Best Practices Blog

‘Best Practices’ may be misrepresented by some, still valid

In a recent article at adage.com, Zephrin Lasker suggests that the phrase "Best Practices" has become meaningless, that practices labeled as "best" are often wrong.

Lasker is speaking from his experience in the advertising industry. While I can’t speak to that discipline, I can speak for my own. In the Web Development world, there are many ways to go about completing a project. Some of those methods are better than others. Some are shortcuts, shortchanges or just plain wrong.

However, invoking the phrase "Best Practices" is a promise to our clients and potential clients. A promise that we will find and adhere to those better methods. After all, this industry is not regulated. Yes, there are standards for various aspects of our work, but they are not enforced.

To us, "Best Practices" are hard earned. Even though we’re not required to do so, we maintain certifications, read widely, look to the experts, attend conferences, seminars, et al. They are not simply a concocted list we’ve labeled "Best".

Lasker is right in his base assumption. There are those who have invoked the phrase in a meaningless way, but this does not make the phrase irrelevant. Just as those who would impersonate a police officer do not make the police irrelevant.

Lasker would better serve his industry, and others, to call out those who’ve exploited the phrase rather than calling for the demise of “Best Practices".

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