Building an Agile HR Function: Four Pathways to Success | The Conference Board

HR Effectiveness

As HR leaders drive functional efficiency and effectiveness, this 16-page paper offers ways to accelerate the transition to an “Agile HR” operating model through one of four pathways—ranging from agile experimentation to full agile transformation. Agile HR seeks to minimize waste and optimize the flow of value to its customers by organizing the HR function in multidisciplinary, empowered teams. These teams continuously align with changing business needs by sensing and adapting through open communication while operating in short cycles.” As illustrated in the 2×2 matrix on page 13, choosing the best pathway depends on two considerations: 1) the business need for greater speed and flexibility to design and deliver HR solutions and 2) the function’s readiness for change in terms of culture, leadership, and skills. Case studies are provided for the four pathways, such as one on Bayer, in which the firm enabled agile HR by changing its operating model—shown on page 11. Changes to its operating model include reducing the number of HR Business Partners (but with more of a strategic focus) and integrating Centers of Excellence teams as a part of a new HR Solutions team. Other ideas are discussed that can help determine the best pathway forward.

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