Embracing Agility in HR Practices – Part 1


Agility is one of the most sought-after characteristics by organizations worldwide. This is why it is important to understand and adapt agility to your business function. Secondly, HR has to continuously change and evolve to meet the challenges of the modern business world, i.e. the need to digitize and the need to deliver value to the stakeholders and the business at speed. This broad topic can be explained in two parts – Agile for HR and HR for Agile.


Agile for HR

Agile for HR is all about a mindset shift and placing the customer at the heart of your process. Agility can completely revolutionize your operational model and help modernize the HR profession. Moreover, the best part is that you do not necessarily need to reinvent your entire company to reap the benefits of agility, though that helps. You can simply apply a few basic steps to your or your team’s everyday activities and see the benefits very quickly.


Embracing the Mindset

Most of the HR strategies of any given company contain complex concepts such as creating a personalized employee experience for a multi-generational and diverse workforce and/or developing future leaders for potential future roles. By Agility, the idea is to break down these long-term goals into milestones that are achievable at shorter periods and create smaller quantifiable slices of values. It helps us prioritize our work based on value, and clearly articulate what we are delivering to the business and why we are doing it.


Methodologies of Work

Once the right mindset is adapted system-wide, it is easier to evolve your process with Agile Frameworks. However, it is worth mentioning now that Agile itself has not been drawn up into a one-size-fits-all blueprint. That is why it is essential to understand the basic concepts of Agile HR and develop a flavor that fits your work culture, industry, team size, and business needs. However, there are few common themes between all Agile HR Teams.

·       Silo free

·       A rhythm that is based on Weekly or Monthly task achievements.

·       Prioritization and Transparency


Co-creating Employee Experience

Co-creating Employee Experience is the most powerful element of Agile HR. It draws from the techniques of design thinking such as personas, experience mapping, and prototyping. Furthermore, it is the easiest place to start when thinking of adopting an agile model to your HR process.

Co-creation invites people to experiment, test, and evaluate what works and what does not. There are numerous frameworks to choose from and all of which put you in the shoes of the customer. The direct consequence is a systemic change through collaboration. Instead of managing people through the mammoth task of change management, your team helps you bring about that change.



It is high time people let their thought process be evidence-led and rational. What this means exactly is to test assumptions and hypotheses and demonstrate benefits through tangible data and/or numbers. All the methodologies spoken of so far such as experimenting, prototyping, and driving a continuous feedback loop are based on evidence-based approaches. One obstacle to this approach is that people usually act on whims and emotions. This can be countered creatively by gathering data to justify a project before committing to it with your resources.


Moving Away from One-Size-Fits-All Formulae

The Agile concept was invented in the software development field in the 1990s as a response to changing product needs of the market. As we saw previously, it mandated the testing of hypotheses or an idea to find evidence of benefit. This was so successful that even non-IT firms adopted this methodology. This included HR organizations and discovered what works and what does not.


Risk Management

The built-in ability to adapt to change drastically makes any project risk-averse. Nevertheless, if something fails there are means to pivot and reinvent according to evolving customer needs. This approach also decreases the risk of committing time, money, and people to a flawed idea.