Monday, October 30, 2006

Best practice

According to the Wikipedia, Best Practice is a management idea which asserts that there is a technique, method, process, activity, incentive or reward that is more effective at delivering a particular outcome than any other technique, method, process, etc. The idea is that with proper processes, checks, and testing, a project can be rolled out and completed with fewer problems and unforeseen complications.

Yes, just as you and I suspected, it's yet another form of modernspeak designed to state the obvious, and give those stating the obvious an air of undeserved authority. It has found its way into both political and management jargon, and it is completely meaningless.

Would anyone knowingly pursue the route of worst practice?

A big danger of this type of mindless tripe is that it encourages those witless folks whose sad lives revolve around stringing together such phrases in order to seem as though they know what they are doing, to believe that they really do know what they are doing.

Next time anyone mentions "Best Practice" to you, tell them that the bloke drank himself death, so you'd rather not bother.

1 comment:

Humphrey said...

Reading this post brings my brief but torturous stint at Nottingham City Council flooding back to me. Our team leader was a weak and ineffectual character who sat there glumly in a Nero-esque fashion, fiddling with himself while his department burned into ashes around him. He would disappear off for long stints at time where he would go to large and expensive conferences in different parts of Europe to discuss ‘Best Practice’. These events were held in venues you would more associate with James Bond than the dull and insipid public sector (I think the last one I saw him go to was held in Venice). Delegates would discuss the various ways in which they wasted their taxpayers money on ill conceived projects and then presumably revel in their own superiority. The project I was involved in vastly overspent, achieved virtually nothing and could probably have been written off as worthless at the first concept meeting. It official title was ‘Nottingham Works’ although as my colleagues joked it should have been called ‘No-one in Nottingham Works’. To my horror, after I left for pastures new, I learned that the project had been deemed ‘best practice’ and will now probably be rolled out in other cities.