Tuesday, 04 February 2014 09:02

Bride of BA-elzebub’s Glossary

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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.

Marcos Ferrer

Marcos Ferrer, CBAP has over 20 years experience in the practice of business analysis and the application of Information Technology for process improvement. Following graduation in 1983 from the University of Chicago, Mr. Ferrer joined IBM in Chicago, where he worked on requirements and systems implementations in diverse industries. His recent projects include working requirements for the Veteran's Administration, introducing BA practices at the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, and creating bowling industry models for NRG Bowl LLC. In November 2006, Marcos Ferrer is one of the first CBAPs certified by the IIBA. He has served as an elected member of the DC-Metro chapter of the IIBA, most recently as President, and assisted in the writing of the BOK 2.0 test.

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