Best Practices – Are They?

Years ago, I worked for a company that created software with the ability to manage business processes.  We were one of the first companies that could provide business process management [BPM], so we were trail blazing.

One of our marketing guys thought we should sell preconfigured solutions.  We would be suggesting best practices.  His thoughts – if Hughes Aircraft managed their process one way, then that way would work for Boeing or McDonnell Douglas or whoever else.

I was the sales representative calling on all of these aerospace companies.  I was very involved [early] in how Hughes planned on using the software.  When I visited the next aerospace company, my thought was that I knew how to solve their problem because it would be like Hughes.

I quickly learned that I was wrong…

I was successful because I would listen to each and every prospect and help them arrive at a solution that fit their company.

– I learned that even though the problems were similar, their solutions would be different.

– I learned that adding specific people to a process makes it different than the others.

– I learned that you must understand and document your process so that you can configure your BPM software to function properly.

Based on my experience – I would say that a ‘best practice’ for a specific company starts with knowing the process, knowing the people within the process and then determining how to configure a process that functions the best with those parameters.


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