designthinking

Design Thinking: A New Approach for Human Resource

“Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s this veneer – that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” – Steve Jobs 

Introduction 

When someone hears the term design thinking, they might instantly relate it to art, user interface, or design-related things. But design thinking is not limited only to art or user interface design.  

Design thinking is a complex business solution. It is a non-linear approach or process. People live and work in a world of interlocking systems, where many of the problems they face are dynamic, multifaceted, and inherently human.  

Currently, many people are facing the BANI (Brittle, Anxious, Nonlinear & Incomprehensible) & VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex & Ambiguous). After the world crisis with COVID 19, businesses and entrepreneurs understood humans’ importance and their roles in business growth and development.  

So now, businesses are focusing on human-centric techniques rather than following traditional approaches for growth and development. Now, enterprises are adopting creative methods and innovation in their business strategies.  

Thinking like a designer can transform the way organizations develop products, services, processes, and strategies. This approach, known as design thinking, brings together what is desirable from a human point of view with what is technologically feasible and economically viable. 

What is Design Thinking 

Design thinking is an analytic and creative process that engages a person to experiment, create and prototype models, gather feedback, and redesign.  

Design thinking is an innovative approach to innovation and problem-solving that takes design perspectives and processes and applies them to problems designers don’t typically encounter.  

“Design Thinking is a way of looking at innovation, to find the intersection between human values, technical capability, and commercial viability.” 

History of Design Thinking 

In the mid-60s, Horst Rittel, a Design Theorist, wrote comprehensively on problem-solving in design, and the term he used was “Wicked Problems.” Wicked problems are at the very heart of Design Thinking because these complex and multi-dimensional problems require a collaborative methodology to design solutions. 

In the 1970s, Computer scientist and Nobel Prize laureate Herbert A. Simon introduced design as a science and a way of thinking in his book Science of Artificial. Herbert A Simon contributed many thoughts related to Design Thinking.  

In the 70s, Robert H. McKim elaborated the concept of Design Thinking in his book Design Thinking Methodology. He touched on various aspects of visual thinking and design methods for solving problems, emphasizing combining the left and right brain modes of thinking to bring about a more holistic form of problem-solving. 

In the 80s, Nigel Cross wrote a paper Designerly as Emeritus Professor of Design Studies at The Open University, UK. He explained the nature of designers problem-solving. He primarily focused on cross-compared designers’ problem solving to the non-design-related problem solutions we develop in our everyday lives. 

In the 90s, IDEO, a Global Design & Innovation Company, accepted Design Thinking to the mainstream. Using Design Thinking, IDEO developed its user-friendly technology, toolkits & steps. 

After two years, Richard Buchanan (the Head of Design at Carnegie Mellon University) published his paper, Wicked Problems in Design Thinking. In this paper, he focused on the origins of Design Thinking. He also elaborated that Design Thinking integrates highly specialized fields of knowledge to the new problems from a holistic perspective. 

Between 1990 to 2000 – we can call this era – The First Wave. After 2000, the second wave started was Design Thinking.  

In 2005, The Stanford School of Design or the d.school (today, the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design) started teaching Design Thinking. In this course, they made the development, teaching, and implementation of Design Thinking one of its own central goals since its inception.  

Principle of Design Thinking 

Design Thinking has four principles – laid out by Christoph Meinel and Harry Leifer of the Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University, California.  

  1. Human-Centric – this is the main principle of Design Thinking. When we design or create innovation, we must always consider human-centric approaches. We need to understand what people (or employees) need and their expectations and incorporate this understanding into every aspect of processes. 
  1. Embrace the Ambiguity – Ambiguity is inevitable, and it cannot be removed or oversimplified. Experimenting at the limits of your knowledge and ability is crucial in seeing things differently. As per this principle, we need to reframe our problem or look at it from conceivable angles to get several possible solutions. 
  1. Redesign – Change is constant, and the world is changing so fast. So, we always need to redesign our processes and thinking. 
  1. Tangibility – We need to make ideas tangible in the form of prototypes, and on that basis, we can communicate with people more effectively. 

The Phases of Design Thinking 

The Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford describes Design Thinking as a five-phase process. These five phases are not always sequential, and we can often run them in parallel and iteratively repeat them. The phases of Design Thinking are below-  

  1. Empathize – We need to research people’s issues or problems in this phase. We need to understand their issues by empathizing with them. Empathy is the main phase of Design Thinking and provides us the critical initial point for understanding the problems. In this phase, we map people’s behavior and how they behave on the floor? How’s their body language in the meeting? How can we engage them? Based on these observations, we find many things. I call this People Mapping because we try to understand people’s psychological and emotional levels. We seek to set aside people’s assumptions and gather real insights about problems during this phase. 
  1. Define – In this phase, we define the problems. In the first phase, we gather all the information and insights that help us understand the issues, and now we start to make sense of them. We categorize the problem and define clear problem statements by the end.  
  1. Ideate – In this phase, we upgrade ourselves as creative thinkers. We use various brainstorming techniques to generate ideas to solve problems creatively. 
  1. Prototype – A prototype is a scaled-down version of the product. This phase is critical in putting each solution to the test and highlighting any constraints and flaws. Depending on how they fare in prototype form, the proposed solutions may be accepted, improved, redesigned, or rejected throughout the prototype phase. 
  1. Test – This phase is the end of the Design Thinking process. When we turn ideas into tangible solutions in the prototype phase, we validate the solution with the target users. Based on the feedback, we either finalize the solution or redefine the problem statement and develop new ideas we hadn’t thought of before. 

Why Is Design Thinking important? 

Design thinking enables organizations to create lasting value for people. HR/People Operations professionals need to embrace a human-centric mindset. When they observe disengagement at the workplace, they need to empathize, define the issues, and develop solutions that foster engagement and enrichment.  

Design thinking is a Human-Centered approach and brings together the desirability from the people’s perspective with what is technologically feasible and economically viable. 

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What is Growth Mindset in the Workplace?

What is Growth Mindset in the Workplace?

“Be the change you want to see in the world” is a quote by Mahatma Gandhi and a newfound principle to many in the workplace.

In a progressive industrial and technical world, company survival is dependent mainly on forward-thinking leadership and setting the pace for the future to prevent the risk of becoming obsolete.

In July 2021, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson portrayed their ambitious growth mindset and the essence of agility by going to space for the first time to learn more about the universe and find the next best thing to expand their business.

In its simplest terms, a growth mindset means seeing a chance to grow.

A company’s long-term survival is heavily dependent on being open-minded and welcoming innovative thinking. Blackberry was a domineering mobile gadget company in the early 2000s. Still, due to the lack of a growth mindset, it failed to maintain its competing aspects losing all dominant presence.

This article explores the concept of growth mindset, how it applies in the contemporary world, and why it is essential because this is the change we want to see and value in corporate environments.   

Fixed and Growth Mindset

An individual with a growth mindset understands that hard work and excellence come from learning through mistakes and gaining feedback from others to help enhance talent, skills, abilities, and personality. 

Individuals with a fixed mindset feel that their core characteristics, such as intelligence, talents, and abilities, are unchangeable and rigid over time. 

Professor Carol Dweck is a pioneer on growth mindset and shares that it is the most efficient method for helping people raise their self-efficacy, overcome their fear of failure, and believe in their ability to become competent in the future. 

People who have a growth mindset have more self-efficacy in achieving their goals, according to research. The Growth Mindset Institute has identified eight basic mental models that will cause people to have a fixed mindset.

These eight mental models are known as fixed mindset triggers because they frequently induce people to have a fixed mentality response. A fixed mindset trigger is a mental pattern that leads to bad habits, including procrastination, resistance, and giving up. 

The eight mental models are mindset beliefs, high effort, challenges, setbacks, success of others, comfort zone, feedback, and grit.

A growth mentality is essential for success in today’s competitive corporate world. Companies must adapt to changing circumstances, learn from mistakes, and believe that each employee has more potential for success.

How Growth Mindset Impact Organizations Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

A growth mindset is one of the Agile PeopleOps Framework™ Manifesto.

Many organizations are dealing with the economic downturn caused by the pandemic (dubbed the “COVID-19 shock”) as the world continues to live in fear. Surviving these unprecedented times will require essential lifestyle changes to combat infections and rethinking how we do business.

The traditional formulas for success no longer apply in the new normal. Instead, adapting and growing in the face of adversity will be the key to triumphantly overcome the COVID-19 shock.

Keeping in mind: With change comes growth.  

Let us understand the organizations that adopt a growth mindset.

Microsoft Growth Mindset

According to The Adecco Group, one of the biggest companies in the world, Microsoft, has adopted the “Growth Mindset Culture.”

In 2014, when Mr. Satya Nadella became the CEO of Microsoft, he recognized that the company had become siloed, and the divisions were competing with one another. Bureaucracy and internal politics were impeding innovation and teamwork. He realized that change was the need of the hour for growth and sustainability.

The company’s stock price is now five times higher than when Mr. Nadella took over, and Microsoft’s market capitalization has surpassed one trillion dollars.

Microsoft has become the go-to “equipment”/ software used in various organizations during these “COVID times” as many businesses conduct work-from-home opportunities to which Microsoft so vastly caters.

Amazon Growth Mindset

Amazon was among the earliest online retailers, starting their business almost 14 years ago, offering the ability to buy online (a new concept at the time) in a new market: the internet.

Today the company has multiplied in size and respectfully in business, almost tripling revenue, becoming one of the world’s successful online stores/organizations to date. So how did they do it? 

By applying the growth mindset, the company was better able to assess risks and collect data (specifically, how to reach optimal customer satisfaction) to inform the next step, thus, creating an agile operating model. 

Amazon embraced strategic planning that boosted revenue and provided employee growth (opportunity for workers/employees to grow by working themselves up the hierarchy levels).

With COVID 19 dominating presence, this business will continue to flourish as its ideals align with how our world has significantly changed. The company is in the center stage today with more and more people buying online than physically wanting or even stepping outside. 

“If you decide that you are going to do only the things you know are going to work, you’re going to leave a lot of opportunity on the table.”

Jeff Bezos; Founder & Former CEO of Amazon

Growth Mindset: The Future of Work in Human Capital Management

According to a PwC survey, 66.7% of employees in the human resource workforce are unprepared for the changes ahead. Alarming, indeed!

The business world is still recuperating from the COVID-19 pandemic. During these challenging times, People Operations must find solutions to how organizations can positively impact the workplace and the workforce.

On the brighter side, People Operations trends evolve and transform the way we work as technology advances. The role of People Operations professionals is evolving to Strategic Practitioners, Employee Architects, Experience Designers, and Coaches. 

People Operations professionals must develop a growth mindset from the practice level down to the academic level to drive a holistic change in organizational strategy, structures, and processes. The essence is to deliver user-centric value and human experience to the employees.

By cultivating a growth mindset, the practitioners can embark on a continuous learning journey to innovate new ways to elevate the human experience within organizations and external stakeholders (including candidates). This, in turn, will enable them to make significant contributions to organizational sustainability and success.

Initially, HR transformation aimed to make HR processes more efficient at a clerical and administrative level. However, in today’s new era, HR is taking a backseat, and People Operations occupies the driver’s seat.

The growth mindset can stimulate People Operations practitioners to envision the big systemic picture of organizations and serve as constructive Change Catalysts.

Stimulating Growth Mindset at Individual and Organization Levels

Growth as a mind-related aspect is often not stimulated enough and gives the illusion that an individual has reached her peak while a lot of change can still occur.

The Growth Mindset theory then becomes operational by encouraging the stimulation of the mind through learning and developing skills that will create advancements for personal and career growth. In organizations, individuals with a Growth Mindset are an asset and valued because they represent the value of hard work and dedication.

Organizations can

  • Induce learning by sponsoring the latest learning and development seminars that train employees to upskill
  • Make room for mistakes in the organization to learn through trial and error and allocate time to improve on the mistakes made to avoid repetition in the future. 
  • Foster team collaboration from all departments in the organization as a way for teams to learn from each other
  • Create a culture of “open communication and feedback” where employees can share their concerns, ideas, and solutions for different areas of improvement.
  • Challenge employees to get them out of their comfort zones by pushing them towards organizational and personal goals.

A growth mindset can be stimulated at an individual level through introspection, habituating change, focusing on the process, not the result, and seeking learning opportunities.

Organizations benefit from stimulating innovative thinking. It enhances motivation and cognitive growth, fosters positive work relationships, and boosts performance mainly because employees become eager to take risks and pursue more meaningful goals.

REFERENCES

https://cezannehr.com/hr-blog/2019/05/why-your-employees-need-a-growth-mindset/

https://verbbrands.com/news/thoughts/amazon-founder-and-ceo-jeff-bezos-gives-us-6-business-lessons-to-learn-from/

https://www.adeccogroup.com/future-of-work/latest-insights/what-can-we-learn-from-microsofts-growth-mindset-culture/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/za/blog/click-here-happiness/201904/15-ways-build-growth-mindset

Yeager, D. S., & Dweck, C. S. (2020). What can be learned from growth mindset controversies. American Psychologist, 75(9), 1-16

Tenets-of-Agile-PeopleOps-Framework

Tenets of Agile PeopleOps Framework™

Organizations must embrace paradigms of vision, the uncertainty of vision, the uncertainty of understanding, complexity, and agility to attain sustainability and a competitive advantage in these unusual times. – transforming traditional HR to Agile PeopleOps practices, thus giving an agile plus human experience edge in today’s disruptive business world.

Agile PeopleOps established a cohesive and dynamic approach that takes People Operations (traditionally referred to as Human Resources / HR) to the next level – changing traditional HR to Agile PeopleOps practices, offering an agile plus human experience edge in today’s disruptive business world.  

TThis is admirable when the C-Suite, Leadership Teams, and People Operations (HR) practitioners use the Agility PeopleOps Framework TM (APF TM) to develop adaptability and human-centric approaches. 

Growth mindset (the zeal to continuously learn & improve to achieve mastery) 

Everything revolves around one’s mindset. Whether it’s about achieving job success, establishing your own business, completing a difficult exercise, or being a parent, having the correct mentality might be the difference between success and failure. 

Carol S. Dweck, a world-renowned Stanford University psychologist, identified the significance of attitude after decades of research. In her book, she discusses the contrasts between a fixed and development mindset, demonstrating how we think about our skills and abilities influence our success in practically every aspect of life. Studies suggest that when we embrace the potential of a development mindset, it may be critical for job success. 

A fixed mentality holds that our intelligence, character, and creative potential are fixed. In essence, you are given a hand in life and must accept it. Believing that your characteristics are fixed promotes a need to prove oneself over and over. Career stagnation can be caused by a stuck attitude. A growth mindset, on the other hand, is founded on the belief that your inherent traits are those you can cultivate via your efforts. It is presumptuous to believe that everyone can change and improve as a result of experience and practice. Failure, with a development mindset, is viewed as a stepping stone to progress rather than a hindrance. 

Creating a growth mentality 

Mindset is formed by our own set of powerful beliefs. A growth mindset implies that beliefs may be altered when they no longer help us reach our objectives. Here are five techniques to get control of your mental attitude and cultivate a development mindset 

Accept failure. 

Fostering a development mindset entails viewing failure as a beneficial rather than a negative experience. Everyone has setbacks. The trick is to learn from each one and make better decisions as a result. People who are extraordinarily successful usually fail their way to the top. Before earning his big break, Steven Spielberg was rejected from film school three times. Even Oprah Winfrey was sacked from her job as a news co-anchor at a Baltimore television station before going on to launch a popular daytime talk program. According to reports, a producer informed her she was “unfit for television news.” “I had no clue what I was in for or that this was going to be the greatest developing phase of my adult life,” Oprah later stated. 

A world in transition 

With technology and business models developing at such a quick pace, adopting a growth mindset is critical to job success. Workers will need to constantly learn new skills in order to stay competitive as automation technologies, such as artificial intelligence, become more common. According to a McKinsey research, up to 375 million people globally would be required to shift jobs or gain new skills by 2030. According to research, your thinking determines your success. What counts is not how excellent you are, but how good you want to be. 

Human-centric approach (thinking from the lens of candidates & employees, and fusing both empathy & rationality) 

HCD is a method of thinking that puts the people you’re aiming to serve, as well as other key stakeholders, at the center of the design, innovation, and implementation processes. Our HCD strategy is iterative, quantifiable, and results-driven. Understanding the relationships among stakeholders across the ecosystem is the focus of this study. 

GETTING TO KNOW PEOPLE WHEREVER THEY ARE 

Meeting people where they are, is the greatest approach to understanding them. We recommend getting off of your desk and immersing yourself in the lived experiences and context of individuals you want to understand and involve in the design process, whether that is at a factory, on a farm, or in someone’s house. 

HOLISTICALLY UNDERSTANDING NEEDS 

People are at the heart of social influence, and people are ever-changing. Their social, economic, and cultural environments impact their experiences, opinions, and behaviors. Understanding people on a more nuanced level leads to stronger and more meaningful design, regardless of what we’re working on together. 

FACILITATION FOR CREATIVE WORK 

Methods that are creative and collaborative assist in engaging stakeholders and users, mapping out new potential areas, and aligning around new agendas, ideas, and strategies. 

Transcultural competence (the ability to address cultural differences and dilemmas by moving away from ethnocentrism and believing in the genius of ‘and’)  

Many professions struggle to function well among diverse cultures, and as the world evolves, it’s become evident that engaging with other cultures, both local and foreign, necessitates proficiency in both identifying and transcending cultural boundaries.  

The following four stages are given for detecting and addressing cultural dilemmas: Recognizing, accepting, resolving, and understanding cultural differences 

Human Effectiveness Indicators (Measures to assess the effectiveness of performance of individuals / teams) 

Employees who are happy and engaged.  

If the great majority of your employees are engaged, it is a strong sign that your human resources department is effective. While a variety of variables impact employee satisfaction, efforts such as team-building activities play an important part in creating a positive work experience. 

Managers who communicate well. 

 One way to know if your department is effective is if managers frequently seek their advice. When managers are upfront with their representative, it makes resolving workplace obstacles simpler, allowing tiny concerns to be mitigated before they become major issues. 

Workplace Characteristics of an Effective Employee 

Dependability 

Above all, a practitioner must be trustworthy. Professionals are expected to be trustworthy and follow through on assignments, which goes hand in hand with responsiveness. Being a “go to” person in times of need and keeping your promises builds a reputation for dependability. 

Visibility 

Staying locked up in your office and only being seen when there is an issue is a simple way to undermine your success as an HR professional. Being visible is essential for success and may help you create relationships with the individuals you support. (Having a presence can also help HR workers lose their “grim reaper” reputation.) 

Responsiveness 

Nobody enjoys asking for something and then having to wait what seems like an eternity for an answer. Requests to HR are frequently time sensitive, such as those pertaining to salary or FMLA. A successful human resources professional aims to respond in a timely manner. 

Communication Abilities 

From emails to workers to coaching meetings with managers, must be able to successfully transmit information to others. They must also be able to clarify concepts and effectively explain difficult facts. 

APF™ methodology is a critical enabler for the C-suite, leaders, and practitioners to take a stepwise approach to build agile organizations and drive agility in people operations and business.

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Coronavirus Global Impact and Response

Coranavirus causes g;obal imapct and response over business

The Infographic “Coronavirus Global Impact and Response” provides a high-level overview of:

The PDF version of the Infographic can be downloaded here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=14OVtllbbje7BOVoxBkzRHd5_FNR32MQl

APF-SM

The HR Manager as a PeopleOps Scrum Master

The PeopleOps Scrum Master (PSM), aka HR Manager, is an individual with diverse stances (for example, facilitator, servant leader, coach, change agent) as shown in the image.

Different stances and situations call different stances, and PeopleOps Scrum Master needs to know when and how to apply them.

This post explicates a real-time situation and the stances of PeopleOps Scrum Master that a Head HR fulfilled, and serves as an inspiration for today’s HR Manager who is keen to foster agility and human experience at the workplace.

Situation Overview 

The Head HR was associated with a company that specializes in the ready-to-move workspaces and interiors segment.

Prior to his joining, the company’s human resources department had minimal systems, processes, and procedures for many years.

The industry trends and the changing role of HR deemed the company’s management to redefine their HR function.

The Head HR was recruited and was accountable for organizational development and change management. 

Post joining, one of the change initiatives the Head HR proposed was to conduct an ‘external audit’.

To initiate the same, she examined the employees’ files and was shocked that 

  • hard copy files of some employees were missing 
  • important documents like mark sheets and experience letters of some employees were missing 
  • few files were torn and disorganized
  • most of the files didn’t have increment letters, and rewards & incentives documents 

The HR team (Head HR & Recruiter operating from headquarters, and HR Executive operating from a different state) had only 20 days left to organize all the 135 employees’ files.

The recruiter was overloaded to meet the priority needs and other priorities of the HR executive for about 10 days.

Action Plan 

The Head HR prepared the following action plan: 

  • Get all the files from different offices to the headquarters (within 5 days from the date the process begins)
  • Organize logistics for the HR Executive to come down to the headquarters. Ensure the processes in the location are not impacted in the absence of HR Executive (10 days from the date the process begins) 
  • For the files with missing documents, ensure the employees’ give the documents to Head HR within 7 days 
  • For the files with missing hard copy documents, search for soft copies in company’s repository. If unavailable, take the help of employees to create new files 
  • Prepare new set of files for those that were torn and disorganized 
  • Partner with finance team and employees to get all the increment letters, and add them to the files 

The Head HR as a PeopleOps Scrum Master 

Change Agent and Servant Leader 

  • The PeopleOps Scrum Master (aka Head HR) very well understood that her team had other priorities to fulfill before they could join hands with her in this priority project. She very well elicited Agile PeopleOps Framework™ values like respect, commitment and adaptability. 
  • She didn’t wait for them to complete their work. Instead, as a catalyst for change and with a true intention ‘to serve’, the PeopleOps Scrum Master set aside 2 hours every day to work herself on the project. 
  • For employees who were busy at the construction site and could not fill the necessary forms, the PeopleOps Scrum Master elicited stewardship behavior to address the impediment. On their behalf, she filled the forms by taking the details over phone. The PeopleOps Scrum Master shared the soft copy of the duly filled form to the employees through e-mail and WhatsApp. She asked the employees to make necessary corrections, sign the documents and send it to her in a day’s time. She ensured that this activity was completed before her team could join her in the project. 

Facilitator and Mentor 

  • The HR team (HR Executive and Recruiter) joined the project after 10 days. Both didn’t have any prior experience in employees file management. As a mentor, the PeopleOps Scrum Master explicated the importance of file documentation and management to the team. She provided the necessary guidance on how the process should be followed, including soft copies preparation and saving them in employees’ database. As a facilitator, the PeopleOps Scrum Master promoted collaboration and enabled the team to achieve their project objectives. 

Outcomes 

The entire documentation of the employees was completed within the stipulated time (20 days). An internal audit was conducted by both the financial and quality teams, followed by an external audit. There were zero errors in the whole process.

The HR team (PeopleOps Scrum Master, HR Executive, and Recruiter) received accolades, a team reward of INR 5000, and a half-day off from the company’s Managing Director. The team spent the reward amount toward team lunch and sweets for all employees. 

Conclusion:

The PeopleOps Scrum Master, aka HR Manager applied multiple stances based on the context and situation, and helped the project to be successful. The team learnt that where there is a will to accomplish objectives and tasks, there is a way to fulfill them without hampering the daily activities. 

Author: Kalyani Pantangi

Edited by: V Lakshmi Chirravuri

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One Metric that Matters – Part 1

What Really Counts?

(Editor’s note: This is a two-part post. Part 1, below, introduces the One Metric That Matters’ approach to metric measurement. For more on this and taking a lean approach to analytics, we recommend you read Lean Analytics, by Alistair Croll and Benjamin Yoskovitz. Part 2, to come, will take this approach and overlay it with enterprise transformation, particularly that of the Agile HR variety. Enjoy!)

We live in a data-rich world, filled with trackable, measurable interactions that can help us iterate on products and processes in nearly real-time. We have a wealth of information at our fingertips about user behavior, and we have a number of ways to validate just how successful we’ve been in a given initiative.

This is, of course, good news: Generations before us couldn’t imagine the user-level data we have today, nor the tools we have available to churn it all into meaningful insight.

So we have a lot of data. But do we know what matters in this mess of numbers and metrics? What really matters when we talk about whether we are increasing user engagement with a given product or service? Are click-through rates or downloads really indicative of how likely your service is to appear next year? Let’s assume you have a mature product: how do you know what customers want in the next iteration? What measurements will you use to help take your solution to the next level (whatever it is – it’s all relative.)

Data is dangerous when we abuse it – and it’s very easy to do: When a product is in beta the metrics may not be relevant to a year-old solution with a solid customer base. In fact, we need to identify which metrics to shortlist and which will be the single metric that defines the success of a solution in the wild.

What is that One Metric That Matters (OMTM)?

The OMTM is less a concrete thing, and more of a guideline that helps you, the solution owner, identify how a product is doing. The concept comes from Ben Yoskovitz’s “Lean Analytics”, a book primarily for startups, focusing on deriving meaning from data.

When it comes to OMTM, different stages demand different metrics, and of those metrics, there should really only be one that you rely on to tell you how things are going. This sole focus helps cut noise from the signal and allows you to make very specific decisions for very specific reasons.

Steve Glosky, entrepreneur and founder, has put together a nice table of metrics describing which metrics can be used at what stage of the hypothetical innovation program in a corporation. Out of the many steps listed in each step, the OMTM framework demands that you obsessively pick just one to track and decide on it.

OMTM Framework

What happens once you’ve identified your One Metric? You measure it! You’re free to track other metrics too, but the One Metric becomes your North Star. As things mature (or reverse course), change what that metric should be for the various stage. Glaveski summarizes, and suggests themes for each stage of growth (again, for that hypothetical Innovation Program):

Hypothetical innovation program difference table

Since your initiative or product may be different, the above tables may not apply to you. Nevertheless, the concepts remain the same: cutting data noise from signals, and investing in that sensing and responding to that signal, will empower you to make impactful decisions for product development. Reduce the search for non-significant numbers, and see real progress where it matters.

Author: Christopher Goscinski

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What is Agile Method and How It Works

If you are reading this, it is highy likely that you are familiar with the Agile method in software development.

You know about Scream, Kanban, SAFE. You are familiar with how to work in these ways, and they not only deliver value to organizations but also benefit the teams.

You recognize the value inherent in iterative development, and collaborative environments.

Agile has taken the business world by storm: engineering teams continue to accelerate adoption (12th State of Agile Report).

And the values and principles behind the Agile Manifesto are evolving to meet the needs of other business functions.

Agile in HR isn’t particularly new – plenty has been written to date about why HR would benefit from such a framework.

And yet, there hasn’t been a very good answer as to how Agile values can be tactically brought into an HR organization.

Enter the Agile PeopleOps Framework (APF). APF enables HR teams to intentionally adopt a more Agile mindset.

It shifts from a worldview of VUCA to one of flexibility, responsiveness, and transparency.

The APF has borrowed much from the structure of the Agile Manifesto to bring a new list of values and priorities directly in line with the HR business function.

A Tale of Two Manifesto

Mirroring the structure of a Scrum Team (and at scale, a program team), APF focuses on human capital strategy, and intentional talent acquisition.

It is a full-service framework, accounting for COPs, KPIs (now called Human Effectivity Indicators – or HEIs), and end-to-end value delivery (from Talent Acquisition to the long-term employee.)

Roles and processes are similar to Scrum, and the underlying feel of adoption is not unlike that of software development.

If your organization has adopted an agile approach within its engineering teams, consider APF as part of your organization’s journey.

There is, of course, a lot to unpack here. Values, principles, roles, and processes differ slightly from that of their traditional Agile counterparts.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll discuss some of these changes in greater depth. We’ll detail how the APF Agile HR Manifesto differs from that of the Agile Manifesto.

We’ll discuss where we believe Agile (as a mindset) is heading, and why we think Agile is here to stay, albeit in various forms.

Also peek into the processes that drive APF – diving into the customizations of Scrum and Kanban that were made in response to different environments and goals.

Finally, we’ll look further and talk about what it means to be culturally agile, and how to get there.

A fair warning: this is Systems Thinking-type stuff. Get ready to think big!

We’re excited to introduce APF, and we think you’ll begin to find value from Day 1 of adoption.

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Author: Christopher Goscinski

Talent-Acquisition-Are-You-Future-Ready-1

Talent Acquisition Framework– Are You Agile Ready?

The war for talent acquisition framework continues. Companies are still grappling to gain a foothold in hiring the right talent within a short cycle time, amidst internal and external organizational turbulence. Why? What are those factors causing the hindrance?

Traditional hiring process is time consuming – skills and capabilities required for open requisitions are not whittled down to essentials, candidate application forms are not user-friendly, turnaround time between interview and offer roll out is huge, lack of timely collaboration across Talent Acquisition dyads (hiring managers and recruiters), and lack of timely feedback to candidates. Any or all of these factors negatively impact hiring efficiency, employer brand and talent experience.

Agile methodology is one of the major trends, now being applied to TA process. Prioritization, execution of work in short time-boxed cycles called ‘sprints’, a collaboration between cross-functional teams, reviews and retrospectives at the end of each sprint are some of the agile practices that are integrated with the TA cycle.

Implementing agility reduces cycle time, reduces costs, experiences positive talent with a major emphasis on creating opportunities for talent engagement during the talent acquisition cycle, and helps strengthen the employer brand Is found.

Agile talent acquisition 

Interpersonal collaboration, constant feedback culture and open communication, thus creates value for employers and candidates.

The traditional process cannot be made agile by thinking only through these. The talent acquisition team needs to develop an agile mindset, follow some key principles, behave, and take the following actions:

  • Conduct intake meetings and strategy with key stakeholders and leaders to obtain clarity on open requisitions and whittle out essential skills and capabilities
  • Set a goal for talent fulfillment within a short cycle time
  • Growth hacking techniques to source, screen and assess talent
  • Pay attention to talents’ attitude and their zeal for learning, instead of screening ‘only’ for education and/or experience
  • Implement Lean, Agile methodology to eliminate inefficiency and deliver higher value
  • Participate in sprint ceremonies and operate as a cross-functional collaboration team
  • Leverage technology to maximize Talent Acquisition phases and overall process
  • Set up metrics and indicators (quantitative and qualitative) and for every sprint evaluate the Talent Acquisition cycle progress
  • Develop courage and commitment to collect timely feedback from the hiring team
  • Share feedback with candidates on a timely basis
  • Practice open transparent communication flow within teams and between candidates and Talent Acquisition team
  • Strive toward continuous learning
  • Enhance employer brand value by nurturing positive talent engagement experience

When lean agile concepts are integrated into the talent acquisition process, Agile promotes agile acquisition profiling.

Curious to know about Agile talent acquisition framework process and practices, along with the functionalities and specific roles? Get in touch with us click here to enroll for (APF CTC)™ or (APF CTSM)™ courses.