Who’s More Agile – Human Resources or Agile Coaches?

Human Resources – the word sends shivers down my spine. I’ve been called in by them. I’ve coordinated training plans with them. I’ve been told I can’t (and sometimes can) do certain things. They are often the power and gateway to significant change in the organization, the people, the departments. And they may not fully understand agile, or any given impetus of change, that’s driving impact to their organization (did we invite them to the training?). Yet we need their help and want them onboard.
But as I sat with HR today, I realize that they’re doing such a great job making sure that people who are impacted by an agile adoption have a place to go in HR, who does have the answers to the questions of job, title, salary, and how they will be measure in the new job and new world. I think as agilists, who live in constant change and value flexibility, we forget that. And maybe with that, we label their attitude and approach for trying to pin these details down as “rigid” or other pejorative terms that makes it “not aligned” (essentially, wrong or bad). Surprisingly, in a world of so many agile coaches saying there’s no “right way,” it is us coaches saying they are “wrong.”

HR – Valuing Individuals and Interactions and Responding to Change

What if HR’s attention to these details and new processes (performance reviews, reporting lines) is showing value and respect to the individuals and their interactions with others in the org? Aren’t they paving the way to make that easier? Aren’t they elevating the individual, taking care of them, making sure the new pieces serve the employees best? And would HR, often accused of rigidity, actually be the ones responding to change when they ask the agile coaches for help in figuring out how to adjust performance reviews in this new world of team-based work? They’re asking, aren’t they – initiating the change?
Perhaps, just perhaps, the agile coach is the one not valuing individuals and interactions by not taking the first step to work with HR to pave the way for smoother change for everyone in the org. Including HR. 🙂

3 Critical Decisions for

Agile Transformation Success

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