HR & Procurement - Your Secret Weapon in Achieving Agility?

By Matt Bradley 14/7/2017

Good people are the most important part of any successful Agility Transformation and designing cross functional teams quickly to help deliver that Change is a close second.

To build powerful and high performing teams in todays crowded marketplaces you must be able to compete for skills and on-board resources efficiently. Many HR and Procurement functions are major impediments to creating an agile work force.

Modern departments should empower hiring managers to make quick decisions and take-action. They should be allies in streamlining outdated and broken processes… BUT all too often they lie behind enemy lines.

How often do we see broken "automated" workflows for recruitment? Taking 10 days for multiple approvals by two directors, with hiring managers eventually having to chase requests manually through the system? It is non-sensical in today's skill short markets.

One large financial institution claims to be on the largest global Agility Transformation in history, but recruitment onboarding processes can be anywhere between 6-12 weeks! The best resources do not have the patience for this.

Good intentions become slow problems. What stops organisations seeing this? 

We must convince HR & Procurement functions to embrace Agile & Lean values in-order to engage and energise the talent needed for sustainable change.


  • Build relationships; Talk and spend time getting to know your operational teams, take them for lunch, share videos, podcasts and articles. Develop trust in what you are trying to do.
  • Break down the barriers; Literally and physically you need these functions to be a true part of the cross functional team, so position them as such. Incorporate them in retrospectives and communities of practice and encourage contributions to the planning process.
  • Focus on Coaching your HR and Procurement departments in Agile Principles. Improve collaboration and communication and drive self-service to ensure processes and systems enable teams to move faster.

HR and Procurement has a direct role to play in creating and supporting an Agile organisation. Building relationships, coaching, and removing barriers will help shape them as your secret weapon in achieving Agility.