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The Spread of Best Practices

When does something become a best practice?  How does it become standard procedure?

Here is what TechTarget states about the spread of a best practice.

A best practice tends to spread throughout a field or industry after a success has been demonstrated. However, it is often noted that demonstrated best practices can be slow to spread, even within an organization.

They go on to say…

According to the American Productivity & Quality Center, the three main barriers to adoption of a best practice are a lack of knowledge about current best practices, a lack of motivation to make changes involved in their adoption, and a lack of knowledge and skills required to do so.

So if one area of your firm has adopted something as a best practice, but others have not, is it really a best practice?

Let’s examine the proliferation of the best practices related to CAD or BIM.

First – it is written down – right? That may sound like a dumb question, but is it?  Do you expect a process improvement to spread without documentation?  So write it down first.  Make it official.

Next – Offer it as an option. Change for some is not easy.   Deeply entrenched workarounds [1]can be hard to break.  Go back and read the post on this [1].  Offering a change as an option may soften the change perspective.

And – Make sure that the average user can use the process. Don’t create fanciful new ways of doing things that only the whiz kids can understand.  It has to be simple and easy to use.

Also – let success spread. If offered as an option, then if it is truly better, it should spread on its own.  New users will adopt better and easier ways of getting things done.  As teams move from one project to another, the better way will spread.

Finally – Add it to your training. Make it part of your training efforts with all users.  Give them tutorials or quick training lessons to show them how to use the new method.

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