In today’s fast-paced business environment, agility describes more than the nimble nature of successful companies, but also the methods and systems they employ.

Agile originated as a software development methodology designed to improve responsiveness, productivity, and efficiency. Agile is distinguished by short cycles, regular feedback, and course correction based on evidence collected during the software production process. It is built on collaboration, team-based culture, and continuous improvement and the methods are ideal for today’s short-term projects and rapidly evolving business environment. In recent years, this methodology has proven successful outside of software development and other parts of the organization such as marketing, accounting, manufacturing, and HR are starting to adopt the agile philosophy.  Here is a look at some of the key differences between traditional and agile systems:

Agile in HR

Agile offers many benefits but to be successful, it must become a mindset for the entire organization. That mindset often begins with the functions of HR. Here are just a few tips for transitioning HR from traditional to agile:

Remove any Unnecessary Processes

The best way of making any internal process agiler is to eliminate steps that have become obsolete or are no longer necessary. This may be a matter of organizing one meeting instead of sending multiple emails.

Use Common Tools Across Teams

Cloud-based technology allows all employees access to common platforms whenever and wherever they desire. Tools which enable ongoing feedback, goal management or collaboration are all essential components of agile companies and systems. These tools help managers track progress and allow for feedback and adjustments along the way.

Decentralize Decision Making

To become agiler, HR needs to move decision-making authority down to line managers. They need to be empowered to make quick decisions to ensure that they have the right people with the right skills in the right positions as business situations evolve.

Turn Managers into Coaches

Managers are the day-to-day people each employee has interactions with, and they should be responsible for developing the talent in their unit. Train leaders at all levels of the company to act as hands-on coaches, not just managers.

Traditional vs. Agile

Traditional:    Jobs are discrete elements within a complex system. Job requirements are related to specific work tasks.
Agile:    All jobs directly support the goals and mission of the organization. All employees understand how their performance helps the organization and its culture.

Traditional:    Large-scale systems are carefully researched, resourced and deployed over the course of months or even years.
Agile:    Small-scale initiatives are rolled out to specific teams or units. Feedback is continually gathered to determine if the initiative should continue or be terminated.

Traditional:    Employees are given specific training to achieve a specific performance level in a set role.
Agile:    Employees are given multiple opportunities to learn and develop themselves, independent of a specific, job-related goal.

Traditional:    HR conducts annual performance reviews.
Agile:     Continuous feedback is given throughout the year.

Traditional:    As positions become open, the candidate search begins. Once the position is filled, talent acquisition is complete.
Agile:    Organizations cultivate ongoing relationships with talent at all times even if there is not an immediate need.

Contact our industry experts at The Daniel Group to find out how we can help you find the right people with the right skills for the job.

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