Smart Practices Vs Best Practices

In the IT world, there is a known fact that we have hundreds of good practices available, they are there, just waiting for us to choose them in order to be applied in our companies, but here is the tricky part: which one of them should we choose and how many are enough? should we take all the good practices that we can find? how do we make this decisition?

Whenever I have been involved in a complex project, I use to interview key people that participates on it, and they always ask me the same type of questions: which best practices are we going to adopt? are they enough? just in case, should we adopt two or three more? The answer of course is: It depends!

When I was studying computer engineering some years ago (enough to skip the date), I had this teacher who used to tell us that the excess of information is more dangerous than the lack of it. Back then I didn’t understand completely what he ment by that, but now I do, and it’s very clear since we live in the era of information, where the hard work is filtering trustworthy information. Same thing apply for good practices. We must be capable to filter those practices that match better with the set of goals that we are trying to achieve in our organizations, in other words, before choosing the set of practices we must define the metrics and goals that we want to reach, and only then we are in the right path for choosing the right set of good practices that lead us to those goals. This leads to a smart choosing process.

“Smart Practices” is the term that we adopted in Lymon to define the proccess of choosing the best practices for our organization, using the most intelligent way as possible. On this process, first of all, we have to define our goals, then, we must carry out an assessment in order to detect the key improvement areas and weaknesses that are more priority, and only then we can choose a small set of best practices that atack directly to those weaknesses. I suggest not choosing more than 2 or 3 practices the first time, we must be careful with the associated change that this adoption implies, or we could face a drastic organization change that not always is easy to face.

As in every complex project, in Lymon we suggest adopting a change of practices in an iterative and incremental process, measuring very carefuly the impact in every step of the adoption, in order to detect any possible counterproductive scenario, and if this adoption works as it should, only then you can add one more good practice at once.

I you have any concern about how to apply a Smart Practices adoption process, please feel free to ask, you can find more information in our Web Site, we will be happy to help you.