Every so often, I get a call from someone who wants to know how “agile” his company is. When I probe for more information, I often find that that manager wants to know what other companies are doing–so he can adopt their practices.

But what works at another company may not work for you. Copying what worked else where may not achieve the results you want, and may not help at all. You /can/ learn from what other companies do. But in the end, what matters is how well you are satisfying your customers, employees, and stakeholders. And that requires a unique approach based on your unique business model, culture, and value proposition.

In this talk, I’ll explore the lure of silver bullets. I’ll outline when looking for a best practices makes sense, and when it doesn’t. I’ll offer guidelines–based on my experience and research–to help you discern when to adapt a practice to your environment, and when to adapt your environment to take advantage of a practice invented by someone else.

And I’ll share ideas on how you can innovate a path that reflects your unique situation.

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