Enabling Operational Excellence
Enabling Operational Excellence
Enabling Operational Excellence
Enabling Operational Excellence

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Posts Tagged ‘Definitions Primer’

5 Basic Criteria for Great Business Definitions

criteriaDefinitions of business terms with subtle IT or ‘data’ bias are an anathema to effective communication with business partners. Good business definitions are oriented to what words mean when used by real business people talking directly about real business things.

Here are 5 basic criteria for great business definitions:

 

  1. It should be easy to give examples for the thing defined, but there should be no counterexamples.
  2. Each definition should communicate the essence of what a thing is, not what it does, how it’s used, or why it’s important.
  3. The definition of a thing should focus on its unique characteristics.
  4. Each thing you define should be distinguishable from every other thing you define using the definition alone.
  5. Each definition should be concise and as short as possible without loss of meaning. A definition should be readable.

One thing may surprise you about great business definitions. The very first noun in each definition is absolutely key. These first words are the secret sauce of excellent business definitions. Read more in our new Primer (free download).

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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/

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How to Define Business Terms in Plain English

plain-english-3There’s a high premium on knowing how to craft great definitions. Every business analyst should know how. We’ve just published a new Primer on creating business definitions (see below – free download).

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.

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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/

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