I have found that although my colleagues all have ingenious techniques for deploying features and configuration, it is often hard to understand one another because our procedures are known only to ourselves.
I have taken what are, in my experience, the best elements of the procedures and proposed standards I have been exposed to, and compiled them into a structured, standardize, step-by-step series of workflows, and packaged them as http://dcycleproject.org
What I am hoping from this approach:
(1) allowing newbies to dev-stage-prod and non-technical types to get started quickly
(2) gain in efficiency when dealing with other developers by defining a common language: when beginning work with new developers, I can simply point them to http://dcycleproject.org
(3) in the medium-to-long term, focus our energies on standardizing ways to develop reusable, solid, open-source features for Drupal.