What Is Best Practice?

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For much of my IT career, whenever we tried to something new or wanted to evaluate how we were performing in a particular area people would, inevitably, ask the question "What is best practice?". And that would lead to reading analyst reports and research that would add very little other than advice to look at what other people are doing that works. At the opening keynote of ServiceNow's Knowledge18 conference, company CEO John Donohoe touched on the question and offered some advice. Here's what he had to say.

Donohoe's comments were in the context of deploying the ServiceNow software but the points he made make sense when it comes to deploying enterportise software. He summarised best practice into four points.

  1. Commit to out of the box
  2. Have clear leadership and governance
  3. Invest in chnage management
  4. Drive business outcomes

In essence, he said that sticking with out of the box software and avoiding customisation would allow businesses to take advantage of new features as they were released. But that requires companies to modify their business processes to fit the software rather than the other way around. For that to happen, there needs to be clear guidance and sponsorship from senior management with the strength to resist the calls of "I'm special" from department heads and solid change management expertise to assist with transitions and take advantage of new platforms and features.

Of course, that covers just one dimension of best practice - deploying new software. There's also a need to understand what good processes are. In my experience, talking to peers in both the same vertical and in other industries is a good way to learn about new ways to do things.

Is the concept of best practice something you still worry about? If you do, how do you define it?

Anthony Caruana attended Knowldege 18 in Las Vegas as a guest of ServiceNow


Comments

    Just remember in this fast paced world that today’s best practices become tomorrow’s antipatterns.

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