From Human Resources to Human Value

As the world around us keeps spinning, every spin brings change, some small, some disruptive, some life changing. Let’s say the company you work for decides to make a transition to an Agile way of work, this will add more direct value to the product and will increase time to market for that product or increment. This will have a big impact on the people working at that company.

In this blog I want to emphasize on the impact on Human Resource, traditionally called, HR.

HR has a key role to the company’s transition to Agile. For instance to create open, transparent workspaces, no booths or small offices for two, no time to bring out the big coffee table for developers or software engineers as you like.

I guess value by design in this context can be taken literally, design the office space for maximum value. Human Value that is. Not literally, but more in context of skills is that the developer is empowered to make decisions. The team is trusted with certain considerations, this is opposite to the command and control atmosphere of the zombie companies that haven’t adopted Agile yet.
An Agile environment where people are not referred to as resources but rather as relations is another example.

So why not call the HR department Human Value (department)?

It’s not only about the value of the individual developer, it’s also the recruitment department, they have to make “Agile profiles” and recruit people with an Agile mindset. This is one of the reasons why a shift to Agile can never happen overnight, sometimes it even takes an entire generation to retire, so realize this takes time, among other things of course.

Of course just changing the name of HR or redecorating the office place is not going to get it done. The Human Value Department will have to support a bottom-up approach in which employees decide on their competence, so no budget-driven top-down approach, that belongs to the zombie companies you and I see all around us, problem is they don’t know that yet, I will come back to this in one of the following blogs around Value by Design.

Value by Design through a Human Value department that builds products around motivated people in self-organized teams. Empowered, trusted developers that thrive as an organic team, committed to the sprint goal: create value by design!

This blog is part of the Value by Design concept that I work on with SogetiLabs co-fellow Ben Visser, more to come in the upcoming weeks and months. Stay tuned!

Hans Lantink is a senior testconsultant. He work for Sogeti

This blog was first published on Sogetilabs