The construct of a practice can be a good way to help an organization understand and execute on a process. A good practice construct will include the components that are needed to implement a process within an organization in a successful manner for adoption. To move forward on a practice, there are several areas of focus to attain a best practice.
These areas include: ensuring that a practice includes all of the key components for a successful adoption; understanding the difference between a practice and a best practice; and identifying the best practices that can make an organization successful, in this case practices specific to a successful Configuration Management (CM) implementation within an organization.
Components of a Practice:
Often times an organization wants to implement a process and provides only parts of the components needed for a successful adoption. I have seen an organization create a procedure and place it on their website and consider this a success. However three months later, they find that while some people have reviewed the practice, very few have actually implemented it.
Another example is where a company has identified a tool and installed it on their central server for use. However, after 3 months they find only some usage and the way groups are using the tool varies dramatically. For a practice to be of value to an organization it should include a number of key components to ensure a successful adoption. The components include:
- Description of the topic within the practice this is to ensure people know what the practice is and the details therein.
Problems that the practice is attempting to solve - this is to ensure people know why this practice is important and that it can actually reduce some of their pain.
Goals that the practice aims to achieve - this is to ensure people know what the objectives are for implementing the practice.
Measures that show if the practice is successful - this provides the people with what a measure of success would look like.
Procedure that helps an organization execute the practice - this is to ensure that people understand the steps it takes to execute on a practice.
- Guides to help in the execution of the practice - this provides people with guidance in support of the practice.
- Tools and Templates that support the execution of the practice - this provides people with the tools and templates they need to more effectively, efficiently, and consistently execute on the practice.
- Roles involved in executing or facilitating the practice - this ensures people know what their roles are related to aspects of a practice.
- Training to assist in educating those in the practice - this provides people with a learning opportunity to educated themselves on the practice and shows the people that the company feels it is worth investing in the people and the practice.
- Tailoring to adjust the practice to work effectively in different groups - this provides people with an understanding that a practice can be tailored to fit their needs and guidance on how to do so.
- Support Personnel to contact for assistance in the practice - this ensure that people know who to contact for support on aspects of the practice.
I have seen these components be effective for adoption. However, other components may be added as needed. It is important to note that even if all of the key components of a practice are in place, a practice deployment will only as successful as the management commitment to the practice.
Difference between a Practice and Best Practice:
Many organizations have practices sprinkled throughout projects. However how do tell a best