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We've created this page to help you get to grips with some of the confusing language and management BS that people just have to speak when in business. Not the kind of words you use with your Great Aunt Mildred, yet walk into a meeting or cross the threshold of an organisation and BOOM! your vocabulary is unnecessary widened
If you don't understand we feel it's always best to ask in the moment, rather than blag it, as you may be found out. "sorry what's TLA?" or "what's everybody's understanding of TLA?" Google and Wikipedia are very useful for a quick search in that comfort break!!
Some of these are meant to be a tongue-in-cheek look, it serves a serious purpose to help you translate others in the comfort of your own desk!
AAppraisal- Also known as Performance Management Review - this is a session between line manager and employee to discuss performance
Assessment Centre- Used in recruitment, typically candidates will be interviewed, and then assessed in a number of ways eg Psychometric Test, Group Exercises, Practical, Presentation, Role Play, Case Study.
ACAS- Acas is the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, an independent body which supports Employee Relations
AGM- Annual General Meeting where shareholders meet with the board to be presented results and the state of play of the organisation
Behaviours- These are used in the recruitment and performance management review process. They are an indication of 'how' something should be completed. For more details read our performance management guide
Balanced Scorecard- Is a document that contains a summary of targets, objectives andTypically these contain results data People, Sales, Customer Service, Productivity, Engagement
Brainstorm- An ideas generation method used in meetings or individually. In some councils/government agencies the phrase is outlawed, many don't seem to know why! To counteract any challenges you face check out this article on 'brainstorming' is not offensive
Blamestorming- A meeting where people discuss who to blame!
BAU- Business as usual - used to describe something that may be out of scope of a project. In other words normally what happens in a working day, as opposed to any special task!
Cashflow- The amount of money coming in to and available to a business
Critical Path (analysis)- The critical path of a a process or procedures. eg heating the oven, mixing the ingredients are critical paths before before putting in the Cake into the oven or eating it!
Competencies- The same as Behaviours (see Tab B)used in the recruitment and performance management process. Also found on job descriptions/profiles.
Deliverables- The results, output of a task or project. Examples may be a report, presentation,
Dilbert- A cartoon created by Scott Adams, depicting office life to a tee. Also used as a derogatory term.Dilbert.com
Deck- The same as Behaviours (see Tab B)used in the recruitment and performance management process. Also found on job descriptions/profiles.
ER- Employee Relations
EGM- Extraordinary General Meeting an impromptu perhaps emergency meeting of the board and shareholders, see also AGM
Front line- The team that is in direct contact with the customer or is part of the production team ie makes the product, or delivers the service.
Facilities- The department that will look after the cleaning, security and catering 'facilities' within the organisation. The Facilities Manager oversees this.
Finance- The department that will look after budgets and accounts for the organisation, and will pay expenses (so best to keep on the good side of them!)
FSA- Financial Services Authority a body in the UK that regulates Banking and Insurance.
Forcefield Analysis- A tool to analysis the forces that will help or hinder changes you want to make to a process/task/activity/method or course of action.
HR- Human Resources as in HR Manager, HR Department
HRBP- Human Resources Business Partner formerly HR Manager or Personnel Officer, works more closely with the business areas. The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 , also referred to as HSWA, HSW Act or HASAWA, is the primary piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety in Great Britain (see the hse.gov.uk for more details)
HASAWA- The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 , also referred to as HSWA, HSW Act or HASAWA, is the primary piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety in Great Britain (see the hse.gov.uk for more details)
IiP- Investors in People is the UK standard for People Management such as training
ISO- International Organisation for Standardisation responsible for quality standards including ISO9000 and IS01400
Input- Input(s) is something required for a project or a task. Examples could be a plan, resources, feedback, things that are brought 'in' to advance the project.
Justification- This is usually a written document that explains the reasons or rationale as to why a project is required. 'Justifying' why you may need the resources, funds or new project. Typically you would present the justifaction to the Sponsor
Johari's Window- A technique to understand how you see self and others see you. Developed by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham in 1955.
KPI- Key Performance Indicator a way of measuring the success of objectives/targets. Sometimes people refer to objectives directly as KPIs
David Kolb- Developed the Experiential Learning Theory (learning styles)
Lead time- A period of time it may take to deliver something. eg report, plan, project.
Learning styles- Essential these are the types or traits that someone has, how they like to learn. There are may different types - we have summarised some in our paper How People Learn. The most common that seem to be used are Kolb's Experiential Learning Theory and Learning Styles quesitonnaire was developed by Peter Honey and Alan Mumford.
Learning styles quesitionnaire LSQ- Learning Styles quesitonnaire was developed by Peter Honey and Alan Mumford. They developed the 4 styles of Pragmatist, Activist, Reflector & Theorist
MBTI / Myers Briggs- A Pschometric profile tool, identifying Traits, based on the work of Carl Jung.
Metrics- The measurements of a task, activity or performance. Examples are customer satisfaction, sales, productivity.
NPS- This is the Net Promoter Score. "Net Promoter Score" is a customer loyalty metric developed by (and a registered trademark of) Fred Reichheld, Bain & Company, and Satmetrix. It was introduced by Reichheld in his 2003 Harvard Business Review article "One Number You Need to Grow". NPS can be as low as −100 (everybody is a detractor) or as high as +100 (everybody is a promoter). An NPS that is positive (i.e., higher than zero) is felt to be good, and an NPS of +50 is excellent. Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures the loyalty that exists between a Provider and a consumer. Source: Wikipedia
Ops- Operations department, usually front line team that directly speaks to customers or is part of the production/service offered.
QSHE- Quality, Safety, Health & Environment - previously this would have been the Health & Safety department
SAP- A business management software
Scope- This is the definition and parameters of a project or task.
Scope creep- This is where a project or task starts to grow arms and legs! Additional elements to the original project plan are added.
(out of)Scope- This is what you should say when a project scope begins to creep. Out of scope means we should not be looking at this, as it is not part of the 'official project' a project or task starts to grow arms and legs! Additional elements to the original project plan are added.
Tee Off- Normally associated with the start of a Golf, crept ints way into management speak "Let's Tee this off" (yeah right, whilst you're there say Hi to!!)
TLA- Three Letter Abbreviation/Acronym - people often use TLS's in speak. 'I was with the BBC, last week speaking to the, he was about this!'
TUPE- The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE) protects employees' terms and conditions of employment when a business is transferred from one owner to another. (See ACAS or visit ACAS.org.uk)
TPI- Team Performance Indicator a way of measuring the success of team objectives/targets. Sometimes people refer to objectives directly as TPIs
TQM- Total Quality Management was a tool development by American Consultants and took off in the Japansese motor industry. One of the forefathers was W E Deming
USB-Universal Serial Bus is a computer connection or device. USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 are faster than the first generation USB versions. A USB cable connects to a USB port
USP- Used in sales to describe a product or service's Unique Selling Point
WIFM or WIIFM (pronounced Wiff-em)- Stands for What is in it for me - what will I or the other person gain form a task or project? What benefits are there?