tech & style updates:
Last month I mentioned the Movember Initiative and now I can proudly announce that I collected 120€ in donations. I would like to thank everyone who was so generous and supported me. Of course I shaved myself to a babyface and only grew the moustache for a month. You can find the result in the pictures below.
After noticing last month that the learning curve isn't as steep as it was at the beginning, I can't share any news this month. Except for a few new phrases in business English, I haven't noticed a significant improvement. I think it's like sports here. The higher the level of training, the harder it becomes to get to the next level.
I'm still very happy with the friends I got to know during the internship. Unfortunately a good friend had to leave Amsterdam this month for health reasons. So there were only three of us when we took the bus to Brussels. Although I've heard from many people that the city is not that nice, I liked it. We were very lucky with the weather, as there was lots of sunshine both days. After some sightseeing we took the opportunity and tasted some Belgian beers. Not only beers but also the fries are worth the trip.
The time had come this month and I traveled home for the first time since July to visit my family and friends in Germany. It's always nice to be welcomed with open arms and I have to admit that it is a cool feeling to come home from abroad. If someone would have told me when I was 15 that I would live in Amsterdam later, I would probably have declared them crazy.
AMSTERDAM TALKS TECH
I've been looking forward to this event all November as it was the AI edition. In a fancy location in Amsterdam which is normally used as a co-working space, AI enthusiastic and innovative people came together. During the evening several digital products were presented (e.g. from Microsoft) and various AI-related topics were discussed. Especially eye-opening was a discussion about the influence of AI on politics. With some imagination, one can imagine that it will need some adjustments in the future. For this reason, a community of various representatives from the business world has already been established. Together they want to shed light on the topic from a moral point of view and steer it in the right direction.
A project I was made aware of by my good friend Hendrik. At this point I also want to say thank you to you, Hendrik, for sharing your farsightedness with me! I hope you are proud of me, too, because I brought the Spöko tradition of rock, paper, scissors to adidas Amsterdam (see picture). 😉
My studies in Sports, Business and Law in Bayreuth are usually abbreviated as Spöko (short for Sports Economics) in Germany. Together with Hendrik we thought about setting up a large LinkedIn group with all students and graduates. Thought and done: As of December we already have 400 members. In the future we want to discuss sports-related topics and try to establish a kind of job portal. The group's primary goal is to facilitate communication after graduation and strengthen synergies between different companies.
If you're reading this and you're Spöko but not yet part of the community, then check here.
With the release this month, the hard work the team has put in over the last few months has paid off. Since the beginning of November adibot is available in Germany, France, Spain and Italy. All in all, we can say that the release was smooth and relatively few bugs slipped in during the transition from test environment to production.
We evaluate the feedback we receive from consumers in the best possible way using a tool provided to us by the Digital Analytics team. In the course of this collaboration I had the honour to present adiBot to about 40 people at their weekly team meeting. I was also able to explain in detail how we find and implement new use cases based on consumer feedback. It was a great experience to talk to a large audience about what I do every day. Thank you very much for this opportunity!
At the beginning of my blog I already mentioned that we're working with Scrum and that we finish a product increment within 2 weeks sprints. Since everything has to be digitally recorded, there is the so-called sprint closure. This is where all tickets that have been worked on over the last 2 weeks are checked and ideally closed. Successfully closed tickets are "done" and can be implemented in production at the next release date. Since my manager Carla was on vacation this month during the closure, I had the responsibility to close the tickets. A real challenge as the pressure of 2 weeks of team work weighed on my shoulders. After initial organizational problems I was able to master this challenge with the help of the development team.
SIZE & FIT
As I already mentioned last month, I'm working on the size and fit project alongside and started looking for usable data. This process was especially interesting because I could learn a lot from it:
It's well known that adidas is a huge company and it takes a long time to find the right person in huge companies. However, I never thought I would need so many meetings and conversations to get data to support my hypothesis. I focused mainly on return reasons and found a report that gives me insight into the different reasons for 2017 and 2018 for all countries of Europe. The analysis revealed the country with the most returns, but an error crept in and the breakdown of reasons was not representative. In order to correct this error, my journey continued.
When I found the root cause, I had already talked to 12 people in total. This means it takes a lot of experience to skillfully navigate within adidas and find the right person. Nevertheless, it was great to get insights into different jobs, because I took the chance to get a better understanding of the role of my counterparts.
In the end, I could have saved myself all these meetings. Through a mail I was directed to a colleague who actually works only a few meters away from me and has been working on eliminating the error for quite some time. Here is a simple rule to follow: Always talk to the Analytics guy first!
Since my path crossed with Analytics and they already took care of these data points, I started looking for more data. I became aware of what a great department I was allowed to work in. In Consumer Service you are probably closer to the consumer than in any other back office department. Suddenly one thing led to another and I had the idea to analyze chats. Of course I don't want to check every chat to see if the conversation was about size or fit. Therefore, I uploaded the chat transcripts into our AI tool and analyzed them there.
By assigning unique keywords I was able to identify the chats that had the either the topic size, fit or both. This allowed me to calculate the volume. I can share this: The percentage is high enough to justify a digital product that helps consumers find the right size. In the next step, I will dive even deeper into the transcripts and try to find the category where consumers have particular problems (running, football, training, originals, etc.). Based on this, I can then start collecting ideas for a product and design a prototype.
Another initiative I have been involved in is the improvement of the service level of our costumer service staff. That's why I reviewed and assessed some phone calls with consumers. Based on my own experience as an online product expert, I was also involved in the transformation process and was able to provide valuable feedback. I am curious to see how the efforts will develop and to what extent the framework will affect service quality.
In November I was able to read the following book. Not only did I have to smile, but I could recognize myself in some of the situations described. The book helps a lot to reflect and to question oneself. The most important take-away is: It's your choice how you act and how you feel. Take responsibility of your life!
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
Mark Manson (English)