The goal of using best practices (BP) is the following: instead of aiming to reach an abstract ideal state, one could get inspired by existing practices that are already implemented and are already working somewhere else. After analysing the “practices” identified along the project, it was detected a clear distinction between good practice (GP) and BP according with three aspects that are showed later.
Either for GP or BP there is not a common definition – neither in the academic literature, nor among practitioners. In the case of BP the understanding that is probably the most widespread and most commonly used in practice focuses on the “functional” orientation of a BP (20).
In this sense, from a bibliographic perspective, a BP can be defined as: a practice that is not only good, but a practice that has been proven to work well and produce good results, and is therefore recommended as a model. Then, it is a successful experience which has been tested and validated, in the broad sense, furthermore, it has been repeated and deserves to be shared thus a greater number of people can adopt it (21).
In the IMPACTPapeRec context, the distinction between GP and BP depends on three conditions:
- It is possible to be implemented everywhere
- It brings a positive impact
- It is crucial to success
Hence, to constitute a BP all three conditions should necessarily apply. However, a practice is classified as GP if this is not the case or if one or more conditions apply in a conditional way.
According to this, a Good Practice (GP) can be defined as a practice that brings further better results but might not be possible to be implemented everywhere, it brings a positive impact only under certain conditions and/or is crucial to success under specific circumstances.
On the contrary, a Best Practice (BP) is an essential practice that should be implemented everywhere: it has a positive impact and is crucial to success.