Best Practice is a method or technique that has been generally accepted as superior to other alternatives, because it produces results – over time – that are superior to those achieved by other means or because it has become a standard way of doing things among Strartups & Small Businesses.
Maintaining Quality thru Best Practices is used by some Businesses, as an alternative to “mandatory-legislated” standards and can be based on self-assessment thru metrics or bench-marking your processes. Best practice is a feature of highly accredited management standards such as ISO 9000 in Quality Management Systems (QMS) and ISO 14001 in Environmental Management Systems.
#1 Develop Realistic Expectations
Maintain realistic expectations when seeking a Best Practice, because the practice may not be the most efficient and it may instead produce unfavorable results. Because a Best Practices seems to be tailored to a specific problem and also based on solid research, it does not necessarily mean it is creating good results. However, the research can produce thought-provoking concepts on what can & can not work when put into practice.
#2. Analyze “smart” Business Practices
In QMS process analysis, a Best Practice is a clear & solid behavior that solves a problem or achieves a goal. Smart Business Practices take advantage of an opportunity at a low cost and minimal risk. These are opportunities for creative improvements such as improving quality or making process improvements to produce greater value at a very low additional cost. Breaking loose from standard practices and challenging assumptions can also be way to take advantage of an opportunity..
#3. Observing the “smart” Business Practices
The primary mechanism in a smart practice is the ability or the means of achieving Goal (Objectives) in a cost-effective manner. The secondary mechanisms include implementing addition value thru supportive features & optional features. It can be very complicated to separate between the functions in getting the mechanism to work and the features that support those functions. But give it a try.
#4. Flexibility is recommended when adapting smart Business practices for another source. It is important to identify the core essence of the practice while allowing flexibility for how it is implemented, so it remains sensitive to internal conditions. Robust smart Business practices are adaptable to various conditions, have many operational features, and can employ similar – but diverse ways – to achieve their goals. Use SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic & Timely).
#5.Describe “generic” Vulnerabilities
In addition to the reasons why a smart Business practice might succeed, an analyst should describe potential “vulnerabilities” (weakness) that could lead a smart Business practice to fail. These weaknesses are “generic” Vulnerabilities.
Two types of Vulnerabilities are worth particular attention: 1) poor general Management capacity, which makes it more difficult to effectively implement a smart Business practice, and 2) weaknesses inherent to the practice itself. Top Management must develop safeguards in order to minimize the Risk of generic Vulnerabilities.
#6. But will “smart” Practices work at my Business?
The final step in identifying an appropriate best Business practice for a problem is to ensure that the “context” from which the practice is derived is comparable to the context in which it will be applied. Risks to implementing the selected best Business practice in the applied context – as well as – what support structures can be put in place, need to be anticipated in order to maximize the likelihood of success. If utilizing a Pilot or Demonstration program, the success of Best Practice needs to be not overly optimistic, in order to account for the better than average favorable conditions that Pilot & Demonstration programs usually operate under. These conditions include increased enthusiasm, attention to succeeding in a process and less resistance due to the lack of permanency in Pilot programs. Finally, when considering implementing a Best Practice program on a wide scale, one must be aware of the weakest processes – with minimal to no resources and how those sites will be supported in order to create the desired goal outcomes.
#7. Excessive Optimism . . .
about the expected impact of untested smart Business practices programs is a common critique. If a current practice is known to be ineffective, implementing a promising alternative – after weighing the alternatives – may be worth the risk.
Some Consulting Firms specialize in the area of Best Practice and offer pre-made templates to standardize Business Process documentation. Sometimes a Best Practice is not applicable or is in-appropriate for a particular organization’s needs. A key strategic talent required when applying Best practice to organizations, is the ability to balance the unique qualities of an organization with the practices that it has in common with others.
Best Practices Quotes
“Virtually every company should be going out and empowering their workers with their Best Practices techniques, and the big difference in how much value is received from that, will be how much the company looks at their business processes – thinking through how they can improve, how their management, customer feedback, & planning cycles can be better than they ever were before.” Bill Gates, MicroSoft
“If you don’t do it excellently, don’t do it at all. Because if it’s not excellent, it won’t be profitable or fun, and if you’re not in business for fun or profit, then “What the hell are you doing there? Lee Iacocca, xCEO Chrysler
“In the end, all business operations can be reduced to four words: people, processes, product & profits”. Jeff Bezos, Amazon
“Best Practices are the critical element of business. There is no survival without it.”
“A business leader has to keep their team focused on the best methods. That sounds easy, but it can be tremendously challenging in today’s competitive and ever-changing business environment.” Meg Whitman, eBay
Known Users: Environmental Protection Agency [EPA], U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Internet Engineering Task Force, National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, & New York Conference of Mayors.
Comments: Do you know of any other Best Practices that would be useful?
from Wikipedia, (the free Encyclopedia) 8/18 enhanced by Peter, ISO 9000 Consultant