From Best Practice to Next Practice

Written by Tecwyn Hill | 3 min read
Published on: February 5th 2018 - Last modified: October 13th, 2022
From Best Practice to Next Practice - A light bulb sits above an arrow pointing to tomorrow

Borne of the 90’s and raised in the 00’s, the buzzphrase Best Practice has evolved from a mere trend to a complete movement for improving organizational performance. It is the industry standard and accepted way of doing something that ‘works’. But as ill-judged as the pre-millennium boy band bandana, Best Practice merely masquerades as innovation. A faux-pas best forgotten. Or at best, a way to keep up with the neighbors.

Best Practice: The Short Circuit of Innovation

The biggest problem with the Best Practice model is its use as a copy-and-paste filler to fend off critics, as if it is enough just to proclaim the use of ‘tried and tested’ solutions. Of course, this just leads to status quo thinking:  “If they’re all doing it, why should we think outside of the box?”

If thinkers and inventors such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Marie Curie, Thomas Edison, and Steve Jobs had accepted the norm, would they have achieved what they did? Remember, “We’ve always done things that way,” is a powerful deterrent to meaningful change.

In short, Best Practice actually defuses innovation.

Next Practice: Tomorrow's Success

As the economic spotlight moves to developing markets, global companies need new ways to manage their strategies, people, costs, and risks. Progressive organizations recognize that what keeps you ahead of the competition is innovation.

So how can a successful corporation stick to industry Best Practice when the business world is in a constant state of flux? If the rate of change is as fast as we continually say, we need to be talking about Next Practice, not Best Practice. In other words, let’s do the research and learn, but define our own success. Let's shift from Best Practice to Next Practice.

You cannot stay relevant by copying the competitor, and industry Best Practice is typically about today, while Next Practice is about tomorrow’s success. The most lucrative companies are constantly looking to create value, usually by doing something different to the rest. Apple, Google, and Amazon are breaking the mold, not trying to fit their business into it. While ‘big names’ that falter and fail to adapt to Next Practice methods can disappear into oblivion—just think Woolworths, Comet, and BHS.

Start a journey

Customer experience is vital to achieving Next Practice techniques. A carefully honed BPM initiative will still fall short if the quality of the entire customer journey is not considered. With the ever-growing relevance of BPM, there is need to look beyond traditional process maps, and case models, to more customer-centric constructs like Customer Journey Maps.

Signavio was the first to combine Customer Journey Mapping (CJM) with Process Management which empowers you to improve your customers’ experiences in new ways. Users can design their own Customer Journey Maps in SAP Signavio Process Manager, and the results of Design Thinking workshops can now be recorded in the form of visual infographics. It is a modern solution designed to leverage the devices and working practices of today, with the future of your business in mind.

Signavio Customer Journey Mapping visually represent every experience a customer has with a company using an outside-in ‘looking-glass’ perspective. It maps a customer’s journey through the various touch points and stages, identifies the experience, and provides insights on where the experience can be improved. It helps  to discover transactions such as feelings, emotions, and impressions at various stages.

Design, think, do...

Design Thinking puts the customer back in charge and acts as a catalyst to industry Next Practice. This methodology prepares organizations for new technology shifts, such as mobile devices and social, by giving the aforementioned outside-in overview. This allows teams to be more effective in their interactions with executives, business owners, and stakeholders. In turn, this improves and optimizes the customer experience. Design Thinking emphasizes creativity and the whole customer experience—a crucial survival tactic and one of the most beneficial shields any organization can wield.

The vision of Next Practice is to drive change and to imagine what the future will look like, laying the red carpet to new opportunities. It is human nature to tread softly, and it is always challenging to see outside the tight focus of daily projects. But it is the responsibility of business leaders to safeguard long-term success, and looking outside of the box now, means looking in on new opportunities in the future.

Check back next week for part two of this blog series: Design Thinking: unleash your innovation.

Signavio: The Future is Here

Mark McGregor, Head of Strategy at Signavio, is the creator of the Next Practice concept. See how Signavio can put your organization on the path to business excellence with SAP Signavio Process Transformation Suite. Try it for yourself by registering now for a free 30-day trial.

Published on: February 5th 2018 - Last modified: October 13th, 2022