How to Define a  “Best Practice”




Presentation Abstract

KM World 2000


Michael J. Spendolini, Ph.D.

President, MJS Associates




Information classified as representing “best practices” has played an important role in defining the content of many KM databases.  In fact, the terms “knowledge management” and “best practices” are intimately linked in the current information marketplace.  A key issue that needs to be addressed when a best practices element is being proposed for inclusion in a KM system is to determine the exact nature of what information is actually being requested and how it should be classified in the database.  However, current definitions and perspectives regarding the exact nature of what constitutes a “best practice” reflect a lack of any universal approach or operational model that clearly defines, at a fundamental level, the exact nature of the construct.


This presentation will highlight the findings of an extensive, ongoing research project that has:

§         Identified a set of core dimensions that can be used to specify the exact nature of a “best practice”

§         Promote a more aggressive menu of options for consideration when labeling information as a “best practice”

§         Introduces an actual scale (in progress) – the Best Practice Index – as a tool to help practitioners define the status of their “best practices” data elements




I would like to thank Tom Dolan, President, of The Benchmarking Exchange (TBE), who provided a tremendous amount of support while surveying the benchmarking community.  Individuals interested in finding additional support for their benchmarking and “best practices” – related activities can contact Tom and TBE at