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What HR can learn from DevOps culture

Guest Author


Melanie Hache outlines five ways HR can become more lean and agile

According to the Gartner glossary, DevOps represents a focus on rapid IT service delivery through the adoption of agile, lean practices as part of a system-oriented approach. Importantly, DevOps puts the emphasis on people and on collaboration between operations and development teams. All of this is underpinned by technology, particularly automation tools.

Thanks to the rise of DevOps, IT departments can support the growing volume and complexity of demands being placed on them by the organisation. This approach is also breaking down the silos between business units, and allowing teams across the company to deliver new digital services and experiences to their customers so they can gain a competitive edge. In other words, DevOps helps to create a lean approach that empowers the entire business.

The parallel with human resources is clear. Just as the IT department is stepping out from its support role to play a more strategic part in the organisation, HR teams are being asked to do the same and the implementation of lean processes is the answer.

There has been a great deal of talk around the digital transformation of the HR department, and this evolution is about fostering a culture of collaboration among employees and stakeholders. In this way, HR is becoming a more service-oriented function.

What can HR learn from DevOps to adopt an “HR-Ops” culture of its own?

1) Focus on continuous innovation and rapid HR service delivery: Build small and flexible project teams that are empowered to innovate quickly.

2) Take a human-centric approach: An HR-Ops culture puts people first. Greater collaboration between operations and HR teams will create more value to the wider business.

3) Use the latest technology to create value and contribute to business strategy: New technologies like the cloud and AI help HR to enhance their service delivery and drive higher levels of employee engagement and productivity.

4) Adopt a fail-fast culture: The road to innovation is not straight; it takes trial and error. Encourage HR teams to act fast and continuously optimise their approach, and innovation will follow.

5) Take a 360° approach: HR has to deliver on more than just the business’ market ambitions. They also need to meet the needs of stakeholders, employees, managers and partners.

If DevOps is the engine for a company’s shift to lean market operations, HR-Ops is what drives lean people operations. The success of a business is equally dependent on both of these transformations, and by taking a service-oriented and human centric approach to the way they work HR leaders will lead the way in reshaping their organisation for the future.


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