Engineering culture and a working mom!

For a while now, the buzz word we hear all around us is “Engineering culture”. I recently had an exposure to it and it fascinated me a lot. It feels like we are back to basic and talking in terms of how we can help someone have a better experience at the most vulnerable times.

In the world of AI we are still depending on what my customer feels. But nevertheless, it in fact is a very powerful tool and the things it talks about are not bound under the boundary of software development. I felt a need to try and them at my only product and/or customer and that never shies away from giving me straight at my face feedback “My Kid”.
Pic courtesy - Google
 
It all started very gradually, with me firstly understanding how I had been focusing so much on making my daughter do what I felt was right. And that meant I had to reiterate myself all the time and to get things done. And this was my first encounter of “output vs outcome”. I was getting all that I wanted done from my daughter. But nor was she happy nor I. The output was there, but the outcome nope…. we were both dissatisfied and unhappy.
So, I took a step back and restarted. I started talking to my daughter to find out where we were going wrong:
Writing – She was always slow and disinterested. Would always bring back pending work from school. So, we would go about the same routine every day, me checking her book to find lots of half-filled pages. And then it would start again, force her, bribe her and if nothing works yell! At the end, pending work was completed. But we resented our time together. And she would hide from me as soon as I reached home.
This made me so sad, being a working mom, I get little time with her and didn’t want it to be spent like this. So, I decided to focus on outcomes and eliminate some waste. I evaluated why she didn’t like writing and very simple reasons came up. Also, I discovered that she is good at writing both memory wise and script wise. This was the first outcome I focused on, she was learning.
She would constantly complain about her hand paining, I replaced her smooth round pencil with a hexagonal pencil, that helped her with easy grip and she didn’t have to hold very tightly and thus came down the pain. Our first win!
Also, I offered her to do her writing on random things like, on the table with chalk, with her finger on her Ipad, with crayons on empty sheets and we would do these activities at various places, so that boredom didn’t creep in. Soon I saw her doing it all the time on her own, without me having to remind her. She would keep looking for opportunities. The other day, I saw her practice on a dusty car in the parking lot.
I was happy, she was enjoying study. She doesn’t have any more pending work, she completes it in school, so that she can write on other things at home. Recently we have also started writing on the concrete compound of our housing complex.
So now let me list the outputs, outcomes, impact:
 
Output
Outcome
Impact
1. No pending work.
  1. Better speed at writing.
  2. More interest in learning.
  3. She herself is now motivated to find new ways to continue her practice.
  1. More smiles and hugs.
  2. She greets me with a lot of love, when I am back home!
 
 
So with this my experiment doesn’t end…it just started. My daughter is my guinea pig for life, all my experiments be it new culinary skills or new concepts that I learn at work are all tested on her for me to better understand them. Stay tuned to know what I subject her to next!
 

Comments

  1. Wow Nidhi, very beautiful write up, I can truly imagine you and your lil daughter.keep writing and Sharing.

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