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Design Thinking and Agile

as an HR tool - Webinar

First introduced at the HR Game Changer Conference 2015, design thinking and agile were not being used as an HR tool. However now there are HR and payroll teams in New Zealand, Australia, the UK and USA who are using these concepts to transform what they deliver.

This webinar will take you through:


Want to know more?

Here’s an overview that we published on the HR Game Changer blog to give you some information about what it’s all about!

Design thinking comes from the process of thinking that designers go through when they invent or design a new or different product or service. It’s a little different from the normal process we go through in HR when we design a policy or process, because here’s what designers do:

    They define who their audience is and what the problem is

    Then they research what’s already happening, they talk to end users and thought leaders

    Next it’s ideation which is coming up with a whole lot of creative ideas for possible solutions (however crazy!)

    Now they prototype and present ideas and discuss

    They then choose which option will best work

    They implement and design the product fully

    Lastly they discuss and learn from the end user how well it’s met its goal.

Now it’s one thing to read it that, but another to experience it. Angela Atkins, HRGC MC attended some of betterbydesign’s training on Design Thinking in 2014 and got a first-hand experience of the difference in method and mind set. She thinks it’s an area that every HR person should learn more about.

So at the HR Game Changer Conference there was a MasterClass on how Design Thinking works. The webinar also covers the key steps that you can take to use design thinking.

If you want to read more, check out:

    Wikipedia’s information about Design Thinking: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_thinking

    This article from Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2008/06/design-thinking

    This 11 minute video:  http://www.ted.com/talks/david_kelley_how_to_build_your_creative_confidence?language=en

    This 30 minute video: http://www.betterbydesign.org.nz/events/ceo-summit-2012/international-speakers/dev-patnaik/

But wait, there’s more! The second tool we explored at the HR Game Changer and is covered in the webinar is Agile Methodology.

In February 2001, a group of 17 software developers met in Utah and wrote a manifesto. This was about uncovering better ways of developing software. There were 12 principles in the manifesto:

    Customer satisfaction by rapid delivery of useful software

    Welcome changing requirements, even late in development

    Working software is delivered frequently (weeks rather than months)

    Close, daily cooperation between business people and developers

    Projects are built around motivated individuals, who should be trusted

    Face-to-face conversation is the best form of communication (co-location)

    Working software is the principal measure of progress

    Sustainable development, able to maintain a constant pace

    Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design

    Simplicity—the art of maximizing the amount of work not done—is essential

    Self-organizing teams

    Regular adaptation to changing circumstance

There are a number of tools and techniques that now form part of using Agile in your workplace including daily scrums, sprints (2 week plans), kanban boards (for tasks), time-boxing, iterative and incremental development and having cross-functional teams, squads or guilds.

The great news is that Agile no longer belongs to the world of developers. It has broken out! In Sweden the Agile HR movement has been running for several years and now there are NZ, UK and Australian Agile HR communities.

For more about Agile we recommend the Wikipedia page which has links to many of the methods: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agile_software_development

That’s given you an overview, now hear more with our webinar!


If HR is going to transform, then it needs to look outside to see what tools could do this. I believe design thinking and agile are the HR tools of the future!

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