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Salesforce Heretic » What is a “Best Practice”?

April 23, 2006

What is a “Best Practice”?

Filed under: The Soapbox — heretic @ 10:36 am

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So here I am sitting back, enjoying a nice brunch, catching up on some email (you know, those chain letter jokes, huge video attachments, etc…), reading some forums and generally being a lazy bastard for a change. I came across a post from an Salesforce.com employee on the customer forums offering some Best Practices. (Note: I’m not linking the message, it’s not specifically pertinent to the discussion, and the employee was trying to help, no harm no foul.)

But something just seemed to rub me the wrong way… What exactly do you call a Best Practice? And who’s is it?

Just as a sampling to set up my point… Take the following:

  • An Org needs to create an event, not a task, after they convert every lead. Is the Best Practice to create only a task when they convert the lead?
  • A company wants to sync their sales team’s Salesforce.com Calendars to MS Exchange — in a shared calendar. Is the Best Practice only to sync to each individual’s personal Exchange calendar

My question is this: Who’s Best Practices are these?

Looking at it from the angle of using what is arguably the most cutomizable on-demand CRM appliction, why do Best Practices seem so… static, fixed, rigid? And how can a practice be Best for everyone from a B2B org, B2C and even not-for-profits? Why should a company who’s been in business for 1, 2, 5, 50+ years change a successful way of doing business to fit a Best Practice?

Finally, to really throw a wrench into the discussion — what if a truely Best Practice can’t be done because of a limitation in the SFDC platform? Would we still be calling it a Best Practice?

Food for thought for a Sunday morning…

License

This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License.


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5 Comments


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    We’re currently configuring SFDC for our nonprofit, and even though I could probably set it up myself, we’re working with implementation partners because I want to learn Best Practices.

    What does that mean? Well, given a company of our size and structure (small, nonprofit), our needs (integration with GetActive, volunteer management, basic inventory management, grant tracking, mailing list management, etc.) “Best Practices” to me are those successes and mistakes that someone else has already made and learned from so I don’t have to make and learn from them myself.

    So “Best Practices” is unique to the situation that it is being applied. Where does it say that it has to be “best” for everyone? It’s “best” for people who have a similar common baseline. “Best Practice” for people with 10 fingers is to use a keyboard. For people with more or less than that, “Best Practice” is someething completely different.

    For your second question, see the answer to the first question. “Best Practice” is based on common assumptions. So assuming that your company is this size and this structure, and assuming that you use SFDC, best practice is… It doesn’t mean that it’s the best *period*, it means that it’s the best using the same baseline starting point.

    Best Practice says that you apologize if you make an innappropriate body noise in public. Is that the best thing to do? No, the best thing is not to make the noise in the first place. But that wasn’t the question. :-)

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    Judi Sohn — April 23, 2006 @ 1:20 pm


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    […] The Heretic is offended by the absolutist phrase “Best Practice.” I agree - there are very few absolute best practices, as Judi Sohn offers in the comments: Best Practice says that you apologize if you make an innappropriate body noise in public. Is that the best thing to do? No, the best thing is not to make the noise in the first place. But that wasn’t the question. […]

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    Kingsley 2.0 » Blog Archive » A Best Practice By Any Other Name — April 23, 2006 @ 2:44 pm


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    While they are titled best practices they are actually guidelines on the how to do a particular action. It does not always apply to any set Org. I’ve found them to be a pain in the butt on occasion since I have a way I do things. So do not think of them as set in stone you “HAVE? to do it this way. Rather it’s “here is a way to do it until you find your own style to doing things.?

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    Apostle — April 25, 2006 @ 3:05 am


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    “Best Practice” implies alternatives. Feel free to use second-best practices or worst practices as you see fit.

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    Dave — May 1, 2006 @ 6:17 pm


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    A best practice in any business should be determined by looking at historical data and analyzing what works and what does not.

    All businesses are not the same, therefore what one company might consider a best practice could be another’s nightmare. The CRM system must be customizable to adopt business processes, monitor bottlenecks and deficiencies, and adjust methodologies accordingly without compromise.

    If your CRM system forces you to change your processes; then you are with the wrong provider.

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    Tom Stefano — July 25, 2006 @ 1:01 pm

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