There are various schools of thought about how to define terms, some arising from professional terminologists and academia. But those approaches are often relatively arcane and not well-suited to everyday business practice.
So you should stick with common dictionary practices. They are perfectly adequate for your needs. By ‘dictionary’ I mean natural language dictionaries of course, not any kind of dictionary arising from IT (e.g., data dictionaries).
If you want to talk about how data is retained or exchanged, do a data model. A good data model has definitions too of course, but they subtly relate to fields and data types, not directly to things in the real world. That bias throws them off-center for business communication. This implicit mindset is often hard for those with a data or IT background to unlearn. But not impossible! If you fall into this category, our Primer will teach you how.
Our new Primer is organized as a set of guidelines, each with one or more examples. Each guideline can be understood on its own, but the overall set is mutually supportive and comprehensively interlocking. Master this set of guidelines and your definitions are guaranteed world-class.
Extracted from: How to Define Business Terms in Plain English, by Ronald G. Ross – free download, 26pp, pdf, http://www.brsolutions.com/publications/crafting-definitions-a-primer/