What do you mean?

2010/01/27

‘The Power of a Common Business Language’ outlines the important of having a common set of key business terms and definitions within an enterprise.

It’s author asserts – the major challenges when deploying information systems are not technical – but are in having a “common business language”.

I am sure many of you can think of many examples within your own organisations where issues are caused by not having one.

Often the same term is used to mean different thing or differing terms are used for the same thing – leading to:

  • confusion
  • data quality issues
  • increased costs
  • the potential loss of opportunities to increase revenue

What is the best approach to take?
Most would agree that having a common business language will provide benefit – but there are a number of different approaches that can be taken.

I have recently been involved in setting up a centralised data dictionary/metadata repository – to start to record all key business terms/definitions.

The approach has been to build this up iteratively – collecting and reviewing as and when necessary, usually through project work.

I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has been involved in tackling this issue within an enterprise – the approach you took – what worked – what didn’t?