The problem with best practices

19 years ago   •   1 min read

By Marcia Kadanoff

When reviewing the guidelines for new projects, it’s amazing how many times the catch phrase “best practices” creeps into the text.  The problem with best practices is this: That approach lulls people into thinking that a best practice really exists that can be successfully transplanted? When you import best practices, the team’s thinking immediately focuses on *how* to do the work, rather than first addressing *what* should be done and *why.* If you start with a predetermined solution, it’s easy to gloss over more innovative approaches?Ķ One company’s best practice can too easily become another company’s sunk cost.” Not only that, but the most successful change comes from within — people rarely respond well to implementing some other company’s solutions.  Instead of this cookie-cutter approach, management teams should thoroughly explore what needs to be done and why, *before* jumping to the question of how to do it. “Develop your own best solutions to fit the context of the business. Use another company’s best practices only as a last resort.” 21 Jun 2005

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