Agile working

The PACE values at CIPD

You probably haven’t heard of PACE, but everyone who works for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development certainly has. They are the values underpin everything we aim to do and to be at CIPD, they run through our corporate culture like the words ‘Brighton’ through a stick of rock.

The PACE values are on display throughout the CIPD HQ in Wimbledon, on posters and stencilled onto the wall in our ‘OpenSpace’ coffee shop. This jaunty acronym stands for

Ever since I joined CIPD two and a half years ago I’ve been mulling over the PACE values, what they really mean, how we put them into practice, specifically in relation to the projects that define the work of the digital production team.

And over the next four posts I’m going to explore those musings and conclusions I’ve come to.

We are agile

I’ll admit, it took me a while to ‘get it’, but it’s with ‘agile’ that the worlds of running digital projects and CIPD’s values mesh most harmoniously together.

The Agile Manifesto was published in 2001 and has proved to be so successful and ubiquitous in software development circles that its methods and principles have been adopted into general business management; in particular the focus on customer centricity, facilitation-based management, iterative and incremental working methods, outcomes based evaluation, greater individual autonomy and collaboration.

In fact we might say we’ve entered ‘the agile age’, where organisational agility, nimbleness, responsiveness are the watch words for survival in the face of ‘transient competitive advantage’ (Rita Gunther McGrath).

The Agile Manifesto argues that software projects succeed when self-organised teams of motivated individuals come together and work within a supportive environment built on trust.

Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
(The Agile Manifesto, principle #5 )
The best architectures, requirements and designs emerge from self-organisting teams.
(The Agile Manifesto, principle #11)
Agile teams rely on self-organisation, customer centricity, knowledge sharing, collaboration and mutual trust.

Agile working might be a bit of a buzz word right now, but it isn’t just about flexible hours, or investing in the IT infrastructure to support remote working. Rather it’s about the wider adoption of the principles of the agile manifesto, of the hard won lessons of successful software development, into general business and people management practice.

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