The "best practices methodology" is used to analyze organizations that are widely recognized for making large improvements in their products or processes. The organizations are then used as models for a "how-to" for increased efficiency and performance.
"Best Practices Methodology: A New Approach for Improving Government Operations" looks at how government operations, such as supply management, can be improved by implementing this private sector methodology. A best practices review can be applied to a variety of processes, such as payroll, travel administration, employee training, accounting and budgeting systems, procurement, transportation, maintenance services, repair services, and distribution. Best practices can be used to help streamline processes for cost savings.
(1) Gaining an understanding of and documenting the process you want to improve.
(2) Researching industry trends and literature, and speaking with consultants, academics, and interest group officials on the subject matter.
(3) Selecting appropriate organizations for your review.
(4) Collecting data from these selected organizations.
(5) Identifying barriers to change.
(6) Comparing and contrasting processes to develop recommendations.
Here is an example of government use of best practices:
Defense Logistics: Observations on Private Sector Efforts to Improve
Operations (GAO/NSIAD-91-210, June 13, 1991).
Private sector firms have found that integrated logistics management can help reduce costs and increase their competitiveness. Major elements for successful implementation of integrated logistics management include total cost analysis and top management commitment. DOD may be able to benefit from private sector experiences in improving their logistics operations.
This article did not offer strengths and weaknesses for Best Practices, but it did offer many examples of its use in the private sector.