There is a common misconception that the phrase "solutionize before you digitize" means you should first identify the problem you are trying to solve and then find a digital solution that will address that problem. On the contrary, it means focus on finding a solution first, and only think about digitising as a solution if it is pragmatic, cost beneficial and sustainable for the client.
This is important because digitizing a problem that does not need to be digitized can be expensive and time-consuming, and it may not actually solve the problem. For example, let's say you are a small business owner who wants to improve your customer service. You could digitize your customer service by creating a chatbot or a customer relationship management (CRM) system. However, if your current customer service process is working well, then digitizing it may not actually improve your customer service. In fact, it could make it worse if the new system is not implemented properly.
Digitizing a process without first understanding the problem that you are trying to solve can lead to a number of problems, such as:
Digitizing the wrong thing. If you don't understand the problem that you are trying to solve, you may end up digitizing the wrong thing. This can waste time and money, and it can also lead to a solution that doesn't actually solve the problem.
Creating a solution that doesn't work. If you don't understand the problem that you are trying to solve, you may end up creating a solution that doesn't actually work. This can be because the solution is not designed to address the root cause of the problem, or because it is not implemented correctly.
Not getting the desired results. If you don't understand the problem that you are trying to solve, you may not get the desired results from digitizing your processes. This can be because the solution is not effective, or because it is not used by the people who need it.
To avoid these problems, it is important to take the time to understand the problem that you are trying to solve before you start digitizing your processes.
The best way to decide whether to digitize or not is to consider the following factors:
The cost of digitization
The time it will take to digitize
The benefits of digitization
The risks of digitization
If the benefits of digitization outweigh the costs and risks, then it is a good idea to digitize your solution. However, if the benefits are not as significant, then it may be better to solve the problem using traditional methods.
Here are some tips for solutionizing before you digitize:
Talk to the people who are affected by the problem. The people who are affected by the problem are the ones who know the most about it. Talk to them to understand the problem from their perspective.
Do your research. There is a lot of information available about problems and solutions. Do your research to learn as much as you can about the problem that you are trying to solve.
Brainstorm solutions. Once you understand the problem, brainstorm a number of possible solutions. Don't be afraid to think outside the box.
Evaluate solutions. Evaluate the possible solutions to determine which one is the best fit for your situation. Consider the cost, the benefits, and the feasibility of each solution.
Once you have identified the best solution, you can then decide if digitizing your solution is what is best for you or the client.