ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Is Playing It Safe and Asking for Permission the NEW Best Practice?

Updated on March 5, 2013

Safe Practices vs Best Practices

Should You Be BOLD and Ask for Forgiveness?

I know 50 IT Professionals right now who would say Best Practices are always better than Safe Practices. Maybe the best practices code is part of our DNA.

...What do you think? Is safe always the better thing to do?

What Would You Do?

Here are a few examples that could even be turned in VMware Interview Questions.

First Question:

You have just completed a health check and found 20 VMs that were powered off. These systems were just taking up space on the datastore.

You recall these servers were provisioned for a project that finished a few months ago.

They are left over clones of business critical servers that were P2V’d.

The PM wanted extras made to ensure there was enough capacity for the project.

Now they are just taking up valuable infrastructure resources.


  1. Follow up with the PM and see if the VMs can be deleted. Then delete them.
  2. Don’t follow up with the PM and make backups and then delete them.
  3. Follow up with the PM and let him or her know the VMs are still there. Then don’t do anything.
  4. Don’t do anything.
  5. Just delete them and don’t say anything.


If you chose answer (1), you’d rather be safe than sorry because this would be the “Best” thing to do, and still flows with some best practices.

Choice (2) is what most virtualization staff would consider best practices.They would rather ask for forgiveness than permission to do the “Right” thing.

Choice (3) put’s the ball in the PM’s hands but is not what most IT managers want. They want their team to take ownership. This is Safe, but neither Right nor Best.

Options (4) or (5) are opposite extremes and neither would probably be good.

Second Question:

You have been asked by a project manager to build an environment that doesn't follow your standard configuration. This environment is being requested based on vendor requirements.

The PM doesn't want to wait and test to see if your standard environment will work. He requires you to just build the environment as requested. ASAP!


  1. Do what you are told.
  2. Do what you are told but continue testing in your lab.
  3. Argue with the PM and refuse to go outside your standards.
  4. Just deploy the servers in your standard environment and don’t say anything.
  5. Talk to your manager about what’s being asked and get her advice.


This question is not as easy to answer because standards are standards for a reason, and I would have to side with the virtualization staff on not just building what the vendor wants.

That said, the “Best” thing to do would be to escalate the disagreement to the manager, answer (5).

I don’t know many IT staff that would choose (1), but it would be “Safe.”

Answer (2) is also safe and would still satisfy following best practices to test.

Answers (3) and (4) are both risky yet I've seen them both happen. Neither would satisfy the PM’s request and both could get the virtualization staff in trouble.


As you can see, it’s not always an easy choice between safe practices and best practices. Given the choice, IT staff will always want to follow what they think are Best Practices.

The challenge will be when anyone wants to work around them or their standards.

And finally, something I've learned over time. Businesses want “Safe” over “Best” 80% of the time.

Read more hubs: Start a Career in Virtualization & Becoming a High Performance Team

Joe Sanchez has more than 15 years of hands-on experience managing computer and infrastructure technologies, projects and leading staff.

Read Joe's top blog post VMware for beginners or check out his eBook: VCP for Hire on Amazon.

Your Turn:

Safe practices vs best practices are daily dilemmas, what’s your take?


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)