While at a recent Microsoft event (the SQL 2005 Roadshow), the MS speaker stated that Barnes & Noble had, with MS help, rolled out a production system using SQL2005, and how MS had used that experience as the basis for a set of white papers showing best practices for SQL2005 deployment.
At this point, I whispered to one of my colleagues, "Can you really derive best practices for all industries based on one business?"
Ironically, I first read a critique of the idea of best practices about six months ago in an MS newsletter for their Small Business unit (Great Plains, Solomon, CRM).
I'll say it here, and to any of my clients: "There are no best practices."
To support that claim, I'll turn this entry over to software tester James Bach of Satisfice, Inc.