The world is changing at a rapid pace, and if your business can't keep up, you might not be in business long. The ability to be flexible and respond quickly to change is why a number of companies are moving from traditional organizational models to an agile approach.
HR plays a huge role in defining and helping a company or team transition to the agile model, so it's important for HR leaders and managers to have a solid grasp of what makes an organization agile, and the skills that people in key roles must have.
What exactly is agile performance management?
Agile performance management is the ability of a team or company to respond quickly to changes in the marketplace, competition or rapid advancements in technology. The organization should be focused on customer value and delivering a quality product.
Building an agile workforce isn't as simple as flipping a switch. (If it was, everyone would be doing it, and doing it perfectly!) If your organization is considering adapting a more agile model, it's a good opportunity for HR to step in and help ease the transition.
A vital step in agile performance management is establishing agile HR. As HR leaders, you play a role in shaping your organization by helping to find the right candidates for positions, setting up employees with appropriate training and development plans, and encouraging team members to give effective feedback and recognition.
Building an agile organization means HR not only has to implement controls and standards, but also must drive programs that foster adaptability, innovation, collaboration and fast response times.
Assembling a crack agile team
There are two key pieces when you're creating an agile organization:
- Like-minded people who understand working in that environment
- People who can help manage that type of environment, such as an agile product owner and scrum master.
There's a lot of pressure on HR to find exactly the right candidates for the roles of agile product owner and scrum master, as well as find people who can work well as a part of an effective team. But don't despair - the simplest way to find the right candidates is have detailed and thorough job descriptions.
Job descriptions are critical because they clarify role expectations and define what it takes to be successful in that role. Because the roles of agile product owner and scrum master are integral to ensuring an organization's productivity and engagement, it's essential to have a strong leader in both positions.
Here are just a few of the requirements that should go into a job description for these roles:
Agile project owner
- Ensures product creates value for users and the organization
- Performs ongoing refinement and prioritization of the product backlog
- Leads the breakdown of product backlog items into stories/ tasks
- Take part in daily scrums with the project team
- Report on progress to management and stakeholders
- Participate in product demo meetings and sprint retrospective meetings
- Facilitate project communication between the product owner and the project team
- Facilitate "self-organization" of the project team
- Ensures inter-communication between project team members
- Organize and facilitate daily project team scrums
- Organize and facilitate bi-weekly product backlog reviews with the product owner
- Organize and facilitate product demo meetings and sprint retrospective meetings at the end of each sprint
Getting the right people into these roles will help shape an agile organization, attracting like-minded people who understand that to move quickly, everyone on the team needs to be focused on a common goal.