Best practices aren’t universal and the use of the term without deeper consideration can be problematic. They’re straightforward, simplistic answers to difficult questions. Quick answers can at times work in our favor, a way to avoid cognitive overhead and set a clear path to a solution. In fact, we regularly need shortcuts in our day to day work to be able to function, the trade off of efficiency for thoroughness. This is unfortunately too often co-opted and overused, rendering it specious as a mantra of “don’t think, just do” or as hand waving promotion of a product over guidance on a course of action. What should be a starting point to a conversation, to give way to deeper consideration and approaches, is instead left to be short circuited in favor of an unassailable talking point. The concepts behind best practices may be sound, but as they are not ubiquitous, they should be up for debate. Our tendency to skip deeper investigation, to assume an answer is correct based on a label, makes use of the term “best practice” dangerous.
Source: Rethinking Best Practices, Will Gallego, https://willgallego.com/2021/08/14/rethinking-best-practices/