My reflections on those “transformations”🤔

Today is the beginning of my holiday but I cannot help thinking about my work😢. I tend to draw inspiration from events that happen in my daily life. They nourish, of course, my ways of thinking.🤓

Last Saturday, I was going to driving school and during the lesson 🚗, the driving instructor and I were having an animated discussion (although it’s not recommended🙈). In France, the new online platform “Ornikar” is changing the way people choose a driving school.

Ten years ago😴, the only way French were able to obtain their driver’s license was by enrollment into a physical driving school and taking classes with them 🧐. That might turn out to be expensive, since more lessons you need, the more you’ll pay. As the driving school employs only a limited number of instructors, the availability of classes is limited, too.

The driving school has been in a sort of monopoly position for a long time, sometimes you had to have longer driving hours because you didn’t have the choice.

We could have never imagined that nowadays, with this online driving school, the students are allowed to enroll for individual driving classes by choosing their favorite instructor and the nearest meeting place as they wish✌️for all their lessons. Whereas under the traditional system, the student has to sign up for a series of classes at the driving school with the same instructors 👩‍🏫 👨‍🏫 and the enrollment is made by the driving school. Well, It seems that this “transformation” is terrific! But sadly I wasn’t able to pass the driver’s license though this innovative, splendid platform.

Personally that’s why I returned to the more traditional way – the physical driving school. This time, I paid more attention to the cybernauts’ comments, summarized teachers’ instructions, the so called “bouche à oreille” in French and the human connection I have with the driving instructor (I spoke with one or two instructors from each driving school before making my choice 😏). Actually, they’re aware of this strong competitor and try to offer more flexibility 💡, higher service quality and the more students follow-up. I’m now pretty satisfied with the pedagogy of my driving instructor and the results I was able to achieve with them. 🤗

As it is usual in France 🇫🇷 , we like to criticize everything (So cliché 😑). My driving instructor, being no exception, was quick to gossip about the new online driving school, “You know, the boss of “Ornikar” is the friend of a high-level politicians, that’s why they open that individual candidate’s enrollment.” 🤐

Her remarks made me think: Isn’t the change good for this world? How people from both side – conservatory and innovation live together?

I’ll prefer not answering these questions right away. Let me give you another example. 💆‍♀️

Yesterday morning, I finally walked into a photo studio, which is situated just 100 meters from my home 🏡, to take some ID photos🤳. It was a random choice because on that day, I had taken a day off. Also randomly, I found myself to be really satisfied with the professional service of this 50-year-old owner who was so kind to “photoshop” my acne because I forgot to put on makeup that morning 🤪.

At the beginning, I asked him naively, “ When can I get my photo ? “ (Voice-over : I’ll have to wait for 1-2days ⏳…)

He answered me with a joke by looking at his watch, “Tomorrow morning by 4 o’clock in the morning !”.

Then he noticed that I was looking at him surprisingly and calmed me down by saying, “We’re in 2019, aren’t we? Don’t worry mademoiselle, it will be printed in a few minutes !”.

At this moment, I found that I had the prejudice on this profession since a moment .👩‍💼👨‍💼

After that, he explained to me the history of this photo studio (founded in the 1980s 🕴). Today, they also offer the new services, such as restoring old photographs, digitalize the microfilms from a Kodak camera, photo shooting session for the new-born babies 👼 etc…

This changed my impression of his profession. Because, since I have lived in Paris and I started to become a “Parisien” (so cliché 😑), I never had the time to step into a photo studio, which usually opens only at 10 o’clock and closes at 19 o’clock because that’s my working time! According to my former ways of thinking 💭, the photo studio is kind of « old school » and not very efficient. What I needed was a quick and admittedly sometimes dirty🤦‍♀️ – photomaton (the automated photo booth put in a box, existing in a parisien metro station)! But when I compared my “zombie” 🧟‍♀️ photo taken from photomaton (and that day I had put on my makeup) with the professional shot, I wondered: what has caused that change of heart in me? And how have the so-called traditional jobs progressed? How are we facing change as a society?

I found some answers while talking with this “monsieur” photograph : what makes all the difference is the the human connection, his respect and passion for his profession. I also think that I might need to look closer and deepen my understanding of what I used to so called “old school”. 👴👵

I immediately found that these principles are very similar to the Agile, which can be found in not only the workplace, but also our daily life, among the people around us. Sometimes, I would say that those ordinary they adapt Agile better than most of us IT professionals.

Back to myself, I have started working as a Scrum Master of a small team at the beginning of 2018, and now I’m a Scrum Master of a bigger team. At the same time, I’m working for a digital transformation program. As a young agilist, I have been challenged all the time💁‍♀️. I realized that we could not reach the goal of an Agile Utopia – in which everyone is autonomous, and the management is always smiling and supporting the team’s decision, the DevOps spirit… But at least, we’re trying to approach this goal 🥅, and we’re trying to change the existing ways of working.

We prefer the human connection over sending emails and forwarding them to everyone. We encourage people to respect each other via the non-violent communication, and we try to reduce the judgement in the workplace, we privilege the direct dialogue over “sous entendu”. We emphasize the position of developers in an IT team instead of a project manager, because it’s those who are passionate about this profession and it’s those who know how to find the best solution of coding 🚀!

I want to re-quote the agile manifesto here:🗿

“We have come to value:

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

Working software over comprehensive documentation

Customer collaboration over contract negotiating

Responding to change over following a plan

That is, while there is value in the teams on the right, we value the items on the left more”.

I step back to imagine that once a new concept appears, in the beginning, it scares people and causes them to cry out “Ornikar is scandalous!🙄”, “Uber is robbing everyone, taxis are better🤬”, “ Agile doesn’t work for our specific project!😨”, “I prefer the old ways, BTW it has always worked!👿”, “Amazon will destroy all the physical stores!😤”.

Why don’t we change our ways of thinking: “Ornikar allows the gouvernement to open a new door to reach the individual candidate. How can we improve our service and have a positive feedback from our students?🧐 So that they can bring more students to us !“, “Why are our clients leaving us for Uber ? How can we become better?🧐“, “Why is our competitor winning over us? How can we improve? Why not make some changes to see?🧐 We might have something not good enough”, “The developers have a different point of view, we can discuss the pros/cons. Maybe they’re right!🧐“, “Why can Amazon provide a better customer experience? How can we satisfy our customers by imagining the customer journey?🧐”

As a surprise conclusion, I found that the people’s attitudes towards the so called “digital transformation” is quite similar. 🤘

Sometimes, we tent to forget about our strengths💪. Instead of using our strengths, we start to criticize, and that’s where the negative cycle starts.☠️. Change is useful only as long as it’s a lucide change.

We love our job, that’s why we keep improving and adapting. That’s what Agilists believe, even in face of doubts. Let us stop criticizing and start to embrace change with an opened-mind !

The world is changing, what about you ?🙌

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