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The Problem With “Best Practices”

Updated: Nov 9, 2022

I have a problem with the phrase Best Practice. The issue I have is that the phrase assumes that there is one answer to solving a problem. There is only one best way to get something done. It assumes that if I just give you the "Best Practice" (or answer) it will solve whatever issue you are having. It would be easy, and you would not have to think.

Instead, what we should be examining is Current Practices. When we share Current Practices, we see what other people are doing so we can understand what problems they are solving, and how it applies to the problems we are facing.

By focusing on Current Practices, we can train our minds to think about what is going on so we can deal with an issue and be better equipped to handle the situation when it goes off script. We don’t focus solely on the solution and apply it as a “one-size-fits-all.”

Searching for Best Practices limits us because it puts us on a quest for answers so we don’t have to make our own decisions. As I talked about before, people are afraid to fail or make a wrong decision. So they search for a Best Practice, falling back on the thinking that if they use a Best Practice, they won’t be accountable for failures. They want to have the perfect answer

each and every time, but life does not work that way.

Experience is always the best teacher. If we use our experience along with understanding what other people are doing it will guide us to the best plan of action. That’s why each year, we publish a Current Practices Report, not a Best Practices Report. We’re currently collecting responses for our 2019 Infor EAM user report, and you can weigh in here.

Next time you want to fall back and use the phrase Best Practices remember the power of Current Practices. Instead of looking for quick answers, use the collective knowledge of

others to move forward using Current Practices.

Until next time…I’m Marty, make every minute count.


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