Labs Live: Agile - The Results

Strategy, Resourcing

In March 2021, BPS World launched Labs Live, collaborative events designed to facilitate HR problem solving - in real time.

For the first session, we partnered with People & Transformational HR (PTHR) to take HR leaders on a collaborative adventure into Agile.

Labs Live Agile - The Results GIF

This first 'pilot' collaboration was designed for HR teams who…

  • Want to find more inventive ways to solve problems and deliver projects.
  • Were eager to promote flexibility, responsiveness, and inclusivity in their working patterns.
  • Need to respond to external changes more quickly or effectively.

The Hypothesis

Agile methodologies are nothing new, but we wanted to explore how they could be used by HR teams.

The impact of the pandemic has required HR teams to be agile. They've had to be responsive, adaptive and creative.

But there’s more to Agile than creative crisis management.

There’s a well-crafted philosophy of Agile put to work for inventive, iterative and inclusive ways to solve problems and deliver projects.

Agile working creates more innovative ways to solve problems and deliver projects. It promotes flexibility, responsiveness, and inclusion in working patterns.

Our scenario

We would divide attendees into three squads to begin the build of our initial product:
'The creation of a culture of feedback'.

Problem statement:

We're not leveraging feedback as much as we should and this is negatively impacting performance.


We'd like to invest in a learning platform to aid improvements.


We want to learn our way into creating a stronger culture of feedback.

The Method

In attendance were 17 senior HR professionals across three Breakout rooms. They represented a broad cross-section of industries, including: Aviation & Aerospace, Food and Beverages, HR Consultancy, Internet and Utilities.

Our expert facilitators

  • Perry Timms – Founder, PTHR
  • Simon Conington – CEO, BPS
  • Rachael Allen – People & Culture Director, BPS
  • Andy Gunby – Account Director, BPS

What we covered

  • An overview of Agile.
  • The values and principles of the Agile manifesto.
  • Agile teams (squad) model.
  • Agile development cycle for change projects.
  • Agile timeline for projects.
  • The main players in Agile projects.

The Results

The session was broken down into collaborative breakouts:

Breakout 1 - Product Story

We needed to establish the elements, considerations and impact of our initial product.

Breakout 2 - User Stories

We grouped together our user types and their reasons for engaging with the product (as well as potential stumbling blocks).

Breakout 3 - Product Backlog

In order to create the product we would first need to note down a list of tasks for completion.

Breakout 4 - Product Roadmap

Now we'd established what needed to be done, it was time to order and prioritise into an Agile roadmap.

Our three squads each worked together to ideate and iterate their solutions.

In the initial phases, focus was very much on why creating a culture of feedback is so important. And what would be needed – from senior management buy-in to clear communication channels – to make our product a reality.

With ideas and considerations in place, it was then on to defining our user stories. Who would this benefit and how?

From there, our squads started to create their parcels of work and compile these into a product backlog with clear sprint timelines.

Key takeaways

  • Think about small(ish), impactful problems you wish to solve. Follow the Agile principles, and most importantly, just give it a go!
  • Learn your way and in and maintain a safe space around you.
  • If you're not able to work with a qualified Scrum Master then don't sweat it. Look for those people who are good process stewards to be your product owner or guide. Anyone who gets process efficiency would be a good fit and they don't necessarily have to be line manager trained.
  • Agile creates greater efficiencies and saves time, therefore negating or minimising the effects of a 'culture of busy'. You may find some managerial resistance as certain individuals who are used to owning projects may begin to feel left out.
  • Agile works best within a culture of trust. Implementing Agile represents a step-change in thinking as part of a wider change programme.

We’d like to extend a huge thanks to our participants for their full involvement.

Check out the full Results and keep an eye out for future events.

View The Results

We hold regular events aimed at empowering the HR community through education and knowledge sharing. If you're interested in attending future sessions then email me directly at or click here to sign-up. 

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