Assessment of the Format of a Best Practice

The last point in the complete assessment of a Best Practice is how the Best Practice is described and documented. There are 13 criteria for the format that can be examined. The objective is not to create a lengthy document, but a document that is precise and explains all the characteristics described in the BEST-tool.

The details of how to write a Best Practice are shared in Chapter 4. Table 3-4 introduces the table of criteria for the assessment of the format of a Best Practice.

Use of the BEST-Tool (Complete and Detailed Checklist)

Chapter 2 explained the content of the BEST-method and introduced the requirements of a true Best Practice. The criteria are separated into components of: Enabler, Results, Process, and Format. All four components are brought together in a comprehensive Excel checklist. This set of Excel worksheets provides not only an overview of the complete assessment, but also a way to focus on the areas of strength and improvement. Excel spreadsheets containing these checklists are available free to the reader on the author

Table 3.4 Assessment of the description of the format of a best practice










Author (name, title, company, contact)


Context (sector, country restrictions)


Description of the method and results


Measurement method


Process description and maturity


KPIs and results


Distribution of the results


Cause and effect


Measurement: RADAR*, PDCA, or other


Limiting conditions


Date and Revision Level

Legend: KPI = key performance indicator; NOK = not complete; OK = complete; PDCA = Plan-Do-Check-Act

* The RADAR logic provides a structured approach to question the performance of an organization. It also supports the scoring mechanism behind the EFQM Excellence Award. Source:

website. Refer to information in the Introduction to this text for links to the downloadable materials.

The Excel table represented in Figure 3 3 consists of four sections, including:

Enabler: 22 criteria and 44 characteristics Results: 7 criteria and 20 characteristics Process: 9 criteria Format: 13 criteria

Is such a detailed framework necessary to assess a Best Practice? Remember: we use the full BEST-tool only for those processes which are key for success and contribute in a positive way to the achievement of the strategy of the organization. It is only through comprehensive analysis and improvement can we establish and manage excellent processes (enablers) (Figure 3-4).

Figure 3.3 Criteria for the evaluation of the approaches (enablers) of a Best Practice process. Use of BEST-tool (complete and detailed checklist).

Figure 3.3 (Continued) Criteria for the evaluation of the approaches (enablers) of a Best Practice process. Use of BEST-tool (complete and detailed checklist).

Figure 3.3 (Continued) Criteria for the evaluation of the approaches (enablers) of a Best Practice process. Use of BEST-tool (complete and detailed checklist).

Figure 3.4 Criteria for the evaluation of the results of a Best Practice process (complete and detailed checklist).

The first step for assessing a case study as a Best Practice is to read the document. Once the document has been read through completely, use the sequence of Excel tables, row by row, and characteristic by characteristic to assess whether the information required to follow a Best Practice is available within the document. Score each characteristic as indicated by the columns from 0% to 100% or Not Described. Add comments as appropriate to help remember any details useful for implementing the Best Practice characteristic.

Chapter 5 presents examples of how the BEST-tool is applied in the complete and detailed format.

Use of the BEST Quick Scan Tool

The first part of Chapter 3 describes the complete and detailed BEST-tool checklist. The detailed checklist consists of 22 criteria and 44 characteristics for the enabler component and 7 criteria and 20 characteristics for the results component. Finally, you have 9 criteria for the management of the process component and 13 criteria for the format of the process component.

However, there are many case studies or project reports that are too short to apply this detailed checklist. The case study was probably not intended to present a full Best Practice, but only share information for recognition or other reporting purposes. For these documents, the authors have developed a shorter checklist, i.e. BEST Quick Scan. This abbreviated tool considers only the 7 criteria for the Results and 22 criteria for the Enabler. Process and Format criteria are considered in the same way as the detailed BEST-tool checklist. Figure 3 5 illustrates the BEST Quick Scan criteria.

When analyzing a true Best Practice which has been described in detail, the BEST-tool (detailed checklist) is the appropriate choice. When researching a shorter document, it is more effective to use the BEST Quick Scan.

This easier and faster tool provides a high-level assessment to decide whether there is enough data to warrant contacting the document author for further information.

The authors learned after applications of assessment of numerous examples of so-called Best Practices, to first apply the BEST Quick Scan tool because you can have an initial overview of the extent of Best Practice in less than 20 minutes. From this assessment you can decide to continue and apply the complete and detailed BEST-tool. We have seen that more than 90% of the co-called Best Practices on the Internet can be better assessed

Figure 3.5 BEST Quick Scan (checklist).

with the BEST Quick Scan. Reason: these are not Best Practices at all. Realize that we can only draw conclusions based upon the text available on the Internet. We cannot assume more than is presented in the materials posted. Perhaps in the real context of that organization it could be a real Best Practice.

Assign one of the three codes in Figure 3-5 for each criterion listed in the table. Chapter 6 provides examples of numerous assessments using the BEST Quick Scan. Assessment here is done on only the criteria level, not the characteristic level.

The BEST Quick Scan tool does not require a score. If researching the case study as a benchmark, only a general comparison can be made, prompting the development of an improvement plan based on assumptions made in a gap analysis between the case study functions and those of the benchmarking company. If the BEST Quick Scan is used as an assessment of a case study being written as a Best Practice, the criteria will serve as a guide to improve the text.

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