mysoftwarequality

Breaking people's balls since February 1970

5 Reasons why best practices are bad for you

Exhausted

That’s me after talking to a best practice guy

1st reason: The hardest conversation you will ever have is with somebody that blindly believes a practice applies to every context and it is always valid, no matter what. There are 2 ways out of the conversation, agree with your interlocutor or kill him. I don’t like either option (even though I am often tempted by the second) so I end up trying my utmost to use reasoning and examples, but I miserably fail in 99.99% of the cases, eventually become exhausted and retreat in a personal comatose space where I refuse to discuss the issue any longer. #WinByExhaustion

2nd reason: Think religion. If you are roman catholic like me, then the Bible is your best practice manual. The Bible thinks for you, you simply follow and if you doubt something then you are an infidel that should be excommunicated (who cares?) or worse silenced and sometimes burnt at the stake, don’t you love it? Some names come to mind including Galileo Galilei that was intelligent enough to refuse his own belief, but  if you want a more detailed list have a peek here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_burned_as_heretics.

Burn him at the stake!

Is this what you do to different thinkers?

The thing is, you cannot innovate if you believe in best practices, because according to the best practice you don’t need to innovate. Did the roman catholic church evolve? Did they innovate? Fuck no! They are stuck to the day that poor Jesus Christ (God bless his soul) died on the cross and his followers started writing about him. #NoInnovation

Obsession

They have them, they are very well hidden and they are too nice to use them against us: TRUTH

3rd reason: Best Practices are your #1 personal growth enemy. I see extremely intelligent people that have best practices so ingrained in their DNA that refuse to accept every valid reason, no matter what the evidence is. These people are the ones that will lag behind, because for example 20 years ago they might have said “what’s the fuss with this Internet thingy, business is run in factories and shops, you won’t make money with it, unless you are a porn site provider”. Today I hear financial experts saying “Forget about Bitcoin, money is money and people want it in their wallets and regulated banks”.
#GreatThinkingBro

4th reason: Best practices are the antithesis to kaizen, do I have to say more? #YoureStuck

Kaizen

Become Better, be the change

5th reason: Best practices deny men the greatest pleasure of them all, discovery. The day that you switch your brain from following the best practice is the day you might discover something awesome about yourself. The day you start listening to the person you are talking to without having the mental block of the best practice that doesn’t allow you to agree with him. That day you will grow. The day you will say “eureka!”. The day you will discover you are FUNDAMENTALLY WRONG. I love those moments, they make my brain go at 200 miles an hour and in a day I grow more than in 10 years.   #NoEureka!

w00t?

Everything’s squared away

To finish I wanted to thank a few people that helped me reach the “eureka!” moments, you are the reason why I have evolved and I am a better person today than I was before.

In no particular order:

Monica Campardo, Emmet Townsend, Diego Armando Maradona, Roberto Lo Giacco, Gojko Adzic (twice!), Don Gabriele, Aunty “Zia” Enrica, Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory (books), Mary Coyle, Giacomo Leopardi (poems), My high school Maths teacher (I don’t remember his name but was known among students as “il Roscio” => “The ginger”), Eric Ries (books), Barry O’Reilly and the other guys in ThoughtWorks, Jayne McCormack, My Brother Duccio, Evariste Galois (books), Gianluca Perazzoli, Gerard M. Weinberg (books), My lovely sister in law Luana, My Nana (highest amount of times), Martin Fowler (blog), Gandhi (life and quotes), Auntie Ada, Massimo Troisi (movies), Roy Phillips, Roberto Benigni (movies), Dan North, The “Dude” in the Big Lebowsky

I thank you all with all my heart for proving me FUNDAMENTALLY WRONG that day, and inspiring me to become a better person. I might have forgotten one or two, sorry folks.

Do you want to be in the list? Prove me FUNDAMENTALLY WRONG and give me a “eureka!” moment, I will love you forever!

the dude teaches

The “Dude” proved me wrong when I thought I had to be a serious and stiff arsehole to be liked by people

5 responses to “5 Reasons why best practices are bad for you

  1. Leif Bälter October 6, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    The expression Best Practices is just an expression meaning
    “Tips and good advices. Good advices that are shared by many”. Maybe it is good for you or not.
    It has never been red by human beeings as the Best.

    I do not agree to the article and to compare with “kill”, Bible, non intelligence, no brain”

    • mysoftwarequality October 6, 2013 at 5:43 pm

      Leif, thanks for your feedback. The world is a great place also because we are all different and have different beliefs. I am interested, please expand on your concept and explain to me why the Bible for example is not a best practice in your eyes.

  2. Stephen October 14, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Highly related, but check this excellent little animation on Standardising work V being lean.

    https://www.vanguard-method.com/content/380/

    “Standardising work in service organisation you are preventing system from absorbing variety.
    If your system cant absorb variety then costs can only go up”

    • mysoftwarequality October 14, 2013 at 10:02 pm

      Very interesting Sephen, and also very different from what common knowledge about being lean is. In most of the organizations I worked in, standardization was always used to save on resources with the expectation that would make us leaner. I agree that variety is fundamental but I am a fan of pure chaos over rules, so that goes without saying :-)

  3. Pingback: The Agile Tester, a curious and empathic animal | mysoftwarequality

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