Process management

What does ‘best practice’ mean?


By on 08/09/2020

We all try to find the best ways of doing work on a daily basis. During this, the term ‘best practice’ often comes up. But what does it really mean? This article will introduce you to best practices and how to work with them. 

As species, we are able to introduce incredibly complex innovations through our collective learning capability. These were made possible by continuously searching for better ways to store and orchestrate knowledge. As a result of years of retained knowledge from previous generations, our collective learning capability enables us to thrive not only in this crisis but in the next generations to come. 

What does ‘best practice’ really mean?

A best practice is a way of doing things that we perceive as most efficient in the achievement of a goal. This can be found by discovering how successful businesses or organizations operate. By capturing the right context of a best practice, it helps anyone avoid excessive experimentation that may prolong the learning curve. Hence bloat the cost of doing business. We must use it with caution. Why? Because adopting best practices without thorough consideration of the context may just do more harm than good to the business. If adopted carefully, it is actually a good way to quickly fix a problem.

Why is it relevant?

Best practice can be found by either learning from the standards published by various government/international institutions or by benchmarking. Benchmarking, according to the American Society for Quality, is the process of measuring products, services, and processes against those of organizations known to be leaders in one or more aspects of their operations. Benchmarking provides necessary insights to help you understand how your organization compares with similar organizations. It is relevant even if they are in a different business or have a different group of customers. Moreover, benchmarking allows you to introduce quick process improvement initiatives. 

The benefits of best practices

With the current global crisis, we find ourselves pressed for time and resources. We can quickly identify best practices that can locally help us become resilient. Thus, keeping our ships afloat in these trying times. Best practice searching and sharing are becoming more important than ever before. As we are forced to find ways to substitute, augment, modify, and eventually redefine strategies to keep our customers.

Establishing best practices

Below is a quick guide on how to benchmark and find best practices:

  1. First things first! Identify your specific industry and focus on what process you need to improve on.
  2. Identify industry leaders, niche players, and research how they currently operate
  3. Review your metrics vs. theirs – Are your metrics still relevant? Any trends observed?
  4. Follow and learn from your competitors customers – any shifts on behavior observed?
  5. Research on published government or international organizations regulations
  6. Learn how other industries are executing similar processes. You can compare for example the state of your supply chain, marketing, sales channels, operations, or aftersales activities

“By benchmarking others, you can learn so much about how to further improve yourself” Josh Bersin

Who should work with best practices?

Every business manager, leader, and the owner will find this technique handy. Especially if they need quick fixes. By learning from the standards and benchmarks, it can help them maximize the chances of achieving their targets while maintaining operational costs to a minimum.

The steps to get started

So as not to make your best practice research stay on the desks of your management team, it is critical to not let up. Start to document and operationalize a localized best practice. It will help sustain the effort from ideation to execution. Also, by leveraging business process management platforms such as Gluu, you can achieve peace-of-mind. As you will know that the best practice adopted is clear across the organization and is executed consistently down the line. Moreover, you should empower the ones who execute these best practices. Because you may even see them further refining them for the benefit of your company. 

Are you looking for more definitions? Take a look at our Business Process Management Glossary. 

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