A practice is a specific implementation of a work process. For example, a practice would be one organization’s process for estimating the amount of resources required for building a system.
A Best Practice is one of the most effective practices for performing a specific process. Best Practices are normally identified by benchmarking or by an independent assessment.
Best Practices are also identified through winners of quality competitions such as the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, Deming Prize, etc., Benchmarking involves a comparison of one organization’s, or one part of an organization’s, process for performing a work task to another organization’s process, for the purpose of finding best practices or competitive practices that will help define superior performance of a product, service, or support process.
provides additional details on benchmarking, including types of benchmarking and a ten-step process for conducting benchmarking.