Friday, April 09, 2010

Best Practices

Every consulting client asks if I can provide them with best practices as part of the advisory engagement. I don't object to these requests, in fact I can fully understand why they ask, but my advice to any one out there looking for such things, is beware of the person who offers them to you.
Best practices scare me a bit, they remind me of the nonsense of the late 90's when everyone was benchmarking, trying to mimic best practices and getting enthusiastic about Business Process Re-Engineering. What we learned, or at least should have learned from all that is that what works well in one place does not necessarily work well anywhere else. For sure there are wrong ways to work, there are inefficient ways to work and there are downright stupid ways to work - but once you eliminate the plain bad options, there are a multitude of possibilities left.
You need to match your needs, goals, organizational psychology (culture/dynamics) and resources with elements of what has worked well elsewhere and make up your own patchwork quilt of what works best for you, from what has worked for others....

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