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
  • Benchmarking/Benchmark: Measuring against
  • Best practice: Tried and tested methology/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", new methods
  • Dashboard -
  • Deliverable/s - end product
  • Downsize - reduce the number of employees through a layoff
  • End-user perspective: What a customer thinks of a product or service or how they feel having to or after using a product service. What is thought about one of your items or services sold by a third party
  • Flavor of the month - the current popular activity/person as directed by the company/client/management.
  • Golden handshake
  • Golden parachute
  • 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.
  • Nesting
  • One belly button to push: Reduced number of suppliers
  • Operational excellence
  • Raft of measures: A collection of proposals or schemes
  • Talent - employees
  • Tent pole: the task or item most likely to delay a project or consume the most resources
  • Six Sigma -
  • Silo (Vertical and Horizontal) -
  • Silver bullet: One solution for everything
  • Stakeholders: every 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


  • Baked In: Same as "included," in principle. Something which has been "baked in" is implied to be impossible to remove.
  • Boil the Ocean: An effort or task which is perceived by the speaker to be impossible or impractical.
  • 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 the wagons
  • 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
  • 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)
  • Have the vendor in our pocket: Keep a vendor / contractors paid
  • Land and expand: To sell a small solution and then grow it within the client's environment
  • Moving forward: Making progress on an idea or scheme
  • Pick the low-hanging fruit: Go for the easiest option
  • Power to the elbow: Get additional backup information to make your case stronger
  • Pushing the envelope: Going outside normal boundaries to achieve a target or goal (such as exceeding specifications)
  • Sing from the same hymn sheet: Show a united front or everyone understanding and saying the same thing to customers or service users
  • Touch base: To meet up with a colleague to discuss progress (from baseball)


  • Cross-Functional - resume jargon, music to management's ears
  • Customer-centric -
  • In the loop - knowing what's going on and being kept informed
  • Off the shelf - buying in a product or service already completed


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

See also[edit]