Monday, November 20, 2006

What Best Practices really are. -- CIO Article

Of all the places I expected to find an article supporting the fact that Best Practices is nothing more than a square on someone's buzz-word bingo card, CIO wasn't it. The highlights are these...
Using celebs for endorsements has become such best practice that everyone does it. So what is best practice about it? Nothing. The phrase is simply a demonstration of how cliched business language dresses up the concept of copying something someone else has done. And when lots of companies copy the copier, it becomes dull, intellectually stagnant and offers no competitive advantage. It's just a me-too strategy executed by the cynical, the lazy, or the lazy cynics.
In the world of technology, the phrase best practice makes my blood boil. Those on the vendor side sell it as if it is the elixir of life, a golden key to the city of hi-tech paradise. The buyer-side of the equation is little better. You know you are dealing with a room deficient in imagination and innovation genes when someone asks: "What's best practice?"
and my favorite... need to get out the crucifix, garlic cloves and wooden stake when you come across peers posting up their successful projects as best practice.
You can read the article by Mark Hollands here. If you don't have time to read the whole thing, it closes as follows (*note* spoiler alert):
If everyone ran their technology departments the same way and conducted projects in an identical manner, then best practice would have its place. Life is not like that. Those who believe it is, face an existence in which imitation drives you closer to the abyss of commoditization. This is why the smart guys lead the way, thinking innovatively and committing to creativity. You don't want to be a carbon copy of your competitor. You want to innovate. Be original. Be the best.
Scott Barber
Chief Technologist, PerfTestPlus, Inc.

Co-Author, Performance Testing Guidance for Web Applications
Author, Web Load Testing for Dummies
Contributing Author, Beautiful Testing, and How To Reduce the Cost of Testing

"If you can see it in your mind...
     you will find it in your life."

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