So the next time a company tells you they follow best practices; ask who’s?
However, what this author does know is that perfect practice does make perfect.
According to Wikpedia a best practice asserts that there is a technique, method, process, activity, incentive or reward that is more effective at delivering a particular outcome than any other technique, method or process. So who determines that it is the best practice is open to conjecture. If my results are better than my competitor, it seems as though my practices would be the best. So maybe you should just begin by asking for examples of results and references.
I don’t believe that best practice is just following a standard way of doing things that can be carried out in the same way by multiple organizations. A best practice is a life long process that must evolve over time as the tools, business conditions, expertise and current processes require.
If one uses best practices, should not the result be an ideal state that a person or an organization set out to achieve in the first place. In fact if the process used is actually a best practice shouldn’t all of a companies customers use the same process. I’m not sure that this is ever a question one asks when looking for a referral about a companies service offerings. Please tell me about these companies’ best practices. Are they consistent and carried out each and every time at each an every customer to the desired result. You know the answer to that as well as I do, it’s NO.
One way to ensure good quality results is to provide templates that evolve with use and can then be used over and over again and are reevaluated at the completion of each practice and changed again when need dictates. This then requires passing the practice on to other customers in order to insure integrity and validity of the most current process. This elevates the actual process beyond just a buzzword and moves a particular process in the direction of becoming a best practice that drives similar results on a consistent basis.
I will continue to call our services offerings high quality process techniques focused on continuous improvement that deliver anticipated results. Our customers, supplier participants and business partners will determine if they are best practices for them.
We look forward to and appreciate your comments.