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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ship It! - 5.13 The New Practice Didn't Help

When Not to Introduce a Practice
Don’t try to introduce a new practice or process if there isn’t a problem that needs fixing. Never introduce a change because it’s “the right thing to do.” Instead, identify the actual problems in your shop, and then figure out how to fix them.

Tip 34: Only fix what needs fixing

Tip 35: Disruptive "best practices" aren't!

And of course, make sure the practice or process you’re considering will actually improve things. If it won’t make things run faster and more efficiently, your team won’t (and shouldn’t!) adopt it.

How to Introduce a New Practice
There are two main things you’ve got to do: demonstrate and persuade. You’ve got to get buy-in from several groups of people. First and foremost are the people who will actually be practicing the new practice, namely, your team. If they aren’t excited about it, it won’t matter if anyone else is.

Tip 36: Innovate from the bottom up

Show them the process or tool; don’t just tell them about it. In particular, show them how well it works, especially in comparison with the old way of doing things. The key is to prove that this new-fangled idea is everything you say it is.

Tip 37: Show, don't just tell

Tip 38: Cultivate management buy-in

I've personally done the show-don't-tell tactic and it works.

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