Agile and human resources

Agile and human resources

Writen by: 

Kalina Dimova

Before we see compatible words such as recruitment and agile and how we can combine them, let's first make a brief introduction to the subject with a non-IT reading of Agile (flexible) methodologies and project management techniques.

The main idea here is for repetitive and gradual work through cooperation and feedback, allowing for a flexible and quick response to change. Tasks are broken down into small steps, for short periods (about 1 to 4 weeks), and the process is illustrated and traced through various techniques. We will focus mainly on Scrum (the process is monitored during daily 15-minute meetings) and Kanban - viewing the work through a scratchboard, with each block having a certain limit of tasks. Additional tasks are only undertaken when there is a potential for progress on them.

How can these techniques be applied in the field of human resources?

To begin with, we set the goal for the team to be aware of the work to be done (eg, to appoint 10 Java programmers within the next month) as well as the specific requirements (eg 7 Senior people with at least 5 years experience + 3 Junior candidates with about 1-2 years of experience). From here, we can easily prioritize and distribute the tasks: because finding more experienced candidates is more difficult, this task would be even higher and most of the team should concentrate on these positions ( eg three people are responsible for senior profiles and one for junior account).

It is good for each week that individual employees have specific goals, e.g. Finding 30 relevant profiles from which two candidates will be organized for interviews with the end customer / manager; collecting the final IB after the interviews and tasks; organizing offers, and so on. The idea is for each team to have a focus on the week, something to strive for. Accordingly, at the end of the week, a retrospective of the work done must be done - how the week passed, what strategy has worked, what problems the team has faced and what can be done to solve them.

Here comes the place of the so-called daily scrum events. These are the already mentioned 15-minute team meetings where everyone has to answer the following questions:

"What kind of work is done over the past day?" How long has it taken away every task?

What will be the next actions of the day and how much time will be spent on each of them?

- Are there any problems and what?

By tracking the hours that each task takes, the different patterns and obstacles can be distinguished - if work goes faster than predicted, strategies can be discussed, which method works well and brings success; and if any task takes longer than expected, you can discuss the issues, suggestions for resolving them, and share information about them to the end client / manager.

For better organization of all tasks, a Kanban board is used, which can of course be a Trello virtual table or application. There must be at least three columns associated with the morning meeting: To / In Progress / Done, as well as the names of each team.

So, at the beginning of the day, everyone writes their assignments in the To-The-Chart (eg writing up to 30 Java programmers, preparing Candidate X papers, organizing the candidate's interview, negotiating the bid of candidate Z). Throughout the day, the tasks that have been checked are transferred to the "Done" column, and what remains unfinished remains in process and needs to be discussed during the next morning meeting - what is the reason for the delay, what problems the team is facing and how they are allowed in the early stages of work.

And for the final review, a retrospection of the past month (or less time, depending on the deadlines set). If the idea of analysis is no longer clear, another final meeting is made, during which the team shares the results and on the basis of the work done the next goals and deadlines are set.

Advantages:

- Transparency and opportunity to improve work early;

- Faster processes and feedback

- Prioritize daily load (especially in more chaotic and busy months of the year);

- Everyone is responsible for planning their work day, allowing for mistakes, but also for quick clearance, which is a good training process for each employee.

In conclusion, flexible methodologies are a good and logical way of tracking time and tasks, constantly joining and improving the team, and quickly overcoming obstacles. The model focuses on and encourages open group discussions rather than constantly checking each employee on the management side and, if properly applied, leads to more success and well-done work.

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