When instituting a new process or upgrading an existing one, first identify “best practices,” that is: the gold standard for performing that practice. Best practices are a way to borrow processes from others who have learned from multiple iterations and have instituted a practice that yields positive results. But companies that attempt to institute best practices blindly tend not to be satisfied because they did not achieve the results reported by others. Two primary hazards exist for those instituting best practices:
- Failure to adapt. What works well in one company will not necessarily work well in another, unless the process is customized for the company’s culture, environment and people. Tailoring without diluting the core of the best practice is usually required.
- Failure to adopt. A borrowed process will only work with the commitment of leadership and those responsible for executing it. Be sure that you have support from all key constituencies before and during implementation.