Agile Human Resources: What is Agile HR?

Date: 13/09/2022| Category: Agile|

Can HR benefit from Agile practices? How can HR and Agile coexist? In this article we explore their interconnections and benefits, and in particular we will look at two points of view, “HR for Agile” and “Agile for HR,” emphasizing how they mutually benefit from each other.

Uniting Agile & Human Resources

Human Resources is a fundamental part of every company and it is obvious that this office must also be able to respond to the organisation’s needs for innovation and change: Human Resources must in turn follow and undertake the changes it promotes.

Having to be a support for company and employees, Human Resources must be able to work in favour of Agile implementations in the organisation by first of all supporting the Agile culture within the corporation among teams and individual employees.

What is Agile HR?

Agile HR is not just an abstract concept, it is the application of Agile principles to the world of Human Resources.

This entails a substantial process of reviewing and updating all HR core practices and principles that need to be transformed into modern ‘People Operations’ capable of driving Agile and digital organisations. There are three main practices to achieve this:

Build operations processes related to resource management that are adaptive and impactful and also deliver greater business value
Responding to staff expectations and needs by training ‘end-to-end resources’ and ensuring expertise
Creating teams that are capable of managing themselves and can bring innovation, feedback and collaboration.

The 4 levels of Agile HR

Agile HR operates on 4 levels:

  1. Corporate, referred to as “HR for Agile”
  2. Team
  3. HR toolkit
  4. HR Department, which we will refer to as “Agile for HR”

In the following paragraphs we will analyse these 4 levels from the perspective of integrating HR with Agile practices.

1. HR for Agile

How can HR help to increase Agile practices within an organisation?

Using HR for Agile, this means to identify, train and retain resources that have the Agile skills the company needs.

HR must then take care of identifying and hiring the resources the organisation needs or choose suitable training paths so that professionals within the company can acquire the necessary skills.

An HR department that understands Agile principles is also able to:

  • Spread the Agile culture among other employees
  • Spread a corporate culture based on collaboration
  • Maximise the potential of knowledge sharing

2. Corporate Level: HR for Agile

Once the teams that have implemented Agile practices have reached a substantial number, how and which HR procedures can they implement? Can they self-manage in terms of recruiting new resources, organisation and training?

The correct process lies in the middle: it is right to find a balance so that everyone can only benefit.

By becoming more autonomous, teams can directly solve their own needs and requirements.
By increasing the autonomy of teams, HR can devote more time to internal issues and have more time to work on their own needs.

However, HR must still perform a supervisory function: individual teams do not have a complete view of the business environment and too much autonomy in decision-making is needed. HR must always remain a point of reference for the whole organisation and guide some of its fundamental changes.

3. Level of the HR Toolkit

In the digital age, there are many tools that can meet the needs of professionals in any sector, and HR is not excluded.

Generally, toolkits that can help improve the application of Agile practices involve 3 different areas of HR:

  1. Performance and assessment
  2. Strategic resource management
  3. Recruitment of new staff members

4. Agile for HR

How can Agile practices improve HR work processes?

Besides ‘preaching well’, the HR department must in turn adopt and implement Agile practices and become an Agile team.

In particular, the application of Agile principles in HR has demonstrated several benefits like increased creativity, efficiency and competitiveness.

Furthermore, the application of Agile models in HR certainly guarantees flexibility and a lean organisation that proves invaluable when it comes to managing resources and processes within the company.

The Agile culture in HR is gaining ground because it is increasingly necessary to ensure that the entire organisation can keep pace with the changing markets.

Also read: Onboarding new staff into your Agile team

Agile HR: the benefits

Agile HR is a strategic resource management method that guarantees:

  • Increased productivity
  • Reduction of costs
  • Reduction of bureaucratic processes
  • Public brand affinity

Also read:

Agility to the Core, How Agile can drive an Organisation
Who is the Human Resource Manager: role and responsibilities

Do you want to implement Agile in your team? QRP International delivers certified Scrum, AgilePM, Agile Change Management and SAFe training courses. Not sure which methodology is best suited to your needs? Write to us and we will help you!

Share this post, choose Your platform!


Subscribe to the QRP International neswletter and get all the news on trends, useful contents and invitations to our upcoming events.

QRP International will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you. We'd like to continue keeping you up-to-date with all our latest news and exclusive content that's designed to help you to be more effective in your role, and keep your professional skills current.

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.