What is a Good Practice, what is the difference to a Best Practice and what would be a Best Current Practice?
Becoming better through experience
Organisations often look for best practices to solve tasks optimally. They face competition and try to master challenges as efficiently and effectively as possible. However, best practices imply that the approach is the best and therefore the only way to solve a challenge – and that is simply wrong. For some time now, more and more organisations have been using the term good practice. Good practices are positive experiences that an organisation has made in a concrete situation with a certain approach or solution.
Organisations ideally learn from their experiences and then improve their processes, methods or procedures. Good practices imply that
- an approach or activity may be well suited to solve a task.
- there may be more than one way to solve a task.
- there may also be better options for solving a task.
- experience and lessons learned are useful, but should not be used 1:1 for a concrete problem without testing.
On the Internet, an infinite number of recommendations circulate for an infinite number of questions. “The 5 best tips for …”, “8 steps to success” or “How to increase the conversion of your website” – there are numerous examples of this kind of recommendations. But often they don’t deliver what they promise. An essential reason for this lies in the individual situation in which people, organisations and companies find themselves. Good practices convey this individuality with sentences such as
- “In the following situation, the following has helped us…”
- “Try these steps…”
- “Try these three points…”
Good practices – a help, not a blueprint
In contrast to best practices, good practices do not promise that everything will work as if by magic from now on. Good practices emphasize “CAN” and not “MUST”. They are a help on the way to a solution, they are not the solution and they are not a blueprint.
Scrumbuts are a good example of good practice. Scrum defines a set of roles, rules and rituals for developing software, products or services. Scrumbut refers to the conscious renunciation of parts of these elements and is therefore good practice in the best sense of the word.
Of course, there are always discussions whether good or best practices are not only the smallest linguistic differences. In fact, the demand is different, because a best practice addresses the best – i.e. optimal – solution. A good practice does not and cannot fulfil this requirement. On the contrary, it implies that it reserves the right to develop itself further in practice. A good practice could therefore at best be regarded as a “best current practice”.
Interestingly, there are always worst practices in organisations that are used.