cio-stepsTechTarget defines best practice as “a technique or methodology that, through experience and research, has been proven to reliably lead to a desired result.” In other words, a successful demonstration of a particular task and outcome tends to spread by word of mouth. The same is true for demonstrated failures, or catastrophes. No one wants to repeat that series of events, so they are avoided if at all possible.

Rob Enderle of the CIO How-To blog identifies five corporate practices that have failed time and time again. As a result, CIOs should take heed to avoid these at all costs:

1. Integration Mergers. The reason [this practice] does not work is that it destroys what made the company uniquely successful and voids the reason the acquisition was made in the first place. This practice alone is why most mergers fail, yet it remains the most popular way to do an acquisition.

2. Not Doing the Hard Stuff. To accomplish a complex task there are a number of critical steps and several are often identified as being nearly impossible. Firms will determine that they don’t want to do these difficult tasks yet still proceed, assuming they will still be able to succeed. They should, instead, pull the plug because without doing these difficult tasks they are simply setting themselves up to fail.

3. Not Learning From the Past. Learning from the past can be scary but it can also point out landmines and provide a much more inexpensive way to learn a new area than by trial and error.

4. Keeping Marketing Out of Development. The goal isn’t to get a product released; the goal is to sell it. Yet more effort goes into assuring development dates than in assuring there is a market for the result. Not getting marketing involved early in development is not only a losing strategy it is unfortunately an almost universal practice.

5. Focusing On Blame. The focus should be on why the problem occurred in the first place, then on coming up with a plan to correct the failure and assuring it does not recur.

For more advice on avoiding corporate catastrophes, see the full article.


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Five Corporate Practices CIOs Should Avoid

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