Best practices for “Best practices”

Best practices for “Best practices”
March 22 08:00 2011 Print This Article

Note: the article was updated in September 2018.

We face the “best practices” definition quite often. But what does “best practice” mean? Who defines what practice is the best one? Let’s study the notion thoroughly and find the other possible variants.

Best practice definition

To start with, we should understand all the meanings of “best practice” as they can vary depending on the person’s experience. Dictionaries define it as a new word that entitles the appropriate process, activity or technique which is the most effective for achieving particular goals. It means that appropriate checks and testings can gain the desired result with fewer difficulties.

We can also describe best practices as the most rational way to obtain a result, built on the previous people’s experience. One can apply the selected best practice only in a particular environment. If we want to modify the conditions, the best practice should also be changed and improved.

The increasing popularity of this term drew the attention of many people. Some of them misuse this definition and present their “good thoughts” as “best practices”. This may cause the wrong grasp of the term.

Best practice definition analysis

If we want to understand this neologism better, we should examine what it can mean. Let’s take the expression “best practice” and analyze it using the emphasizing technique.

  • BEST practice – improved as compared to others
  • best PRACTICE – opposing to the best hypothesis
  • BEST PRACTICE – opposing to the worst hypothesis

Thus, the definition of best practice means that there exists a practice that is best. The problem is that there is nothing to compare to. We do not have any other options. So, we should go back to the dictionary definition and apply the emphasizing technique there.

  • A new word that entitles the APPROPRIATE PROCESS, ACTIVITY or TECHNIQUE which is the most effective for achieving particular goals. – as opposed to the improper process, activity or technique.
  • A new word that entitles the appropriate process, activity or technique which is THE MOST EFFECTIVE for achieving particular goals. – compared to the less efficient process, activity or technique.
  • A new word that entitles the appropriate process, activity or technique which is the most effective for ACHIEVING particular goals. – opposing to the abandoning some goal.
  • A new word that entitles the appropriate process, activity or technique which is the most effective for achieving PARTICULAR goals. – comparing to the achieving undefined goals.

Analyzing this single definition reveals a big number of doubts in the real tasks that the best practices have to accomplish. We need to inspect things from a different angle. Let’s have a look at the business explanation of the studied issue.

  • A METHOD OR TECHNIQUE that has constantly shown results superior to those achieved with other means. – opposing to practices and operations.
  • A method or technique that has CONSTANTLY SHOWN RESULTS SUPERIOR to those achieved with other means. – opposing to those presenting superior results occasionally.
  • There is not a PRACTICE that is best for all people in all situations, and remaining best for very long because we are constantly revealing better ways of doing something. – although there are theories.
  • There is not a practice that is best FOR ALL PEOPLE IN ALL SITUATIONS, and remaining best for very long because we are constantly revealing better ways of doing something. – but there exist practices that suit somebody in a definite situation.
  • There is not a practice that is best for all people in all situations, and remaining best for very long BECAUSE WE ARE CONSTANTLY REVEALING BETTER WAYS OF DOING SOMETHING. – However, if people will not find better ways to do something, such practices will still exist.

Conclusion

This analysis shows the sense of the investigated definition. It clearly explains that the people are different and what is suitable for one can appear inappropriate for another. When you take the responsibility and advise somebody a best practice, this may stop a person from finding other ways out. People will not try to improve a solution that is already proved to be best.

The easiest way out doesn’t always mean perfect. We should thoroughly investigate each situation or problem with all its aspects and context, and only then we can use our own solution or a practice that is proved to be best.

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Nataliia Vasylyna
Nataliia Vasylyna

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