In another 60 years people will look back at the primitive state of our tools and methods and laugh, just as we now laugh at early attempts at medicine – think leeches! We try to make ourselves look respectable. We copy ideas from mature industries like architecture and engineering. But the reality is that IT projects are still regarded as failures 60-70% of the time.
Calling what we do today “Best Practice” is so wrong it’s not even funny. I know it’s just marketing, but as Orwell knew, words are powerful and what starts as a harmless phrase soon comes to represent truth.
So how do we change this? First we stop using the term “Best Practice”. When you find yourself reaching for this phrase, substitute “Good Practice” instead.
“Good Practice” is always worth striving for, and does not imply that any sort of pinnacle exists. It’s not complacent. It’s open to change and improvement and constructive criticism is welcomed. There is recognition that improvement is always possible. There is always room for something better.
If I’m still working in IT in 60 years, there will still be “Good Practice” - although it won’t look anything like what we do today. Hopefully we’ll also have left the whole idea of “Best Practice” behind us - with the leeches.
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