Is It Really A Best Practice Or Just Your Practice?

Is It Really A Best Practice Or Just Your Practice?

Matt HealeyFriday,2 May 2014

The Snap:

Anyone who has had a job in the last 10 years has heard about implementing “best practices.” This sounds like a no-brainier. After all, who would not want to implement what is considered the best practice? Not just the above average practice, but the *best* practice. The problem is that in general best practices are BS.

The Download:

I am not opposed to best practices. Actually I think they should be followed when ever you can. Under one key condition. That is they are actually the best practice. Most of the time that I have seen people claim to be implementing best practices, or holding up a best practice, what they actually mean is not that is it definitely a best practice, but it is “the way I do things.” Further, since I am clearly the smartest person in the organization, then it must therefore be a best practice. Really? Have you actually done a study into other ways of doing things and you know that your way is the best? Is it best for the particular market or function that you are in but not the best for other markets of functions and there for should not be rolled out on a broader group of people?

Before you push your best practices on the rest of the world, make sure they actually are best practices and you can back that up with actual data. You know, and can demonstrate the pros and cons of other approaches. You understand why it works for you and what the characteristics of your role or market are and how those might or might not translate to other roles or markets. If you can not demonstrate these things, then you are not actually following best practices. You are following your practices and trying to force them on the rest of the world, likely because you are a narrow-minded, process-obsessed person who can not tolerate any approach that is different from the way you think things should be done. In this case, don’t be surprised if people resist you.

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