Skip to main content

Bride of BA-elzebub’s Glossary

Ah, the infinite potential of words. To communicate effectively, remember that words don’t mean what they mean. Doubt it? Explain what “analysis” is, and why synthesis might be a better word for what great business analysts accomplish.

Agenda: A private, secret, goal distinct from the purposes of the meeting.

Agile: Quick enough to dodge reading, duck writing, stick to binary ‘rithmetic.

Analytics: The idea that increasing the amount of “garbage in” will – what exactly?

Baseline: A method of slowing progress down to fit communal bandwidth.

Consensus: A formal misunderstanding adopted by all for the common good.

Constraint: A choice denied. E.g., “No building above high tide.” See Kerneled.

Disagreement: An informal misunderstanding adopted by all for the common good.

Emotional Intelligence: A skill allowing one to lead (or follow) lemmings off a cliff.

Feasible: As possible as the fees available for saying yes.

Fire Hose: An information dense stakeholder conversation without a mop in sight.

Generalist: Kibitzer able to interfere with anyone’s work. Formal: Business Analyst.

Gold: Maker of rules, business and otherwise. See Feasibility.

Historical Data: Inaccessible data, nostalgized in the present, then re-abandoned.

Innovation: Changes for the common good, just not for you in particular.

Justification: A rationalization increasing the feasibility in the eyes of the sponsor.

Kerneled: Screwed by the choice of operating system. See Constraint.

Laziness: Job expertise, e.g., “Their code never breaks, they lay around all day!”

Manacled: Constrained to a pier after questioning a constraint. See Constraint.

Mentor: Disturbed, e.g., “That guy is mentor – he ripped out his own dentor work.

Null: Non-zero data that is not blank, nor empty, means nothing but isn’t. Got IT?

Odiferous: Just a funny word. Stakeholder, on system delivery: “Oh dis for us?”

Prescience: Proceeding without science.

Quixotic: Quality useful to Quality Assurance.

Regulator: Stakeholder in writing worth reading.

Supercomputer: The one you don’t have.

TANSTAAFL: There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Who knows the origin? 

Understanding: A goal pursued when neither consensus nor disagreement will do.

Vocative: A word only a grammar could love. Kudos to anyone who explains it 

Wise Guy: See X-pert. Also manacled.

X-pert: An unemployed self-employed consultant.

Zero: Not null, nor nothing, yet naught. Got IT?

Love hearing from readers, what words did you have to define today?

And remember, “Glossary” is a technique, a verb not just a noun (BABOK chapter 9).

Don’t forget to leave your comments below.