Best Practice — The Myth, The Legend

February 26, 2016 Appirio

By Sean Antle

best practice

Best practice. Two words that are indiscriminately flung about in calls and meetings by account executives, prospects, customers, and seasoned consultants. Best practice is like buying the display home in a neighborhood where you don’t get to pick out the flooring or cabinet hardware and don’t get the walk-in closet that doubles as a sitting room. In other words, you settle. A fly on the wall in nearly every conference room in the world has heard the words best practice —  an industry cliché with with no real meaning.

After 17 years consulting dozens of companies implementing ERP and HCM applications, I have concluded that a best practice does not exist. If it did, we’d all be hiring people the same way, assessing identical talent and development needs, and sending workers down identical career paths.

Best practice is what works best for the customer

Best practice implies there is one ultimate way to accomplish a goal. Customers expect best practice because they think consultants have seen every permutation of a thing. Yes, we bring our experience to bear for our customers but ultimately, our role is to guide them to what will work best for them in their unique situation.

Shouldn’t we focus on the goals of the customer’s business or the experience they want to provide to their workers? Shouldn’t they determine their best practice based on what’s best for their organization? As consultants and strategists, we lead customers down the path to what works. Why not build what’s important for our customers’ business into their cloud applications?

Best practice is what the customer defines for their business. Best practice is better than what their competitors are doing. They partner with us because we bring proven practice to each of our engagements, with deep experience as practitioners, strategic thinkers, and tactical doers. That way, their best practice is built into their “dream home” of meaningful Worker Experience and customer engagement.

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