While HR emphasizes the human capital of an enterprise, management is also part of the job. There are many tasks you need to ensure are completed, from scheduling interviews to on-boarding new employees. Furthermore, HR touches every other area of the organization. For example, you may need new user accounts set up by IT, or to deliver safety training to everyone in a given role. The challenge is finding a way to keep track of it all. Here is an overview of how to use Kanban for internal task management in HR.
The Benefits of Kanban in HR
One of the best things about Kanban is how well it allows you to visualize your workflow, and how new tasks can be added, modified, or taken out of any workflow. New tasks can easily be fed into the pipeline or prioritized before they can enter it. Not only that, but it allows us to identify bottlenecks and address them. You easily see if these were caused by a single team owner, or if there might be something with your process if it’s a recurring issue.
If you’re getting familiar with Kanban and want a quick introduction to Kanban boards, how they work, and what they can do, we suggest you check out the resources by Kanbanize. They explain exactly what a kanban board is, and break down every component in detail. They also explain how you can use Kanban to visualize the workflow of your team members, target inefficiencies, limit work in progress, and as a reporting tool as well.
One of the major components of the Kanban board are swim lanes. In Kanban, swim lanes are horizontal lines where you can input any task and see its progress through every stage. You could set up swim lanes for recruitment, onboarding, personnel administration and training, for instance. As tasks move from the “to do” to “doing” sections, management knows how much work is in progress and how deep the backlog is.
Another great thing about Kanban is how much transparency it offers. For one, the entire team can see what is being done. This not only increases accountability but could allow someone who may not have as much on their plate to give a hand on a task that might be stalling. The Kanban system also allows management to track metrics like how long it takes to go from job requisition to presenting a newly hired staffer ready to get to work, for instance.
So, now that we know more about Kanban and its benefits let’s take a look at exactly how you can use Kanban for internal task management.
Target Your Backlogs
The hiring process is an extensive one. HR needs to review resumes, create lists of candidates, schedule interviews, perform interviews, grade performance, arrange in-house interviews for the best candidates, and determine who will receive a job offer. This is where backlogs can cause all kinds of problems.
Take too long getting back to promising candidates, and you will probably find they accepted someone else’s offer in the meantime. Try to finish all of the initial resume screenings before you schedule interviews, and you’ll cause problems for the limited number of interviewers. This is why you should prioritize relieving any and all backlogs in the process. This has the side benefit of improving overall efficiency, since you may not have to continue reviewing resumes if your software developer positions are slowly getting filled.
Furthermore, you can use work-in-progress limits to prevent your team from being overwhelmed. If there is a limit to how many WIP tasks they can have at any given time, they aren’t going to be overloaded with WIP. This is because they have permission to focus on those few ongoing tasks before they start anything else.
Bring Standup Meetings to Your HR Department
Human Resources departments face an ever-changing array of tasks. They’re dealing with retirements, medical leave requests, disputes between coworkers and mundane inquiries regarding benefits.
Schedule daily standup meetings in HR so you can determine together what the highest priority tasks should be. These meetings are also a great way to work out solutions to various problems. You might see managers from other departments come in so that they can give direct feedback to your team, whether it is issues with job descriptions or employee training.
This is another concept from agile software development that can be applied to Human Resources. Get the team together every two or three weeks to look at how you work. Identify areas for improvement. When you find ways to improve your processes or your people, implement them. Don’t forget to update the Kanban charts and any formal documentation on how to do one’s job. Investing time into making things better will pay off over time.
Kanban is an excellent tool for managing everything from assembly lines to software development. It can also be used to gain control over the chaotic world of HR.
HR Future Staff Writer, United Kingdom.