...And an end to them. I have been avoiding this term, and counseling clients (sometimes in vain) against falling into this trap for years. James Bach does a great job of explaining why, so I will refer you to him -- go read the link...
...and once you've finished reading, join the boycott! Give up Best Practice addiction!
What? You need something to replace that catchy phrase? To fill that void of certainty? To sell to your boss? your clients? OK, then how about this: introduce Best People into your environemnt. It has nearly the same ring to it -- look:
"We employ industry Best People!"
"Our development process employess the latest in Best People!"
"This system was built by adopting Best People Patterns!"
"We used Best People to integrate our systems!"
Of course, it fails James' "large hope about a small exertion" criteria for what sells (I love that summary BTW), but here's the catch: its not about getting everyone to be right -- its about doing the right thing yourself.
If you want easy fixes, grab the South Beach Diet, The latest Rich Dad book, and an armload of Best Practices, and head out for another go-round -- and best of luck to you.
However, if you want real long-term change, then take some pride, and put some effort -- and some discipline -- in what you do , and surround yourself with people who do the same (oh, and that's a good start to finding Best People), and stop worrying about what everyone else is doing.
Leave the evangelism to those with something to sell.