Rethinking your company as a digital domain applies to any company of any size in any industry — and often to smaller units within a company, such as a division, an operating unit, or even a team. To help you get started in the work of thinking differently about how you do business, simply take this digital-design self-diagnostic.
1. What are the top five business issues that my company is facing today?
2. What are the current processes in my organization that address those issues? How do these processes function today? What's wrong with this picture?
3. To what extent are these processes managed as "atoms"? Should they be managed in that way? To what extent can these processes be managed as "bits"?
4. How do I manage my company's "bits" today? How would a digital approach to business enable me to manage those bits in a fundamentally different way?
5. How would managing those processes in that way change the productivity, cycle time, asset intensity, or informed decision making in my operation?
6. There are at least 20 things that I can do to help make my operation a digital business. What is the right sequence that I should follow?
7. How many people in my organization are mentally prepared to shift to a digital operation? For those who are unprepared, what combination of training, communication, and internal marketing is needed to prepare them to make the move?
8. Looking forward, what new arenas of opportunity would open up to my company if it moved to a digital operation?
Now answer these questions to find out how digital you are.
1. What are the top three issues that drive your own personal effectiveness and your ability to add value?
2. How much of your paperwork and face-to-face meetings are necessary? How much of that could (or should) digital management replace?
3. Think beyond simple productivity. How could digitizing selected aspects of your work redefine how you add value—or alter how you affect your customers and your organization?
A version of this article appeared in the Feb/March 1999 issue of Fast Company magazine.