Best Practice, Expected Practice, and the Challenge of Scale

by Michael W. Smull, Mary Lou Bourne, and Helen Sanderson

Most state developmental disabilities (DD) systems have supported the development of best practice pilots and have defined the desired best practice outcomes. But the challenge to move typical practice toward best practice to “take best practice to scale” remains. To do this, state leaders need to clarify what “expected practice” is and create positive pressure for change so that there are a set of actions that move typical practice toward best practice. But how and where can we draw a new line and say here is “expected” practice1? This paper explores what we understand about best practice, a way to think about expected practice, and the learning that has occurred about the challenge of making change at scale. Crucial to this change is clarity about vision, mission, and values. Best Practice & Expected Practice