Draft Breakout Session Summary, Workshop #34    (2UG)

Best Practices (BPs) - KassKassebaum, editor    (2VR)

Editor’s Summary    (2SW)

The most common view, during this workshop, of a best practice is that of consensus-driven selection of a practice, usually from the organization as a whole (such as a corporation or a government) and shared across the organizational boundaries via the mechanisms of Communities of Practice and repositories of practices.    (2RM)

While there was awareness of the definition of a best practice as a "leading practice within a specific functional field or process area, nationally or world-wide, sought out by a corporation's strategic planning benchmarking unit", most attendees focused on emerging forms of collaborative problem-solving, both as forward-looking individuals and organizationally.    (2RN)

Also, this workshop series serves as an experiemental community of practice, attracting practitioners who are interested to discuss and exchange new and/or good ideas. Consequently, it strengthens decentralized and collegial problem solving, leading participants toward collaborative strategies of adoption and adaptation that complement formal best practice benchmarking.    (2RO)

There was general agreement on a collegial approach to evolving best practices. There was no standard definition of a best practice or clear differentiation between a best practice and a commonly agreed upon good idea or standard.    (2RP)

Key Concepts from Breakout Groups:    (2VS)

1. BP Definition    (2RR)

a. BP is idealized as widely-held practices, generally agreed to be best    (2RS)

b. BPs become BPs by groups sharing practices that become repeatable and consistent.    (2RT)

c. Best = The fact that it HAS been successfully used.    (2RU)

d. BPs are contextual and must be practical to implement.    (2SX)

e. BPs should be dynamic so we can adapt and build upon them, thus allowing us to "see further" by "standing on the shoulders of giants"    (2RV)

2. BP Purpose    (2SS)

a. Improve performance, consistency, harvest good knowledge, reduce risk…{nid 2SY}    (2U5)

b. BPs can be used to improve & speed up quality of EA    (2SZ)

c. BPs are related to CoPs; CoPs while solving problems can develop BPs    (2T0)

d. Promote standardization of practice in the community    (2T1)

e. Provides the basis to benchmark our work against what's best out there    (2RW)

3. Fostering BPs    (2T2)

a. People like working from a proven place    (2T3)

b. Consumers can drive the use of BPs    (2T4)

c. People must be able to find (BPs) readily. Classification is less important than the ability to find and share BPs    (2T5)

d. BP repository should be simple, easy to use, grassroots-driven, customer-driven & strategy-driven    (2RX)