Transformation: changing the way we think and work

Transformation is crucial for the development and survival of skyguide. If the company does not increase the level of service and reduce costs, advancing technology and disruptive market entrants could make ATM obsolete, says Pascal Matthey, Transformation manager at the technical department by skyguide. Transformation requires fundamentally altered methods, processes, a changing mindset and behavioural adjustment.

SKYGUIDE : Transformation is a broad term. How do you define it?
PASCAL MATTHEY Transformation is a journey, which requires dedicated time, effort and energy from across the organisation. Several factors and elements need to be addressed: an organisation with adequate change competencies, realistic plans, proper resourcing and transformational leadership. Transformational leadership involves an exceptional form of influence that moves followers to accomplish more than what is usually expected of them both by their leaders and by themselves. It also incorporates charismatic and visionary leadership. Transformation efforts have to be based on a holistic view and tackled in an integrated approach. To oversee and coordinate transformation across the company, skyguide has created a Transformation Group constituted of departmental representatives. Through this transformation group, systemic issues have been identified and structured and proper resources have been allocated in dedicated work streams.


The perception could exist that nothing has changed. Where are we today on the transformation process?
PM Looking back two orthree year, that perception is wrong. We now have the right organisational frame, we introduced, delivered and tested the new Service-Oriented Infra-structure (SOI) and ensured that the technical organisation is ready to operate SOI together with our partner DXC. First solutions such as CRYSTAL and New Route handling were successfully deployed on SOI. In the ATM environment, this constitutes a real pioneering achievement. According to HRO and Agile principles, we constantly strive to identify areas of improvement.


Transformation implies changes of work methodology, such as DevOps principles. What is the progress in implementing them?
PM Today we have an established team responsible for defining a test automation framework. This framework will enable teams to develop both application-specific and end-to-end automated tests. The teams are working towards building a continuous integration, continuous delivery chain (CI-CD) from SkySoft and other skyguide providers. They are also putting into practice the technical elements of DevOps (integration, deployment, test and monitoring) as well as organisational aspects such as governance, support mechanisms and culture.


You also introduced new IT Infrastructure Services. What does that mean?
PM They combine the IT platform, infrastructure and application services, network services and corporate IT. Using lean IT principles, the target is to introduce harmonized practices across all environments and to have an efficient and effective IT service delivery unit in place. This unit will provide aligned and streamlined IT services for all business units across the company, including ATM and AIM.


What are the challenges, and how do you overcome them?

PM Currently, we are focusing on the delivery of solutions and new features, as well as keeping the legacy systems running. Unfortunately, this sometimes results in slowing down organisational development.


As of 2020, we expect the first concrete results with respect to productivity, delivery, performance, service and customer satisfaction.  Furthermore, by then, monetary benefits should become tangible.


While we see progress in some areas, habits and old thinking continue to create barriers.  We need to do more to promote Agile behaviour and mindset in order to achieve the cultural change required. Managers have to learn to give greater autonomy to their staff while sup-porting them to be successful. At lower levels, a strong sense of ownership is required. We must further increase trust top-down as well as bottom-up. Trust is an essential component of any organisational culture.