I’ve recently been interested in music production and learning to mix my own songs. I’ve been doing music since I was 14 and even put out a couple of self-published records and singles but the intricacies of mixing and mastering have always been a bit hazy to me.
Luckily we nowadays have YouTube and other video services that have quite a lot of tutorials on the subject. However, while searching for tutorials on the matter I noticed that there was a recurring theme in the titles of the videos.
“5 Mistakes You Do While Compressing Drums”
“8 Common Mistakes in Mixing”
“Why You Should Never Do This Or That?”
It felt weird. It was like I was entering this secret layer of magic where doing things “wrong” would end up making something terrible happen. A lot of the time the videos themselves were encouraging and told that “you just need to listen if something sounds good” but my imposter’s syndrome started acting up immediately. How you define “good”? What if my “good” is actually really bad? I found myself second-guessing everything I knew.
This, of course, is ridiculous. 22 years dabbling with music has definitely made me if not an expert, at least somewhat adept in the matter. Still, I felt unsure.
Then I realized that it’s not just this where people tend to question themselves and their situation. I understood that it’s something that I see in day-to-day work with customers.
More often than not a discussion on digital transformation starts as “it’s impossible to do”. Or “we tried that 5 years ago and it didn’t work then”. I’ve also heard from the customer that their business is just too complex to do any digital development on. Usually, at that point I say “if you truly say that your business is ready and complete and at its peak, well…this was a really easy assignment!”
The problem, in my opinion, is that digital transformation is too often dubbed as a complete overhaul of a system. Or take test automation as an example. Not all companies need to take immediately the most advanced DevOps route. So without further ado, I present to you (while completely understanding the irony of the situation) 3 mistakes people make when creating digital transformation:
- Thinking there’s a right way and a wrong way
You’ve seen it. The moment when consultants look through a company’s current situation and it looks like a scene from the before part of makeover reality show. “Are you really using THIS software to do THAT?”
Now don’t make me wrong, a lot of the time companies do things with obsolete software and with really strange processes. But make no mistake, Excel can be a powerful tool for many things if the process fits the bill.
Many innovations are done by using something you already have in a different way. Just trying different things or using technology in an unorthodox way can yield great results. Take me for an example: while Selenium and Robot Framework are primarily used as testing tools for websites, I’ve more than often used them also as scripting tools to automate something that would otherwise be a repeated task for me (like putting hours in our billing system).
- Thinking you need to revamp everything at once
Coming back to the statement I said previously, the customers tend to often say that their system or business is too complex for transformation and the idea feels too heavy. While that might be true at the large scale, there is no need to look at processes as a monolith. If you can think of just one thing that you might be able to do better in your work, why not try that? It’s transformation even if it is small. It also opens up the idea that you can do transformation iteratively and in small chunks.
- Thinking you need to get it right for the first time
When you try to do a new thing and it fails. So what? Then you only find out that that particular set of variables did not work at this time. Maybe the tool isn’t the one thing you need to change. Maybe it’s something else. Every time you fail in bringing new things to your work, you learn more about it and you understand the variables concerning it better.
The development of your work has a great effect to your job satisfaction and as such it should be done often. It also should concern you. You know your work and you know the things that annoy you. So try to think outside the box, try new things in small chunks and if you fail, try again. Chances are your quality of life will increase radically.
Where’s the harm in trying?