Monday, November 16, 2009

Why we say: "No Best Practices"

I came across an great article from 2005 titled: No Best Practices and it reminded me that there was some discussion about the term "best practice" at the recent 1DevDay event.

Besides speaking to reasons why we say there are no best practices, James Bach gives a nice list of "simple, honest alternatives":
  • “Here’s what I would recommend for this situation.”
  • “Here is a practice I find interesting.”
  • “Here is my favorite practice for dealing with {x}.”
  • “{Person X} attributes {practice Y} for his success. Maybe you’d like to learn about it.”
as well as a list of answers to common replies to his argument, replies like:
  • “I don’t mean ‘best practice’ literally. I’m just suggesting that this is a damn good practice.”
  • “When I said this practice is a ‘best practice’ I meant it was best for a certain context. But pretty much everyone in the industry shares that context, so what’s the point of talking about context?”
  • “This practice represents a consensus among industry leaders.”
  • “Lighten up. It’s just an expression.”
It really helped me get clear about why we say: "No Best Practices".

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