavour of Agile will work best in different parts of your business. Finance is a very different beast to engineering.
  • Help enable Agile at an Executive level. Without a strong understanding and commitment from the Executive, any transformation will fail. HR leaders are in the best position to educate other leaders on the people impacts of a move to Agile.
  • Eliminate barriers to Agile behaviors. Redesign (or eliminate!) policies and procedures to remove layers of bureaucracy and make it easier for the Agile mindset to proliferate. Some traditional HR tools - performance reviews, feedback, recruiting, L&D - can look very different in an Agile environment.
  • Guide departments and functions in a common vision. Bring department leaders - and their customers - together to collaborate cross-functionally on the greatest value enterprise initiatives.
  • Build and maintain a culture of trust and open feedback. Turn your annual employee surveys into continuous conversations. Grow a culture of trust and psychological safety, allowing everyone to speak up and be active in the change process…

Agile is most successful when it is embedded in both process and culture. HR leaders are critical in setting the organization up for agile success: educating, supporting and smoothing the way for the transition.

Check out our ebook Where Agile Meets HR for more insights from our transformation experts.