Friday, June 1, 2007

Good practice, best practice - which is better ?

I overheard a recent conversation about the ITIL v3 definition of Good Practice and Best Practice.

There were comments like.. "organizations once they've attained Best Practice will move to Good Practice". I was confused... surely "Best" is better than "Good".

Then I did some reading.

Sharon Taylor in the forward of the Service Strategy book uses the term "Emergent".
She summarizes that ITIL provides "good practice structures with room for self-optimization."

and later in the same book (Service Strategy) best practices are defined as "patterns in action"... that reflect "superior outcomes".

Combine these elements and we it is plain to see that early adopter organizations that use a framework like ITIL (provided they get it right) are the "best practice" leaders... over time, others in the industry catch up, so that the best practice of a few becomes the good practice of many.

Now the challenge is for the few to set new superior limits and establish themselves as best practice leaders in their industry - while their competition stays at the expected good practice baseline.

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