Definition of best practice
: a procedure that has been shown by research and experience to produce optimal results and that is established or proposed as a standard suitable for widespread adoption
The theory of "Best Practices" are common in most industries & professions. Over time and gained experience, methods and systems used are filtered down to identify what works best in different situations. Makes sense, why keep trying different things to accomplish the same result?
The use of industry best practices does not reduce the need for research & development of new ideas. It simply offers good methods to get the job done, in an efficient, safe & productive manner. Most Standard operating Procedures (SOP) in industry are centered around the concept of "Best Practices".
Regardless of your industry, profession or even personal interests, there are some best practices that apply to it. If you're not aware of any, think about what works best in your daily tasks. It's easy to identify a few areas that work well, and that you can pass along to others in your field.
The result is that your own job will be easier, and more efficient if you identify what works best, and how to do it on a regular basis. Doesn't mean we stop looking for means of improvement. Best practices give us a baseline to maintain, but doesn't limit us from improvements. Again, makes sense to keep things done properly.
One issue I've experienced with adopting the use of best practices, is that they are sometimes developed by bureaucrats / management without solid input from the people doing the actual work. Who hasn't received work instructions from a boss who seemingly has no clue about how to actually do the job?
My first career as an airline pilot, was filled with hundreds of "Best Practices". We had huge manuals loaded with information on aircraft operation, flight operations, emergency procedures, etc. The airline / aviation industry is very much based around establishing and training for the use of best practices. Still, we often received bulletins from management that made no sense. Mostly dealing with various delays, how to deal with passenger issues, etc. A good example of leading from the top, without having a clue what really happens on the front line.
Be careful not to push your best practices on your associates, without really knowing that they are indeed: best practices. Best practices exist to make the job more straightforward, not to add useless busywork. Make your best practices clear, able to be implemented, and actually useful.
In the refueling realm, we know that TransFueler is a solid best practice. I'll show you how in the next post.