best practice [English]

InterPARES Definition

n. ~ IP2 · In the application of theory to real-life situations, a procedure that, when properly applied, consistently yields superior results and is therefore used as a reference point in evaluating the effectiveness of alternative methods of accomplishing the same task.


  • Cohen 2013C (†290 ): I really think we should avoid "best". Sound practices? Reasonable and prudent? Widely used? There are lots of better terms than "best" for what we are talking about here. Which of them is best? It depends on what your purpose is. Which is to say, for complex issues where different solutions apply for different situations, there is no universal "best". (†256)
  • Franks 2013 (†291 ): We will make a note of your objection to the use of 'best practices.' I think we can address this as part of our research. Some of us are comfortable using Best Practices which are standard practices with a "small" s for standards (de facto), not to be confused with Standards approved by standards bodies like ANSI and ISO (de jure). (†263)
  • Law 2011 (†581 s.v. best practice): The most effective and efficient method of achieving any objective or task. What constitutes best practice can be determined through a process of benchmarking. An organization can move toward achieving best practice, either across the whole organization or in a specific area, through continuous improvement. In production-based organizations, world class manufacturing is a related concept. More generally, a market or sector leader may be described as best-in-class. (†1140)
  • NetLingo 2002 (†292 ): A business management term for optimal tactics and strategies. Best practices do not guarantee success; rather, they describe those tactics and strategies used in successful companies. (†259)
  • Wikipedia (†387 s.v. "best practice"): A best practice is a method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and that is used as a benchmark. In addition, a "best" practice can evolve to become better as improvements are discovered. Best practice is considered by some as a business buzzword, used to describe the process of developing and following a standard way of doing things that multiple organizations can use. Best practices are used to maintain quality as an alternative to mandatory legislated standards and can be based on self-assessment or benchmarking. Best practice is a feature of accredited management standards such as ISO 9000 and ISO 14001. (†261)
  • Yeluri and Castro-Leon 2014 (†659 p.140): Security in the cloud is based on best practices evolved over years in order to meet new threats and adapt to new hacking technologies. These best practices can be applied to cloud computing, and a number of companies provide services out of the box to enhance cloud computing security. While many see cloud computing as a technical revolution, the security applied to it is based on hard experience, evolved from known protective measures and standard operating practices. Practices include encrypting data at rest, separation of concerns through delegated administration, application fingerprinting, secure logging, secure backups, auditing, and threat identification. (†1527)
  • Zemelman, Daniels, and Hyde 2013 (†295 ): The expression 'best practice' was originally borrowed from the professions of medicine, law, and architecture, where 'good practice' and 'best practice' are everyday phrases used to describe solid, reputable, state-of-the-art work in a field. . . . If a professional is following best practice standards, he or she is aware of current research and consistently offers clients the full benefits of the latest knowledge, technology, and procedures. (†262)