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How many times have you heard of or have been a part of a failed digital project? Why do you think it failed?  

Was it the people? The technology? Strategy? Unrealistic expectations of senior management or client?

It could be all of the above or none of the above. However, across the majority of digital project failures there is one common denominator… a scientific best practice methodology was not followed.   

Too many organisations do not appreciate there is a science to conducting oneself in the digital space. 

Retail is full of business and organisational management books coaching people on the science of running a physical business. What about university business programs including the MBA?  

People suffer through an immense workload of schooling to become proficient in the science of business. This knowledge and expertise exists in digital. 

Why is best practice important?  

The development of “best practice” comes from years of learning by doing, creating formulas and processes to build a way of doing things which consistently produces a high standard of business results.  The good news is….digital has gone through these cycles enough to produce a scientific method of conduct.

How can you harness and benefit from digital best practice? Find those who can deliver best practice to your business.  

Caution....it’s one thing to say you know and understand best practice, its another to be able to apply it.   

Key things to look for in digital advocates of best practice:

1.  They have “hands on” experiences

Reading blog articles and/or textbooks is not enough. There needs to be a lot of “doing”.  This is where the “art and science” begin to collide in a positive way.  

How many 22 year olds with an MBA have you seen run a major organisation?

Point one may appear to be a contradiction. Following a scientific method suggests it is a proven procedural process and can be followed by those without experience.

Read on, this makes more sense very soon.

2.  They have proven experience in creating best practice plans

This indicates the advocate is capable of taking the science of digital conduct and is able to wrap it around business needs. Best practice conduct is strategic and needs to be molded to your business.  

In other words, if changes in your business can be made to reflect best practice, the outcome is improved performance. The wheel is not being reinvented, it is currently square in nature, and is becoming more rounded.

3.  They have implemented these plans from beginning to end

Managing digital projects is not only about ensuring the pillars of project management remain intact i.e. time, cost, quality. There is more to it then that, and is why many projects fail at implementation.    

Best practice is balancing project pillars with the needs of the business. Digital is dynamic, and must be managed accordingly. 

4.  They have measured business outcomes 

This is where many get it wrong. Once the project is completed, people tend to leave the business, or move on to the next business challenge. The greatest linsights are to be found at this stage.  

The true test of best practice comes in measuring the efficiencies and effectiveness of the plan once it is in action. This is the art (trending data) complimenting and reinforcing the science.

Best practice in digital continues to evolve at a rapid rate. Focusing conduct on best practice provides a foundation from which to work from, and takes away personal opinion, assumption, and guesswork which still causes failure

Recognise the importance of digital best practice, build conduct around it, find the right people to drive it, and build internal disciplines to ensure when best practice improvements are made, you capitalise and change along with it.

Do you have any examples of best practice working for you?  Have you seen a digital project fail due to conduct?

Greg Randall

Published 5 March, 2013 by Greg Randall

Greg Randall is a senior digital consultant with Comma Consulting and a contributor to Econsultancy. You can connect with Greg on Linked In and Twitter

19 more posts from this author

Comments (1)

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Adriana

Love the article, clear and concise with great advice. Thank you!

about 3 years ago

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