The Scrum Book of knowledge has defined scrum as an adaptive, fast, and flexible methodology which is designed to deliver significant value to a project. Scrum ensures that there is transparency in communication, and it creates an environment of continuous growth.

According to Jeff Sutherland (the co-creator of Scrum), “SCRUM is the art of doing twice the work in half the time”.

Nowadays, the HR teams across industries are exploring various methods to manage volatility, adaptability to strengthen the organizations by applying different agile approaches to their people processes. Incorporating these methods into human resources allows to take quick actions and build an organizational culture that is more responsive and satisfactory to the needs of the stakeholders. Agile methodology came into existence in early 2000 as a better approach to software development. With waterfall approach becoming less popular, agile methodology is now being used in over 94% in all software companies. The HR team for such organizations needs to be more responsive to the ever-changing needs of the organization. Incorporating the agile values, namely- simplicity, adaptability, transparency, and unity, can help improve HR services.

In today’s ever-changing world, business needs are also varying, which makes adaptability essential. While focusing on adaptability, it is also vital that one should not shut their eyes on simplicity while designing the HR programs to avoid any confusion later. It is also crucial that HR does not work in silos or at cross-purpose with the core business. Organisations run at the speed of trust! Thus, transparency is critical to gain the confidence of managers and other stakeholders.

Furthermore, in an agile organisation, the HR team needs to manage change within the organisation. There has to be a faster response time in HR’s services from planning and hiring people to develop them. Building a SCRUM organisation needs a culture of empowerment where employees have enough freedom to share their viewpoint and fewer dependencies to respond to the needs of customers. It is the job of HR to create such a culture. The “SCRUM Model of HR” states that HR’s role is not just to implement control mechanism and execution of different processes and to manage each of them, but rather to facilitate and improve organisational agility by not enforcing over-engineered processes.

At RateGain, we ensure that we practice agility in our HR processes. Some of the strategies we use to make this practice efficient are:

Training leaders to act as mentors and not just supervisors at all levels

Strong focus is given on this strategy through various leadership development programs and  employee-employer interactions.

Establishing each system with the utmost transparency

Transparency in all processes i.e., What are our goals, Accountability of projects, who are our experts? Even a software engineer who codes would know what the organisation’s BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) is, what are our 3HAGs (3 Years Highly Achievable Goals), and about our yearly targets.

Building an organizational culture of constant learning

We believe it is important to Play to Learn and not necessarily win. Nurturing a growth mindset and share one’s learning with others should be of utmost importance

Sharing Direct Feedback

We strongly believe that establishing transparent appraisal processes and driving 360 feedback are some of the ways by which HR can drive agility in sharing direct feedback.

Hiring and Promoting “A” players

RateGain focuses on hiring and promoting the “A” (the top talent in the market) players. HR function should aim to promote experts and not just managers.

Constructive and meaningful engagement over just fun

Gone are the days when celebrating birthday cakes and taking employees to the pubs for engagement was enough. Employees look forward to more than this before joining an organisation. Thus, programs on career progression, employee wellness, talent management, and other development journeys are also needed to attract and retain top talent.

Agile principles play an essential part in supporting continuous learning, transparent processes, and talent acquisition. Here are some suggestion to Agile HR-

  • Make sure everyone is aware of the changes.
  • Set a mandate to hire the best- “Always hire better than you.”
  • Once the “A” players are hired, make sure to retain them!
  • Conduct performance feedback Check-In! Give away the conventional annual performance management system!
  • Have a reward philosophy and make sure to reward publicly.

Human Resources, today, is responsible for redefining the workplace experience and engaging employees never like before. For an organization to effectively adopt Agile methodology, all departments need to be involved equally. Being agile turns the HR department into an aware and responsive team which evolves the overall company and its culture positively.

About the Author

Sahil Sharma
Vice President- Global Human Capital

Sahil, an integral part of RateGain’s Core Leadership team is responsible for the company’s people strategy, HR operations and organization development. In this role, Sahil leads the design and implementation of the people strategy of the organization and drove a high level of Business – HR Partnership and alignment.