Transformation tools

We work with digital elementary particles.

In our transformation work, we draw on a variety of tools. The most important of these is the d.quarks model we developed.

Its name is derived directly from physics: just like in a particle accelerator, where elementary particles collide with enormous energy, the targeted “collision” of diverse experiences, competences and disciplines can also create something new and impressive in organisations.

We call the elementary building blocks with which our clients can shape the digital transformation themselves d.quarks – the “digital quarks”. In our many years of project work, we have so far identified a total of 46 d.quarks.

The following points provide an overview of the most important questions and answers about our most important transformation tool. For more detailed information, we recommend our book “d.quarks – The path to the digital enterprise”.

the d.quarks - model

A d.quark (digital quark) describes a capability that a company has to organise, procure, develop in order to realise digital business models. It is described along the four strategic dimensions “organisation”, “people & competencies”, “processes” and “technology”. This is the first time that we combine cultural changes with structural changes in the company.

In physics, if you want to study the fundamental interactions of matter and investigate the tiniest structures, you need a particle accelerator. If you let elementary particles – so-called quarks – collide with enormous energy, new, unexpected and surprising things are created again and again.

We have transferred this principle to our transformation work. Because in organisations, too, the targeted “collision” of diverse experiences, competences and disciplines can always produce something new and impressive.

We have given our own name to the elementary building blocks with which people in positions of responsibility can shape the digital transformation themselves: d.quarks – the “digital quarks”.

On the first level, we have identified 46 digital capabilities (d.quarks) along the value chain and certain support functions in the company and described them in our book. Each capability in the d.quarks model occurs only once. They do not overlap with each other and have more than 200 properties.

If the company wants to build an open platform-oriented business model, then yes. Otherwise, it depends on the type of digital business model how many d.quarks are needed for its realisation.

There are five business model types we have described in our d.quarks model as the five accelerator tracks of the d.quarks. These are the five basic archetypes of digital business models, which represent an increasing user-centricity, service-orientation and value creation via data. The five business model types are: technology-enabled, transaction-oriented, customer experience, solution-oriented and Open Digital.

A transformation is only successful if we know why we need to change something. Only then can we convince customers and employees to follow us in the upcoming changes. This is why it is so important to combine capabilities with business models and a strategic ambition level, a positive picture of the future.

No, the d.quarks model can be applied to any company size and it is even industry-agnostic. We have already successfully introduced it to DAX companies as well as to medium-sized and small family businesses.

That depends a little on the size of the company. Usually between three and six months. Then you know your target picture, have developed a digital strategy, know the capabilities (d.quarks) you already have and those you still lack. And, you have a structured, clear work plan, in which projects you build up the missing capabilities and how. In addition to our experience from more than 150 digital transformation projects, we bring with us a wealth of procedures, reference models and architectures as well as methods and transformation tools that have proven themselves best in recent years.

Many owners and managers know that the world around them has changed. They even have their first digital ideas, but they have no idea how to implement them. Often they have already carried out many more or less successful digital projects, but they didn’t have a common framework and thus didn’t really move the company forward. They lack the orientation on how to start the digital transformation in the company. They are therefore uncertain or wait, sometimes for too long. With the d.quarks model, we give them the missing orientation and encourage them to get started.

People often think that the introduction of new technologies or the automation of processes is already everything. But this is only one side of the digital medal. The other side is the culture change.


On the road to the digital age, a plan is needed as a guide and basic skills are needed to successfully implement this plan. Now you can develop and plan digitisation in your company even more easily. Start your journey with a first self-assessment of your current digital skills and our book.

Our experience teaches us that a digital transformation always has four elements when it is launched: a vision and strategy for the future, the institutionalisation of innovation, the creation of the technological foundations and cultural change. With d.quarks, we have created a standard tool for digital transformation that provides clear guidance.

Developing and planning digitalization in the company - playfully into the digital age

The path to digitalisation can now be experienced in an even more playful way: With the card set to the d.quarks book of the same name. On the way to the digital age, two things are needed: a plan as an orientation guide and the various building blocks to implement this plan. We call these building blocks d.quarks, digital quarks. They describe elementary capabilities that a company must organize, procure and develop in order to implement digital business models.


The card set with the free downloadable evaluation canvas and the book will guide you through the four strategic dimensions of d.quarks, enable you to find individual answers to the challenges of digitisation and clearly present the status quo and potential of your company. Now you can develop your digitization strategy even better, plan the next steps in workshops and continue working on them with your team.


2020. The year of the Corona crisis. Characterized by Covid-19, the lockdown, the AHA rules and a lot of uncertainty, but also by solidarity, a number of creative solutions, a digitalization push and many sustainable initiatives for the future.


The crucial question now is: What do we learn from this crisis? All too often, we miss the opportunity to learn from the past for the future. Or when was the last time we conducted or participated in a retrospective in our company or organization?


Observe. Analyze. Conclude. Change behavior. This is what characterizes a good retrospective. Learning from experience. Using our Canvas, we ask the critical questions for building a resilient enterprise. To make the necessary changes in business and in our companies. To become future-proof ourselves. To formulate our own Agenda 2030.

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