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From “Agile” Software Development to Agile People Development

If your company hires software developers, then you already know that “agile development” has become the de facto standard. Stated incredibly simply, agile development relies on short typically 2-week production cycles called “sprints” performed by teams, interspersed by “restrospectives” which allow for regular reflection, continuous learning and immediate course correction. Rather than getting bogged down in a massive project, teams can move quickly with greater responsiveness, collaboration, and faster time to market.

The agile concept is already spreading outside of tech and beginning to permeate business culture as a whole. But so far, HR has been largely immune, and still works in annual or quarterly cycles. But given the growing importance of “agile organisations,” HR needs to adapt to support them.

Here are two ways your HR team can learn to better help your organisation’s agile efforts succeed.

 

Observe Agility in Action

Agile teams work differently than traditional business units – they’re more team-focused, more collaborative and move faster. To fully understand the qualities required to support the agile way of working, your HR team needs to go see agile teams at work. If you don’t have them within your company, then plan a field trip to high-tech companies that do. Also make an effort to interview agile team members to find out what makes them tick, what they look for in fellow team members, and what they like and don’t like about agile development. The insights you’ll gain will be invaluable for hiring to build your own agile teams.

Mount Your Own HR Retrospectives

Set up your own bi-weekly meetings within HR to reflect on progress towards goals, share learning and insights, and course correct. You very well might find that it improves your responsiveness to your internal clients, and allows your HR team to adapt and move faster in order to increase productivity.

At the very least, learning about agile development in these ways will help your HR department better hire for your company’s agile teams. But beyond just that, it’s likely that you’ll find that the agile way of doing things can help improve HR as well.

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