Glossary of business and management terms

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The following special terms are used in commercial business and the management of large organisations such as corporations.



  • 50,000 foot view: Highest management overview
  • 30,000 foot view: Program management view
  • Bandwidth: Availability[1]
  • Benchmark: Measuring against
  • Best practice: Tried and tested methodology/process
  • Bottleneck: Where a process is held up
  • Blue sky thinking: Idealistic or visionary ideas, not always with practical application (source: BBC)
  • Cascade: Array of possible actions to take in response to a problem: protocol
  • Check in the box: Complete the task
  • Cutting edge practices: Up to date or new methods
  • Dashboard: Collection of key indicators
  • Deliverable(s): Finished product or outcome
  • Downsize: reduce the number of employees through a layoff
  • End-user perspective: Point of view of a customer about a product or service
  • Flavor of the month: the current popular or trendy activity or person
  • Golden handshake: Contract clause which richly rewards a key employee in the case of termination
  • Golden parachute: Contract clause richly (perhaps excessively) rewarding a key executive if termination is due to corporate takeover or merger
  • Hard stop: Deadline[1]
  • Hub: an idea which other ideas are linked to
  • Joined-up thinking: Discussing the viewpoints of each organization and coming to an agreement or compromise
  • Low-hanging fruit: Tasks that have the greatest positive effect for the least effort, used when promoting new projects to show the advantages.[1]
  • Nesting
  • One belly button to push: Reduced number of suppliers
  • Operational excellence
  • Python: Challenging problem[1]
  • Raft of measures: A collection of proposals or schemes
  • Rattler: Obvious problem[1]
  • Run it up the flagpole: Moving a project along to the next appropriate person[1]
  • Talent: Employees
  • Tent pole: the task or item most likely to delay a project or consume the most resources
  • Six Sigma: system for process improvement
  • Silo (Vertical and Horizontal)
  • Silver bullet: One solution for everything[dubious ]
  • Stakeholders: the group or individual affected by the outcome of a decision
  • Under-pinning: The foundations of an idea, which helps another related scheme or proposal
  • Unique selling proposition (USP)
  • Womb to tomb: An idea or program that is killed before it has a chance to grow or flourish
  • Win-win solution: Providing a product or service which makes everyone happy, particularly both buyer and seller


  • Action that: Put something into practice[1]
  • Baked In: Same as "included," in principle. Something which has been "baked in" is implied to be impossible to remove.
  • Boil the Ocean: Undertake an impossible or impractical task[1]
  • Build Capacity: Take actions which produce no useful output immediately, but increase the amount of useful work which can be done in the future.
  • Circle back: Discuss later[1]
  • Circle the wagons: Defensive strategy to provide time to plan or produce a better solution
  • Cover all directions of the compass: Try to make things acceptable for all stakeholders
  • Create the storyboard: Outline what the solution will look like
  • Deep dive: Get into the detail
  • Drill down: investigate thoroughly[1]
  • Eating one's own dog food: Use the same product that is sold to your customers, especially if it's a bad product
  • Drink the Kool Aid (from the Jonestown Massacre): Believe and live or die together
  • Flogging a dead horse: Wasting efforts[1]
  • Have the vendor in our pocket: Keep a vendor/contractors paid
  • Ideate: Come up with ideas[1]
  • Land and expand: To sell a small solution and then grow it within the client's environment
  • Make hay: Productive or successful in a short time[1]
  • Moving forward: Making progress on an idea or scheme
  • Moving the goal posts: Changing the criteria[1]
  • One legged man in an ass kicking contest: Working towards an unachievable goal[1]
  • Open the kimono: Reveal information[1]
  • Pick the low-hanging fruit: Go for the easiest option[1]
  • Power to the elbow: Get additional backup information to make your case stronger
  • Punt: Relinquish responsibility[1]
  • Pushing the envelope: Going outside normal boundaries to achieve a target or goal (such as exceeding specifications)
  • Put this on your radar: Consider this[1]
  • Scrub the numbers: Find errors[1]
  • Sing from the same hymn sheet: Show a united front, or everyone understanding and saying the same thing to customers or service users
  • Table the conversation: Reconvene at a later time[1]
  • Touch base: To meet up with a colleague to discuss progress (from baseball)
  • Touch base offline: Meet and talk[1]
  • Tranch up the workload: Divide responsibilities[1]
  • Trim the fat: cut excess budgets[1]
  • Unscramble that egg: Take care of that mess[1]


  • Cross-Functional: resume jargon, music to management's ears
  • Customer-centric:
  • Evergreen: Content that is always relevant[1]
  • In the loop: knowing what's going on and being kept informed
  • Off the shelf: buying in a product or service already completed
  • Scalable: A small component's ability to grow within a larger system[1]


  • In the weeds: view by staff who actually do the work

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af Alisa Wolfson (June 23, 2017). "18 obnoxious things that everyone in the office should stop saying". / Dow Jones & Company.