Best Practices – Knowing when to hold, when to fold

The reason people follow best practices is that until they improve their best practices, there is nothing better than what they have/are using, considering the investment they have made in these and the ongoing effort they have made to improve their best practices.

There is no conflict between operational use of a set of best practices and research/innovation to create a “Next’ practice. You can tweak a set of best practices or replace them outright, your ROI will tell you which is best on a case by case basis.

ROIs needs to be qualified by assessing the risk you take on moving from one state of affairs to another state of affairs that is quite different, and ROIs also need to factor in uncertainty. As usual, there are intangibles that are difficult to quantify so you cannot hope to reduce everything to a set of numbers.

What we do know is that all change is disruptive and has a cost. Doing nothing has a cost, making too frequent changes has a cost. Somewhere in between will be the right course of action to take.

The best advice I can think of is when you plan a project and back up your plan with an ROI you may not get the stated benefits if you do not stay the course. On the other hand, in today’s fast moving environment, a new course of action can, at times, revolutionize a business sector.

Knowing when to hold and when to fold is what makes the difference between winning strategies and losing strategies.


Management consultant and process control engineer (MSc EE) with a focus on bridging the gap between operations and strategy in the areas of critical infrastructure protection, connect-the-dots law enforcement investigations, healthcare services delivery, job shop manufacturing and b2b/b2c/b2d transactions. (C) 2010-2018 Karl Walter Keirstead, P. Eng. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed here are those of the author, and are not connected with Jay-Kell Technologies Inc, Civerex Systems Inc. (Canada), Civerex Systems Inc. (USA) or CvX Productions.
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