600+ Business Analysis Terms | Download BA Career Guide 2024

143 min read
11/25/20 12:00 AM

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A La Carte

Technically à la carte, an eating-place menu from which individual dishes at separate prices can be ordered, or less commonly where a side dish may be ordered at no extra charge, from the French phrase meaning 'to the menu'. Increasingly now applied to non-food services in which individual selections are offered rather than fixed provisions.

A list

Is the most celebrated or sought-after companies or individuals, especially in show business and entertainment.


Top quality rating, applicable to various business situations, e.g., credit-worthiness, and more general references to quality and fitness for purpose.

Abilene paradox

A feature/cause of many poor or daft decisions by groups or committees, in which the collective (unanimous or group) decision is considered wrong or silly by individual members, and/or is clearly wrong or silly from an rational standpoint.

Above the fold

Originally a newspaper editorial/advertising term referring to the upper-half of the front page ('above the fold') in terms of its immediate and optimal viewing position.

Above the line

Marketing and advertising through mass-media, such as television, radio, newspapers, magazines, Internet, etc., which is less personal than Below The Line Marketing. Companies usually use advertising agencies for ATL marketing. See marketing.

Absolute advantage

Being able to produce goods more cheaply than other countries.

Absolute reference

Unique numeric (preferred) or textual identifier – Not to be altered or re-used even if the requirement is moved, changed or deleted.


A company which supplies office space, marketing services, etc., in exchange for payment, to help get new companies started.


Decide not to do anything about the risk if the risk does occur, a workaround will be developed at that time.

Acceptance bonus

The amount paid to an employee who agrees to perform a difficult task.

Acceptance criteria

Criteria associated with requirements, products, or the delivery cycle that must be met in order to achieve stakeholder acceptance.


Refers to the ease by which an audience is able to receive, understand and act upon communications and services from businesses, big corporations, agencies, local and central government. Accessibility is a relatively modern concept, becoming increasingly prominent from the late 1900s, especially concerning state services, and particularly for disadvantaged, disabled, or minority groups of people.


Person who is the decision maker and who is held accountable for successful completion of the task.


The accumulation of payments or benefits over time.


Closeness between measured values against true value


Feasible. Part of SMART criteria.

Action item

It’s the Item which is raised for resolution.

Active / Noticeable observation

Observer asks questions during the process May interrupt the work flow but helps in gaining a quick understanding.


See Active Server Pages.

Active Server Pages

It is Microsoft's first server-side script engine for dynamically generated web pages.

Activity diagram

Activity diagram uses swim-lanes to show responsibilities, synchronization bars to show parallel processing and multiple exit decision points.


A human, device, or system that plays some specified role in interacting with a solution.

Ad hoc review

Informal review or assistance from a peer.

Ad rotation

Describes the rotation of advertisements on a web page - each time a user clicks on a different page or returns to a page they've viewed previously in the same session, a different advert appears on the screen.


Ability to adjust techniques, styles, methods and approaches to suit the needs of the rapidly changing environment and also deal with a variety of stakeholders.

Adaptive approach

An approach where the solution evolves based on a cycle of learning and discovery, with feedback loops which encourage making decisions as late as possible.


An added section of information in a letter or report.


Created or done for a particular purpose as necessary and not planned in advance.


A thing which is added or attached as a supplementary, rather than an essential part of something larger or more important.

Adoption curve

A graph showing the rate at which a new piece of technology is bought by people for the first time. It is based on the idea that certain people are more open for adaptation than others.

Adverse event

Term used when a volunteer in a clinical trial has a negative or unfavorable reaction to a drug, etc.


The promotion and selling of a product or service to potential customers. To announce publicly or draw attention to an event, etc.


An advert in a magazine or newspaper that is written like an article giving facts rather than appearing as an advertisement for a product.


A sworn signed statement of fact used as evidence in court whose signature has been witnessed by a commissioner of oaths or other authorized officer, for example a notary. Medieval Latin for 'he has stated on oath', from affidare, meaning to trust.


A company or person controlled by or connected to a larger organization. In web marketing an affiliate normally receives a commission for promoting another company's products or services.

Affinity map

A technique to put related concepts together.


A whole consisting of the combination of smaller separate elements.

Aggregate planning

The process of planning and developing the best way of producing the right amount of goods, at the right time and at the minimum cost, based on the total number of items which need to be produced, and the amount of materials, equipment and workers necessary for production.


An iterative approach to software development.

Agile development method

Software development which gets things moving quickly and adapts during the development, as distinct from conventional planning and project management implementation.

Agile extension to the BABOK® guide

A standard on the practice of business analysis in an agile context. The Agile Extension to the BABOK® Guide version 1 was published in 213 by IIBA®, in partnership with the Agile Alliance.

Agile manifesto

A set of principles prescribed by Agile practitioners.


See requirements allocation.

Alpha test

The first stage of testing a new product, especially computer software or hardware, carried out by a developer under controlled conditions.

Alternative flow

Other paths that may be followed to achieve an actor’s goal.


When two or more companies combine or unite to form one large organization.


See American National Standards Institute.

American National Standards Institute

is a private non-profit organization that oversees the development of voluntary consensus standards for products, services, processes, systems, and personnel in the United States.


To gradually reduce and write off the cost of an asset in a company's accounts over a period of time.


Often used to provide a pension. An annuity is a fixed regular payment payed over a number of years to a person during their lifetime.

See Application Information Document

Application Information Document

An understanding of the activities those are associated with the documentation and management of project and application requirements.


See Application program interface.

Application program interface

Application programs used for accessing services provided by some lower-level module (such as operating system).


A review of performance, capability, needs, etc., typically of an employee, in which case the full term is normally 'performance appraisal'.


High level plan to achieve something.


A person who settles a dispute or has the ultimate authority to decide the outcome of a matter.


An independent person or body officially appointed to settle a dispute.


The design, structure, and behavior of the current and future states of a structure in terms of its components, and the interaction between those components. See also business architecture, enterprise architecture, and requirements architecture.

Architecture management software 

Modeling software help in managing volume, complexity and versions of the relationships within the Requirements architecture.


A collection of records no longer active. Also pluralized - archives - meaning the same, and referring to the place of storage.


See Articles of Association.

Articles of Association

The document which lists the regulations which govern the running of a company, setting out the rights and duties of directors and stockholders, individually and in meetings.


Any solution-relevant object that is created as part of business analysis efforts.


The current state.


See As Soon As Possible.

As Soon As Possible

It is one of the English business idioms.

Aspirational brand

A brand or product which people admire and believe is high quality, and wish to own because they think it will give them a higher social position.

Asset stripping

Buying a stricken company and selling off its assets with no thought for the future of the company or its people, customers, etc.


Anything of value which is owned by an individual, company, organisation, etc.




An influencing factor that is believed to be true but has not been confirmed to be accurate, or that could be true now but may not be in the future.

Asynchronous call

Asynchronous call (also known as a signal) allows the object to continue with its own processing after sending the signal The object may send many signals simultaneously, but may ONLY accept one signal at a time.


At lowest level.

See Attention Interest Desire Action.

Attention- Interest- Desire- Action

Attention, Interest, Desire, Action - an early and fundamentally useful model/process for effective communications. Also called the 'hierarchy of effects' - we all buy things, and decide to change something, after passing through these four key stages. (See AIDA in sales training materials).


Attributes define particular piece of information associated with an entity, including how much information can be captured in it (size), its allowable values and the type of information it represents.


The process of reducing the number of employees in an organisation by not replacing people who leave their jobs.


A qualified person who officially examines the financial records of a company to check their accuracy.


An artist or creative, for example a film director, whose personal style is recognizable because he/she keeps tight control over all aspects of the work.


Creator of requirements.


Offensively self-assured or given to exercising unwarranted power. Expecting to be obeyed and not caring about the opinions and feeling of others. See X-Y Theory.


Extent to which solution is operable and accessible when required.

Avant Garde

New or original and often unconventional techniques, concepts, products, etc., usually associated with the arts and creative areas.

Avoid risk

Remove source of the risk so that the risk does not occur.



Business analysis body of knowledge.

Background research

Research gathered through document analysis comprises of reviewing materials like marketing studies, industry standards, guidelines etc.

Backlog management 

Refers to the planned approach manage remaining work for the project.

Bait and switch

In retail sales, when customers are lured by advertisements for a product at a low price, then finds that the product is not available but a more expensive substitute is.

Balance score card

A strategic planning and management tool to measure organizational performance beyond traditional financial measures.

Balance sheet

A financial statement of an individual, company or organization, which shows assets and liabilities (money owed) at a specific date.


Describes a long term loan in which there is a large final payment when the loan matures.

Banc assurance

The selling of both insurance and banking services, usually by a major bank.


In computing, the amount of information that can be transmitted through a communication channel over a given period of time, usually measured in 'bits per second' (bps).

Bank run

Lots of sudden and heavy cash withdrawals at the same time from a bank or banks, because customers believe the banks may become insolvent.

Base 2

Also known as the binary system, which is the basis of computer logic. Normal counting is based on -9. Binary just has -1, which means a new column is started after two, not nine. Binary counting does not go 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. It goes, 1, 1, 11, 1, 11, etc. Other than for computing it's not very practical.

Basic, primary or main success flow

Shortest or simplest successful path to achieve an actor’s goal.

Bathtub curve

A U-shaped graph, often long horizontally - resembling a bathtub - representing high incidence or measure at the beginning and finish (far left and far right of graph) of a life-cycle or lifetime or period, with much lower incidence over a relatively long middle period (middle of graph).

Bear market

In the stock market a period of declining prices in which investors continue selling shares, expecting the prices to fall further.

Bear raid

The practice, in the stock market, of attempting to push the price of a stock lower by selling in large numbers and often spreading unfavorable rumors about the company concerned.

Behavioural rules

Behavioral rules intend to guide the actions of people working within the organization, or people who interact with it.

Behavioural business rule

A business rule that places an obligation (or prohibition) on conduct, action, practice, or procedure; a business rule whose purpose is to shape (govern) day-to-day business activity. Also known as operative rule.

Bell curve

Survey/sample distribution term. 'Bell curve' is the common informal term for a graph with a large rounded peak in the middle, sloping sharply to the right and left and then tapering more gently at the extreme ends of the graph. It's a bell-shape, hence the name. The term 'bell curve' refers also to this sort of statistical distribution, even if it is not actually graphed.

Bells and whistles

Extra features added often more for show than function, especially on computers, cameras, etc., to make the product more attractive to buyers.

Below the line

Describes marketing which has a short-term duration, such as non-media advertising, direct-mail, e-mail, exhibitions, incentives, brochures, etc., which is targeted directly at the consumer/customer. Often used by companies on a limited budget.

Benchmark studies

Benchmark studies are conducted to compare organizational practices against the best-in-class practices from competitor enterprises, in government, or from industry associations or standards.


A comparison of a decision, process, service, or system's cost, time, quality, or other metrics to those of leading peers to identify opportunities for improvement.

Benefit as a basis for prioritization

Benefit attained on implementing requirements in terms of functionality, desired quality, Business objectives etc. Requirements that provide highest benefit are prioritized first.

Benefit principle

A taxation principle which states that those who benefit more from government expenditure, financed by taxes, should pay more tax for the product or service than those who benefit less.

Benefits realization

This refers to the translation of projects into real and perceived positive effects, seemingly a concept devised originally in the field of IT and ICT (Information and Communications Technology) project management, where projects are notoriously difficult to manage successfully and generate clear end-user appreciation. 

Beta test

The second test of a product, such as computer hardware, software, or even a website, under actual usage conditions, before the final version is used by or sold to the public. See Alpha Test.

Bid bond

A sum agreed to be paid by a company that wins a contract if the work is not carried out.

Big bang

Occurred (UK) on 27th October 1986, when major technology changes took place on the London Stock Exchange chiefly to replace manual systems with electronic processes.


Agreement or involvement or action by two parties, people, companies, countries, etc. See Unilateral and Multilateral.


A significant digital currency, divided into 1 million units called satoshis, created by the pseudonymous developer Satoshi Nakamoto, first described by the creator(s) in 28, broadly as an anonymous, peer-to-peer, electronic payments system. 

Black belt

An indication of attainment of a high rank of skill in martial arts.

Black box

It’s a type of testing, where code is not referred while testing.

Black knight

A company which makes a hostile takeover bid for another company that does not want to be bought.

Blame storming

Portmanteau term contrived from Brainstorming and Blame, referring to meetings or discussions seeking to allocate responsibility for a failure or disaster. Popularized in the late 1990s by viral emails which listed amusing office terminology.


See Blind Carbon Copy.

Blind Carbon Copy

Used in Mail system to mark a copy to people whose name should not be listed in the mail details.

Blind Test

Research method in which people are asked to try a number of similar products which are not identified by brand name, to decide which product is the best.

Blind Trial

A trial, with two groups of people, to test the effect of a new product, especially in medicine. One group is given the real product while the other group is given a placebo or 'sugar pill', which does not contain any medication.


In computing, software that needs so much computer memory that it takes a long time to load and therefore does not function properly.

Blue chip

On the stock market, shares of a large company with a good reputation, whose value and dividends are considered to be safe and reliable.

Blue sky thinking

Open-minded, original and creative thinking, not restricted by convention.


Wireless technology which allows data to be transferred over short distances between laptop computers, mobile phones, digital cameras, etc.

Body of knowledge

The aggregated knowledge and generally accepted practices on a topic.


A section of standard text, especially a contract clause, inserted into legal documents, or instead increasingly referring to a standard section of code inserted into computer programs or other digital applications. 

Bona Fides

Credentials showing someone's true identity. (Latin - with good faith)


The financial meaning of a bond is normally a debt/investment instrument issued by a company or country for a period of more than a year, with fixed interest rates and a firm and full repayment date. 


An extra sum of money given to an employee on top of their salary, often for achieving targets.

Bonus Culture

Term used when companies give their executives huge bonuses in addition to their large salaries, even if their performance has been poor, especially leaders of financial institutions.

Book depreciation

A decrease or loss in value of a company's assets, as recorded in the company's finances.

Book keeping

The recording of a business's transactions, such as sales, purchases, payments, income, etc.


A small period of rapid growth in trade and economic activity.

Boot strapping

Starting a business from scratch and building it up with minimum outside investment.

Both in and out scope

Elements on both sides of the boundary (as seen from both sides).

Bottom fishing

Buying the cheapest investments available which are unlikely to fall much further in value.

Bottom-up estimation

Bottom-up estimation uses WBS technique to estimate deliverables, activities, tasks and estimates from all the involved stakeholders and rolls them up to get a total for all the activities and tasks.


See business process management.


BPMN is an industry-standard that is accessible by both business users and technical developers.

Brain drain

The loss of highly skilled people to another region, country or industry, where they can work in a better environment and/or earn more money.


A team activity that seeks to produce a broad or diverse set of options through the rapid and uncritical generation of ideas.


A unique identifying symbol, trademark, company name, etc., which enables a buyer to distinguish a product or service from its competitors.

Brand association

Something or someone which make people think of a particular product.

Brand loyalty

When a consumer repeatedly buys a particular brand of product and is reluctant to switch to another brand.

Bread and butter

The main source of income of a company or an individual.

Break even

To make enough money to cover costs. In business, the point at which sales equals costs. To make neither a profit nor loss.

Bridge loan

A short term loan, normally at high rates of interest calculated daily, which 'bridges' a period when funds are unavailable, typically when payment has to be made before finance can be released from elsewhere to cover the transaction.


The practice of pursuing a tactic or method to the point of danger or damage, typically employed in competitive situations in which it is felt that the tactic will unsettle or cause the withdrawal of the adversary/ies. Derives from the word brink, meaning the edge of a cliff or other dangerously high point.


See British Standards Institution.

British Standards Institution

An organization which sets out formal guidelines to help businesses, etc., produces or performs more efficiently and safely. The BSI operates in more than 25 countries, and represent UK interests in other organizations, such as the ISO - International Organization For Standardization.


Allocation of funds or the estimation of costs for a department, project, etc., over a specific period. The management of spending and saving money.


See Budgeted Cost of Work Performed.

Budgeted Cost of Work Performed

Is the budgeted cost of work that has actually been performed in carrying out a scheduled task during a specific time period.

Bull market

On the Stock Market, a prolonged period in which share prices are rising and investors are buying.

Bullet point

A symbol, e.g. a dot or a square, printed at the beginning of each item on a list.


An agile approach to track sprint progress.


An economic system where any commercial, industrial, or professional activity is performed for profit.

Business acumen 

Organizations mostly share similar practices in the fields of finance, sales, marketing, HR, legal requirements etc. Business acumen is therefore the ability to understand business needs using experience and knowledge obtained from other situations.

Business analysis

The practice of enabling change in the context of an enterprise by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders.

Business analysis approach

The set of processes, rules, guidelines, heuristics, and activities that are used to perform business analysis in a specific context.

Business analysis communication plan

A description of the types of communication the business analyst will perform during business analysis, the recipients of those communications, and the form and frequency of those communications.

Business analysis effort

The scope of activities a business analyst is engaged in during the life cycle of an initiative.

Business analysis information

Any kind of information at any level of detail that is used as an input to business analysis work, or as an output of business analysis work.

Business analysis package

A document, presentation, or other collection of text, matrices, diagrams and models, representing business analysis information.

Business analysis performance assessment

Comprises of a comparison of planned vs actual performance, Root cause analysis of deviation from the expected performance, ways to address issues etc.

Business analysis perspectives

5 perspectives of business analysis described in BABoK - agile, business intelligence, information technology, business architecture, business process management.

Business analysis plan

A description of the planned activities the business analyst will execute in order to perform the business analysis work involved in a specific initiative. See also requirements management plan.

Business analysis planning and monitoring

Tasks BAs perform to organize and coordinate efforts of BAs and stakeholders.

Business analysis roles

Roles which typically conduct business analysis work - business architect, system analyst, requirements engineer, process analyst, management consultant, product manager.

Business analysis tools and technology

Tools those provide specialized capabilities in creating models and visuals for the requirements, trace them to business rules, scope statements, other requirements etc. and also track risks, conflicts, issues and defects related to requirements.

Business analyst

Any person who performs business analysis, no matter their job title or organizational role. 

Business angel

Also known as Private Investor. A, usually wealthy, individual who invests money in developing (often high risk) companies, and who provides their advice, skills, knowledge and contacts in return for an equity share of the business.

Business architecture

The design, structure, and behaviour of the current and future states of an enterprise to provide a common understanding of the organization. It is used to align the enterprise’s strategic objectives and tactical demands.

Business capabilities

Describe the ability of an enterprise to act on or transform something that helps achieve a business goal or objective.

Business case

A justification for a course of action based on the benefits to be realized by using the proposed solution, as compared to the cost, effort, and other considerations to acquire and live with that solution.

Business constraints

Regulatory statutes, contractual obligations and Business policies Business constraints help in setting requirements priorities.


See Business Continuity Plan.

Business Continuity Plan

Is the process of creating systems of prevention and recovery to deal with potential threats to a company.

Business decision

A decision that can be made based on strategy, executive judgment, consensus, and business rules, and that is generally made in response to events or at defined points in a business process.

Business domain

See domain.

Business goal

A state or condition that an organization is seeking to establish and maintain, usually expressed qualitatively rather than quantitatively.


See Business Intelligence

Business intelligence

Are the set of strategies, processes, applications, data, products, technologies and technical architectures which are used to support the collection, analysis, presentation and dissemination of business information.

Business model canvas

A business model canvas is comprised of nine building blocks that describe how an organization intends to deliver value.

Business need

A problem or opportunity of strategic or tactical importance to be addressed.

Business non-value-add

Characteristics that must be included in the offering, activities performed to meet regulatory and other needs, or costs associated with doing business, for which the customer is not willing to pay.

Business objective

An objective, measurable result to indicate that a business goal has been achieved.

Business objectives

Desired business benefits.

Business plan

A written document which sets out a business's plans and objectives, and how it will achieve them, e.g. by marketing, development, production, etc.

Business policy

A non-practicable directive that controls and influences the actions of an enterprise.

Business problem

An issue of strategic or tactical importance preventing an enterprise or organization from achieving its goals.

Business process

An end-to-end set of activities which collectively responds to an event, and transforms information, materials, and other resources into outputs that deliver value directly to the customers of the process. It may be internal to an organization, or it may span several organizations.

Business process dimension

Measures indicating how well the enterprise is operating and if its products meet customer needs.

Business Process Management (BPM)

A management discipline that determines how manual and automated processes are created, modified, cancelled, and governed.


See Business Process Outsourcing.

Business Process Outsourcing

Is a subset of outsourcing that involves the contracting of the operations and responsibilities of a specific business process to a third-party service provider.


See Business Process Reengineering

Business Process Reengineering

Is a business management strategy, originally pioneered in the early 1990s, focusing on the analysis and design of workflows and business processes within an organization. BPR aimed to help organizations fundamentally rethink how they do their work in order to dramatically improve customer service, cut operational costs, and become world-class competitors

Business requirement

A representation of goals, objectives and outcomes that describe why a change has been initiated and how success will be assessed.

Business requirements

Goals, objectives and outcomes which indicate the reason for initiating a change.

Business rule

A specific, practicable, testable directive that is under the control of the business and that serves as a criterion for guiding behavior, shaping judgments, or making decisions.

Business rules analysis

Business rules analysis is used to identify, express, validate, refine, and organize the rules that shape day-to-day business behavior.


See Business to business

Business to business

This refers to a commercial trading model by which a business supplies other businesses, and by implication does not generally supply consumers, i.e., domestic private customers (which would be B2C). 


See Business To Consumer

Business to Consumer

Transactions in which businesses sell goods and/or services to end consumers or customers.

Button ad

A small advertisement on a website, typically measuring 12 x 9 pixels.

Buy in

Purchase of a company where outside investors buy more than 5% of the shares, so they can take over the company.


A word or phrase which has become fashionable or popular, or sounds technical or important and is used to impress people.



Cafeteria plan

A system which allows employees to choose from a selection of benefits which may be tax-advantaged, such as retirement plan contributions, health benefits, etc., in addition to their salary.

Calculated risk

A risk which has been undertaken after careful consideration has been given to the likely outcome.


The set of activities the enterprise performs, the knowledge it has, the products and services it provides, the functions it supports, and the methods it uses to make decisions.

Capability centric view

Come up with innovative solutions by combining existing capabilities.

Capability maps

Provide a graphical view of elements involved in business capability analysis.


See Capability Maturity Model.

Capability Maturity Model

It’s a maturity model against which the company is certified for its processes.


See Capability Maturity Model Integration.

Capability Maturity Model Integration

CMM Integrated for various streams.

Capitalization Issue

When a company converts its spare profits into shares, which are then distributed to existing shareholders in proportion to the amount of shares they already hold.


See Carbon Copy.

Carbon Copy

Used in mails when you mark a copy to the person who needs to be in loop.


Term cardinality is to refer to the minimum and maximum number of occurrences to which an entity related.

Carpet Bomb

To send an advertisement to a large number of people by e-mail or onto their computer screens.


A group of separate companies or nations which together agree to control prices and not compete against each other. Also known as a Price Ring.

Cash Call

A request by a company to its shareholders to invest more money.

Cash Cow

A steady dependable source of income which provides money for the rest of a business.

Cash Flow

The movement of money into and out of a company, organisation, etc.

Cash Flow Forecast

An estimate of the amounts of cash outgoings and incomings of a company over a specific time period, usually one year. Also called Cash Flow Projection.


See Causal Analysis and Resolution.

Causal Analysis and Resolution

It’s a process area which comes in CMMi level 5

Cause-and-effect diagram

See fishbone diagram.


Certified Business Analysis Professional.


Certification of Competency in Business Analysis.

Central Reservation System (CRS)

A computer database system used by a chain of hotels (and other services providers) enabling availability and rates to be monitored and bookings to be made.


Constraints on the solution which is necessary to meet certain standards or industry convention.

Chain of Command

A system in a business, or in the military, in which authority is wielded and delegated from top management down through every level of employee. In a chain of command instructions flow downwards and accountability flows upwards.

Chamber of Commerce

A group of business owners in a town or city who form a network to promote local business.


The act of transformation in response to a need.

Change agent

One who is a catalyst for change.

Change approach 

High level plan to achieve the change.

Change control

Controlling changes to requirements and designs so that the impact of requested changes is understood and agreed-to before the changes are made.


See Change Control Board.

Change Control Board

It’s a team which does the impact analysis and approval of change requests raised during the project.

Change management

Planned activities, tools, and techniques to address the human side of change during a change initiative, primarily addressing the needs of the people who will be most affected by the change.


See Change Request.

Change Request

A request raised by the customer when he wants a change in the requirements already given or to raise a new request.

Change strategy

A plan to move from the current state to the future state to achieve the desired business objectives.

Change team

A cross-functional group of individuals who are mandated to implement a change. This group may be comprised of product owners, business analysts, developers, project managers, implementation subject matter experts (SMEs), or any other individual with the relevant set of skills and competencies required to implement the change.


Channels are the different ways an enterprise interacts with and delivers value to its customers.


A standard set of quality elements that reviewers use for requirements verification.


See Chief Delivery Officer.

Chief Delivery Officer

Person responsible for project delivery.


See Chief Executive Officer.

Chief Executive Officer

Top Management who takes care of overall functions of the company.


See Chief Information Officer

Chief Information Officer

Similar to CEO, top management member who takes care of all operations in the company.


See Chief operating Officer.

Chief operating Officer

Is a position that can be one of the highest-ranking executive positions in an organization.


See Chief Technology Officer.

Chief Technology Officer

Is an executive-level position in a company or other entity whose occupation is focused on scientific and technological issues within an organization.


An entity in object model.

Class diagram

A diagram showing classes and their relationships.

Click stream

A record of an internet user, including every web site and web page which has been visited, and e-mails sent and received.

Clicks and Mortar

Also known as Clicks and Bricks. Refers to businesses which trade on the Internet as well as having traditional retail outlets, such as shops.


Readymade pictures of computerized graphic art which can be copied by computer users to add to their own documents.

Close ended questions

See Closed questions.

Closed questions

Respondents select from available responses Typically Yes/No, multiple-choice, rank order decision etc.


Capability maturity model - A model developed by Software Engineering Institute.


Capability maturity model Integration - A model developed by Software Engineering Institute.

Code sharing

An arrangement between different airlines in which they all agree to carry passengers on the same flight using their own flight numbers.


The act of two or more people working together towards a common goal.

Collaboration and Knowledge Management Tools

Capture organization wide knowledge and makes it available and accessible to the entire team.


Act of working together with other people towards accomplishing a common goal.

Collaborative games

Collaborative games use game playing techniques to collaborate in developing common understanding of a problem or a solution.

Commercial Monopoly

The control of a commodity or service by one provider in a particular market, virtually eliminating competition.


See Commercial off the shelf.

Commercial off the shelf

A product which can be brought from market.

Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS)

A prepackaged solution available in the marketplace which address all or most of the common needs of a large group of buyers of those solutions. A commercial off-the-shelf solution may require some configuration to meet the specific needs of the enterprise.

Communication Tools (Email, instant messaging)

Facilitates long distance communication.

Communication tools and technology

Allows Business analysts to plan and complete tasks related to conversational and collaborative interactions with co-located as well as geographically dispersed stakeholders Emails, instant messaging, voice communications etc. are examples of conversation interaction tools whereas document sharing, wikis, white boards etc. are examples of collaboration tools.


Ability to co-exist and interact with other applications.

Competitor analysis

A company's marketing strategy which involves assessing the performance of competitors in order to determine their strengths and weaknesses. Also called Competitive Analysis.

Competitive advantage

A position a business gains over its competitors.

Competitive analysis

A structured assessment which captures the key characteristics of an industry to predict the long-term profitability prospects and to determine the practices of the most significant competitors.


Indicates implementation difficulty, often indicated by qualitative scales based on number of interfaces, complexity of essential processes, or the number and nature of resources required.


Legal, financial or regulatory constraints which can differ based on the scenario.

Compliance officer

A corporate official whose job is to ensure that a company is complying with regulations, and that its employees are complying with internal policies and procedures.


A uniquely identifiable element of a larger whole that fulfills a clear function.


See Computer Aided Design.

Computer Aided Design

Is the use of computer systems to aid in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimization of a design.


See Computer Aided Manufacturing.

Computer Aided Manufacturing

Is the use of software to control machine tools and related ones in the manufacturing of work pieces.[1][2][3][4][5] This is not the only definition for CAM, but it is the most common;


See Computer Aided System Engineering.

Computer Aided System Engineering

Is the broad usage of computer software to aid in engineering analysis tasks. It includes finite element analysis (FEA), computational fluid dynamics (CFD), multibody dynamics (MBD), and optimization.


A thought or notion. An idea for a new product, advertising campaign, etc.

Concept model

An analysis model that develops the meaning of core concepts for a problem domain, defines their collective structure, and specifies the appropriate vocabulary needed to communicate about it consistently.

Concept models

Concept models organize business vocabulary, usually starting with glossary.

Conceptual data model

Independent of any solution to represent how business perceives its information.

Conceptual thinking

Ability to sieved through lots of data and to find the link connecting them all and thereby fit them into a larger context.


To bring two disputing sides together to discuss the problem with the aim of reaching an agreement.


In publishing, a concordance is an alphabetical list of the key words from a text showing their meanings. 


See Concurrent Versioning System.

Concurrent Versioning System

Is a client-server free software revision control system in the field of software development.

Conditional Sale

A purchasing arrangement, usually where the buyer pays in installments but does not become the legal owner of the goods until the full purchase price has been paid.

Conference Call

A telephone call which allows three or more people to take part at the same time.


See Confidentiality Integrity Availability.

Confidentiality Integrity Availability

Characteristics needed for information security.


See Configurable Item.

Configurable Item

An item which undergoes change frequently.


See Configuration Management.

Configuration Management

Important part of a project, which takes care of the Configuration of the project for organizing change and control.


See Configuration Management Plan.

Configuration Management Plan

Plan that details CM activities.


A corporation which consists of several smaller companies with different business activities.


A group of businesses, investors or financial institutions working together on a joint venture.


An influencing factor that cannot be changed, and that places a limit or restriction on a possible solution or solution option.


Constraints are aspects that cannot be changed by the solution or design It can be restrictions on budget, time, resources, technology, infrastructure, policies etc.


An expert who is paid by a company, individual, etc., to give advice on developing plans and achieving goals.


Stakeholder or stakeholder group who will can be asked for opinions or information about the task SMEs are generally considered for this.

Consumer Watchdog

An independent organization that protects the rights of individual customers and monitors companies to check for illegal practices.

Consumption Tax

Tax paid which is based on the price of services or goods, e.g. value added tax.


A situation in which the price of a commodity to be delivered in the future exceeds the immediate delivery price, often due to storage and insurance costs.


The circumstances that influence, are influenced by, and provide understanding of the change.

Contra Entry

In accounting, an amount entered which is offset by another entry of the same value, i.e., a debit is offset by a credit.

Contract of Employment

A contract between an employee and an employer which specifies terms and conditions of employment, such as hours to be worked, duties to perform, etc., in return for a salary, paid benefits, paid holiday, etc., from the employer.

Control Account

An account which a company keeps in addition to its official accounts, in order to cross-check balances, etc., to ensure that the official accounts are accurate.

Control Chart

It’s a QC tool.

Controlling Interest

The ownership of more than 5% of the voting shares in a company, which enables the owner of these shares to make decisions, direct operations, etc.


To gather together for an official or formal meeting.


Refers to a security (bonds or shares) which can be exchanged for another type of security in the same company.


On a computer, coded information that an Internet website you have visited sends to your computer which contains personal information, such as identification code, pages visited, etc., so that the website can remember you at a later time.

Cooling Off Period

A period of time after the exchange of contracts, purchasing agreements, etc., during which the purchaser can change their mind and cancel the contract, and usually get any deposit paid reimbursed.


An exclusive legal right to make copies, publish, broadcast or sell a piece of work, such as a book, film, music, picture, etc.

Core capabilities

Activities or essential functions in an enterprise that differentiates it from others.

Core concept 

One of six ideas those are fundamental to the practice of business analysis - Change, Need, Solution, Context, Stakeholder, and Value.

Core Earnings

A company's revenue which is earned from its main operations or activities minus expenses, such as financing costs, asset sales, etc.

Corporate Advertising

Also called Institutional Advertising. Advertising that promotes a company's image, rather than marketing its products or services.

Corporate Governance

Corporate governance refers to the (ideally visible, transparent, published) policies and practices by which an organization is directed and managed at executive level, with particular focus on the executive board's accountabilities to shareholders and other stakeholders, especially concerning avoidance of risk, and the competence, ethics and propriety of the leadership, typically a chairman and board of directors.

Corporate Hospitality

Entertainment provided by companies in order to develop good relationships with its employees, customers, other businesses, etc.

Corporate Ladder

The order of rank, position, etc., in a company from junior to senior, which can be progressed or 'climbed' by employees.

Corporate Raider

A term used for an individual or company who purchases large numbers of shares in other companies, against their wishes, in order to gain a controlling interest in the other companies, or to resell the shares for a large profit.

Corporate Social Responsibility

An obligation of a company to adhere to legal guidelines in order to meet the needs of its employees, shareholders and customers, and also to be concerned about social and environmental issues.

Corporate Veil

A term which refers to the fact that a company's shareholders are not liable for the company's debts, and are immune from lawsuits concerning contracts, etc.

Corrective action

Establish ways to reduce the negative impact of an event.


See Corrective Action Preventive Action

Corrective Action Preventive Action

It is usually a set of actions which are required to be taken and implemented in an organization at levels of manufacturing, documentation, procedures or systems in order to rectify and eliminate the recurrence of nonperformance.

Cost as a basis for prioritization

Effort and resources required to implement a requirement Requirements priority may change based on the cost.

Cost centre

Part of a business or organization such as a marketing department, or quality assurance department, which is a cost to operations and does not produce external customer revenues or profit through trading. See Profit-center, which trades with external customers and is responsible for producing profit.

Cost Cutting

Reducing an individual's, company's, etc., expenditure.

Cost effective

Producing a product, offering a service, etc., in the most economical way to the benefit of the company and the customer.

Cost Leader

A company which has a competitive advantage by producing goods or offering services at a lower cost than its competitors.


See Cost of Quality.

Cost of Quality

It’s a quality measure.

Cost of the Change

Expected cost of building or acquiring the solution components and costs of transitioning.


See Cost per Impression.

Cost per Impression

An advertising method/term, commonly used in online advertising, by which advertising costs are based on the number of times an advert is displayed or viewed. See also PPC/CPC (Pay per Click/Cost per Click).

Cost structure

Elements of costs for any change or product or service.

Cost to serve

An accounting/business/strategy term and method of analysis which calculates the total costs of product/service provision for a particular customer, or potentially for a broader customer grouping. 

Cost-benefit analysis

An analysis which compares and quantifies the financial and non-financial costs of making a change or implementing a solution compared to the benefits gained.


See commercial off-the-shelf.


A person or position which has a corresponding function in a different organization, country, etc. The corresponding function naturally is also a counterpart. Also a copy of a legal document.


Computer software designed to be used in teaching or for self-learning.


A dishonest, often unqualified, business person, especially one who overcharges for bad quality work. Not to be confused with the cowboy of top-shelf publications.


Certified Professional in Requirements Engineering.

Create, Read, Update and Delete matrix (CRUD matrix)

A two-dimensional matrix showing which user roles have permission to access specific information entities, and to create new records in those entities, view the data in existing records, update or modify the data in existing records, or delete existing records. The same type of matrix can be used to show which processes, instead of users, have the create, read, update and delete rights.

Creative thinking

Business analysts encourage stakeholders to think creatively in order to come up with new ideas, approaches, alternatives to problems etc. They promote creative thinking by identifying and proposing alternatives and by asking questions and challenging assumptions.


An arrangement in which an item for sale is received by the purchaser and paid for at a later date. A loan. The positive balance in a bank account. An amount entered in a company's accounts which has been paid by a debtor.

Credit Analysis

The process of analyzing a company's financial records and assessing its ability to repay a loan, etc.

Credit Crunch

Also known as Credit Squeeze. This usually precedes a recession. A situation in which loans for businesses and individuals are difficult to obtain, when a government is trying to control inflation, because of the fear of bankruptcy and unemployment.

Credit history

A record of an individual's or company's debt repayment, used by lenders to asses a borrower’s ability to repay a loan, mortgage, etc.

Crisis management

Actions taken by a company to deal with an unexpected event which threatens to harm the organization, such as a loss of a major customer, bad publicity, etc.


A principal or standard by which other things or people may be compared, or a decision may be based.

Critical mass

The minimum amount of customers, resources, etc., needed to maintain or start a business, venture, etc. The point at which change occurs e.g., when a company is able to continue in business and make a profit without any outside help.


See Critical to Quality.

Critical to Quality

Is an attribute of a part, assembly, sub-assembly, product, or process that is literally critical to quality or more precisely, has a direct and significant impact on its actual or perceived quality.


In business and politics, showing favoritism to friends and associates by giving them jobs or appointments with no regard to their qualifications or abilities.

Cross guarantee

Also known as Inter Company Guarantee. A guarantee by a group of companies to be responsible for the debts, etc., of another company in the group if it fails to repay them. The group also use the guarantee to raise capital or take out multiple loans.

Cross merchandising

Also known as Add-On Sales. In retailing, the practice of putting related products together on display in order to encourage customers to purchase several items.

Crowd sourcing

Refers to an organization, group or individual delegating a task to a large number of people via the internet, thereby using the general public or a community of followers, users, experts, etc., to do research, make suggestions, and solve a problem, etc., usually without being paid. 


A method of funding and underpinning a project or business venture which became increasingly popular and visible in the 21st century, whereby users or other interested people are involved as investors at project inception, and therefore agree and commit to support a development of one sort or another. 

Crown Jewel

The most valuable and profitable asset of a company or business.

Crow's Foot Notation

A notation for ER diagram

CRUD matrix

See create, read, update, and delete matrix.


The Chief Officers or most senior executives in a business or organisation.


A stakeholder who uses or may use products or services produced by the enterprise and may have contractual or moral rights that the enterprise is obliged to meet.

Customer Dimension

Measures on customer focus, satisfaction and delivery of value.


See Customer Information Control System.

Customer Information Control System

Is a unit of processing initiated by a single request that may affect one or more objects.


See Customer loyalty

Customer loyalty

Describes when a customer prefers to buy a particular brand or type of product, who prefers a particular shop, or who stays with the same company, such as a bank, insurance company, phone company, etc.

Customer relations

The relationship a company has with its customers and the way it deals with them. The department in a company which is responsible for dealing with its customers, for example complaints, etc.


See Customer Satisfaction.

Customer satisfaction

It’s a Survey done to capture the customer satisfaction score.

Customer segments

Customer segments group customers with common needs and attributes so that the enterprise can more effectively and efficiently address the needs of each segment.


See Customer Service Representative.

Customer Service Representative

One who takes in the customer queries and processes the same.


Also known as 'Going Live'. The point in time a company or organization, etc., replaces an old program or system with a new one.

Cyber monday

In recent times, the busiest online shopping day of the year, in the USA typically the Monday after Thanksgiving Day (the fourth Thursday of November); in the UK typically the first Monday in December.

Cyber squatting

The illegal activity of buying and registering a domain name which is a well-known brand or someone's name, with the intent of selling it to its rightful owner in order to make a profit.


Term credited to author William Gibson in 1984 which describes the imaginary place where e-mails, web pages, etc., go to while they are being sent between computers.BA Career Guide 2023



Dark net

A term for online private websites and networks concealed from and inaccessible to unauthorized users in which materials are shared, normally illegally and anonymously.

Dark store

A retail store adapted or designed for the main or whole purpose of fulfilling online orders.


See Data Base.


It is the collection of schemas, tables, queries, reports, views, and other objects.


See Data Flow Diagram.

Data Flow Diagram

Flow Chart indicating the path of different steps.

Data mining

Data mining, an approach to document analysis is to analyze data to group it into categories, determine patterns and opportunities for change.


See Data Warehousing.

Data Warehousing

A technique to analyze data.

Daughter company

A company that is controlled partly or completely by a holding or parent company.

Dawn raid

A sudden planned purchase of a large number of a company's shares at the beginning of a day’s trading on the stock exchange.

Dear money

When money is difficult to borrow, and if a loan is secured then it would be paid back at a very high rate of interest. Also known as Tight Money.


A meeting or interview in which a person or group of people report about a task or mission just completed or attempted.

Decision analysis

An approach to decision making that examines and models the possible consequences of different decisions, and assists in making an optimal decision under conditions of uncertainty.

Decision making

When a set of alternatives are available, Business analysts should assist the stakeholders in making a decision by choosing the most appropriate solution based on analysis of relevant information, comparison and contrast with other options available etc.

Decision matrix

See Decision table.

Decision modelling

Decision modeling shows how repeatable business decisions are made using data and knowledge for any decision, simple or complex.

Decision requirements diagram

Shows information, knowledge and decision making involved in a more complex business decision.

Decision table

A decision table is a compact, tabular representation of a set of these rules.

Decision tree

A tree structure indicating different decision options.


A technique that subdivides a problem into its component parts in order to facilitate analysis and understanding of those components.

Deep throat

In business, an anonymous source of top secret information. First used in this sense in the reporting of the US Watergate scandal.

Deep web

Also known as the Invisible Web, said to contain about 5 times more information than the generally accessible world-wide web, the Deep Web comprises data held by secure organizations, for example military and government.


A deficiency in a product or service that reduces its quality or varies from a desired attribute, state, or functionality.


See Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control.

Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control

One of Six sigma methodology.

Definitional business rule

A rule that indicates something is necessarily true (or untrue); a rule that is intended as a definitional criterion for concepts, knowledge, or information. Also known as a Structural rule.

Definitional rules

Rules representing operational knowledge of the organization They prescribe how information may be derived, inferred or calculated based on information available to the business.


An assignment of responsibility or task, usually by a manager to a subordinate. See delegation. Separately a delegation refers to a deputation, being a group of people appointed or responsible for representing a nation or corporation or other organization to attend talks or negotiations, etc.


Identify which authorities can be delegated by one individual to another on a short-term or permanent basis.


Any unique and verifiable work product or service that a party has agreed to deliver.

Delivery Manager

One who is responsible for the overall product delivery to the customer who makes sure that right product is delivered to right person at right time.

Delphi estimation

Uses a combination of expert judgment and history Include individual estimates, sharing the estimates with experts and having several rounds until consensus is reached.

Dependencies as a basis for prioritization

When one requirement cannot be fulfilled unless the other requirement is fulfilled.

Dependent variable

Variable whose value changes with the change in other variables which they are dependent on.

Depends relationship

One requirement can be implemented only if the other has been implemented or easier to implement if the other is implemented.

Deployment model

Shows how computing aspects are distributed.


The reduction or removal of government regulations from an industry or business.

Derive relationship

When one requirement is derived from the other (Solution requirements are derived from stakeholder requirements.


A usable representation of a solution. 

Design options

Describe different ways to satisfy business needs Options come with their own set of change challenges and risks.

Desk check

Informal technique where a reviewer who was not involved in creation of the work product provides a feedback.

Desktop Publishing

Producing printed documents, magazines, books, etc., using a small computer and printer.

Detailed Design Document

The detailed design document which talks about the step by step design of the system to be developed.

Digital Wallet

Computer software used to store a person’s bank account details, name, address, etc., to enable them to make automatic payments when they are making purchases on the Internet.

Direct Marketing

The marketing of products, services, etc., directly to individual potential customers by sending them catalogues, leaflets, brochures, etc., by mail (including e-mail), calling them on the telephone or calling door-to-door.

Direct Overhead

A portion of the overheads, e.g. lighting, rent, etc., directly associated with the production of goods and services.


At an official level, directives are instructions, guidelines or orders issued by a governing or regulatory body. They may amount to law. In a less formal way a directive equates to an instruction issued by an executive or manager or organizational department.


A person appointed to oversee and run a company or organisation along with other directors, In the entertainment industry, the person who directs the making of a film, TV program, etc.

Dirty money

Money made from illegal activities which needs 'laundering' so that it appears to be legitimate.

Discount rate

Assumed interest rate + risk premium.


An individual or company who buys products, usually from manufacturers, and resells them to retail outlets or direct to customers. A wholesaler.

Distribution channel

A means of distributing a product from the manufacturer to the customer/end user via warehouses, wholesalers, retailers, etc.


The act or strategy of growing a business/brand by developing its range of products, services, investments, etc., into new market sectors, horizontally or vertically. 

Diversion/Product Diversion

In marketing and business 'diversion' refers to the unofficial distribution/availability of branded consumer products. In other words this is the supply of branded products through unauthorized stockists or retailers or other suppliers, notably via the web. Diversion does not refer to pirated or counterfeit or 'fake' goods. Diversion refers to official goods being sold through unofficial channels. Also called a ‘Grey market'.


In the context of work/organizations, diversity is a business/employment term originating in the late 1900s, referring to the quality of a workforce (and potentially a group of users/customers or audience) as defined by its mixture of people according to ethnicity, race, religion, disability, gender, sexuality, age, etc. 


In business, divest/divestment refers to a corporation selling subsidiary interests, especially a subsidiary company. (The term derives originally from a more literal meaning of taking power of rights from someone or a body - from the original French desvestir, meaning literally removal of a person's vest or garment.)


A portion of profits paid by a company to its shareholders. 

Docking station

A device to which a notebook computer or a laptop can be connected so it can serve as a desktop computer.


Is a written, drawn, presented or recorded representation of thoughts.

Document analysis

Elicit business analysis information, by examining materials which describe about the business environment or organizational assets


See Document of Understanding.

Document of Understanding

A document signed by two parties to start collaboration.

Document sharing

Used in video-conferencing. A system which allows people in different places to view and edit the same document at the same time on their computers.


An informal slang term for an investment which has shown a poor performance. The slang term dog may also refer to other poor-performing elements within a business, for example a product or service within a company range, as in the widely used 'Boston Matrix'.


The sphere of knowledge that defines a set of common requirements, terminology, and functionality for any program or initiative solving a problem.

Domain knowledge

Knowledge of and expertise in the business domain.

Domain subject matter expert (SME)

People with in-depth knowledge of a topic relevant to business need or Solution scope Examples: Managers, process owners, consultants etc.


An internet business or the internet business sector.

Double dipping

The practice, usually regarded as unethical, of receiving two incomes or benefits from the same source, for example receiving a pension and consultancy income from the same employer.

Double entry Book keeping

An accounting method which results in balanced ledgers, i.e., for every transaction a credit is recorded in one account and a debit is recorded in another.

Double dip Recession

A recession during which there is a brief period of economic growth, followed by a slide back into recession, before final recovery. Also called a W-shaped recession. See recession shapes.


See dynamic systems development method.


Two companies, or a situation, in which both companies control a particular industry.

Dutch auction

A type of auction which opens with a high asking price which is then lowered until someone accepts the auctioneers price, or until the sellers reserve price has been reached.

Dynamic systems development method (DSDM)

A project delivery framework which focuses on fixing cost, quality, and time at the beginning while contingency is managed by varying the features to be delivered.


Earn out

An arrangement in which an extra future conditional payment is made to the seller of a business in addition to the original price, based upon certain criteria being met.


See Earned Value Analysis.

Earned Value Analysis

A project management measurement system.


See Earned value management.

Earned value management

Is a project management technique for measuring project performance and progress in an objective manner.

Earnest money

Money paid in good faith as a deposit, usually for a property, to show that the buyer is serious about doing business with the vendor.


Electronic Business. Using the internet to conduct business or enable businesses to link together.


Entry Certificate in business analysis.


Electronic Commerce. The buying and selling of products and services over the Internet.


Using mathematics and statistics to study the economy.

Economic Growth

An increase in a region's or nation's production of goods and services.


Being able to communicate and/or conduct business using the internet.


See Effort Variance.

Effort Variance

Is a metric to calculate effort spent against planned.


Freelance working using the Internet to sell services or goods anywhere in the world.


See Electronic Data Interchange.

Electronic Data Interchange

A means of exchanging documents between businesses using electronic equipment such as computers.

Electronic Purse

A type of microchipped smartcard which stores small amounts of money to enable payment for purchases, especially on the Internet, instead of having to use cash.


Practice of collecting requirements from stakeholders or other sources.

Elicitation activity plan

Plan to guide sources, schedule of elicitation.

Elicitation and collaboration

Tasks BAs carry out to prepare for elicitation, Conduct elicitation activities, confirm results, communicate and collaborate with stakeholders.


Dishonestly appropriate goods or money from one's employer for personal gain; steal from one's employer, typically by electronic administrative methods, thus abusing a position of trust or responsibility.


Total wages, benefits or compensation paid to someone for the job they do or the office they hold.


Used in e-mails, internet chat rooms and text messages, symbols which represent facial expressions, e.g. :-) = smile.

Emotional capital

Emotional experiences, values and beliefs of a company's employees that make good working relationships and a successful business. Low emotional capital can result in conflict between employees, low morale and poor customer relations.

Emotional intelligence

The ability or skill of a person to understand and control their emotions, and to understand and assess and respond appropriately to the feelings and situations of others. Commonly abbreviated to EQ (Emotional Quotient, alluding to the concept of IQ - Intelligence Quotient), Emotional Intelligence theory seeks to enable a sophisticated practical appreciation and application of the concept of intelligence, especially in work, management, leadership and human relationships.

Employee buyout

A transaction in which employees purchase all or most of a company's shares, thereby gaining control of the company.

Employee ownership

A business model and constitutional framework in which staff hold significant or majority shares of a company, thereby ensuring higher levels of loyalty and commitment, and fairness in the way that business performance relates to employee reward. The John Lewis Partnership is one of the prime and most successful examples of the concept.


See Employee Self Service.

Employee Self Service

An Internet based system which enables an employee to access their personal records and payroll details, so they can change their own bank account details, contact details, etc.

Employee Stock Option

Allows specified employees the right to purchase shares in the company at a fixed price.


A person, business, organization, etc., that pays for the services of workers.

Employment equity

Promotes equal employment opportunities for everyone, regardless of gender, race, ability, etc.

Employment law

Also known as Labor Law. The branch of the law that deals with the legal rights of employees, e.g. workplace safety, discrimination, compensation, etc.


Convert data into code which cannot be easily understood by people who have no authorization to view it.

End consumer

An individual who uses a product or service.

End user

A stakeholder who directly interacts with the solution.


A system of one or more organizations and the solutions they use to pursue a shared set of common goals.


See Enterprise Application Integration.

Enterprise Application Integration

Software technology that links computer programs, data bases, etc., within an organization, so that information can be shared.

Enterprise architecture

A description of the business processes, information technology, people, operations, information, and projects of an enterprise and the relationships between them.

Enterprise culture

Enterprise culture may be defined as deeply rooted values, beliefs, attitudes and norms shared by its members who affect their actions.

Enterprise limitations

Used to understand challenges that exist within the enterprise.

Enterprise readiness assessment

An assessment that describes the enterprise is prepared to accept the change associated with a solution and is able to use it effectively.


See Enterprise Resource Planning.

Enterprise Resource Planning

It’s a system to manage many aspects of an organization such as accounting, HR, inventory, sales etc.


Anything of interest to business domain from data perspective.

Entity-relationship diagram

A graphical representation of the entities relevant to a chosen problem domain and the relationships between them.


A quantitative assessment of a planned outcome, resource requirements, and schedule where uncertainties and unknowns are systematically factored into the assessment.


See Estimated Time of/to Completion.

Estimated Time of/to Completion

Time required to complete a task.


A retailer who uses the internet to sell goods and/or services to the public.


Technology, invented by The Xerox Corporation, which connects computers in a local area network (LAN).


Ethics is a system of moral principles like fairness, consideration to others, resolution of ethical dilemmas, honesty in thoughts and actions etc. Ethical behavior includes understanding the impact of a solution on various stakeholder groups and working towards ensuring a fair and transparent treatment towards all of them.

Ethics Committee

An independent body which is appointed to examine unethical behavior.

Ethnic Monitoring

Recording and evaluating the racial origins of employees in a company to ensure that all races are represented fairly.


The replacement of a strong/offensive word or phrase with an alternative word or phrase considered to be milder/inoffensive. Euphemisms are used widely and very wrongly by politicians and business people attempting to avoid responsibility and personal acknowledgment of mistakes, bad decisions and unjustifiable actions, etc. Euphemisms in such situations are part of 'spin', or spinning a story.


The systematic and objective assessment of a solution to determine its status and efficacy in meeting objectives over time, and to identify ways to improve the solution to better meet objectives. See also indicator; metric, monitoring.

Evaluation criteria 

Defines a set of measures to rank multiple solutions options, solutions or solution components based on their value for stakeholders.


An occurrence or incident to which an organizational unit, system, or process must respond.

Evolutionary or Functional prototype

Extends the initial interface requirements into a fully functioning system requires specialized prototyping tool or language and produces a working application.

Evolutionary prototype

A prototype that is continuously modified and updated in response to feedback from stakeholders.

Ex gratia

Something given or carried out as a favour or gift, rather than as a legal duty.

Ex officio

Someone who has a right to be included because of their job or position, e.g. to sit on a committee. (Latin - by virtue of office or position).

Ex stock

Goods which are available for immediate delivery because the supplier has them in stock.

Ex works

Goods which are delivered to the purchaser at the plant or place where they are manufactured. The purchaser then pays for transporting and insuring the goods from that point.

Exception flow

If the circumstance does not allow the actor to achieve their goal, the use case is considered unsuccessful, and is terminated.

Execution risk

The risk that a company's plans, or a project, will fail because of changes being made, e.g. entering a new market, bad management, etc.

Executive director

A person who usually works as a full-time senior employee for a company, and is responsible for the day to day running of the business, and is often a member of the company's board of directors. Also called Internal Director.

Existing business analysis information

Provide better understanding of the goals of elicitation activity and help in preparing for elicitation.

Existing solutions

Existing products or services, often third party, which are considered as components of design option.

Exit strategy

A plan by an investor to dispose of an investment, such as shares in a company, to make a profit, or a business owner to dispose of their company, e.g., by selling the business, floating it on the stock market, ceasing to trade, handing it over to another family member, etc. Also called Harvest Strategy.

Expected benefits

Expected benefits describe the positive value that a solution is intended to deliver to stakeholders. It is determined based on the benefits that the stakeholders’ desire and what is possible to attain. It is realized over a period of time.

Expected costs

Comprises of costs to acquire a solution, negative effects it may have on stakeholders and costs to maintain it over time.

Experience curve

In business, when costs fall and production increases as a result of increase in workers skills and lower material costs.


Elicitation performed in a controlled manner to make a discovery, test a hypothesis, or demonstrate a known fact.

Expert system

A computer software system which can provide expert knowledge for a specific problem when users ask a series of questions.

Export factoring

A facility offered by banks to exporters. The bank is responsible for collecting payments for exported goods, so that the exporter can borrow money from the bank before the goods have been paid for by the customers.


A public event at which businesses, that produce related goods, can showcase their products and/or services.


Allows for the insertion of additional behavior into a use case.


Whether the solution is able to incorporate new functionality.


See Extensible Markup Language.

Extensible Mark-up Language

Is a markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable.

Extension strategy

A marketing strategy to stop a product going into decline by making small changes to it, reaching new customers or finding new uses for it, e.g. a drink which was sold as an aid to those recovering from illness is now sold as a sports drink.

External competitiveness

Being able to sell goods and services to customers in foreign countries at a competitive price.

External debt

Also known as Foreign Debt. Money that is owed by the government, organization's or individuals to creditors in other countries.

External interface

An interaction that is outside the proposed solution. It can be another hardware system, software system, or a human interaction with which the proposed solution will interact.


A private computer network to which a company's customers and suppliers can link and communicate using the Internet.


The estimation or determination of what will happen in the future by extending (extrapolating) known information or data. The verb usage 'extrapolate' is common and means using mathematics or other logical process to extend a proven trend or set of data. 'What if...' scenarios and business modeling generally involves some sort of extrapolation. It's a way of predicting something by assuming a historical pattern will continue into the future.


Advertising term. A name given to the number of people who visit a website advertisement, which can be counted by the number of click-through.


An electronic magazine which is published on the internet, or delivered by e-mail.



The art of leading and encouraging people through systematic efforts toward agreed-upon objectives in a manner that enhances involvement, collaboration, productivity, and synergy.

Fallen angel

Term used in finance to describe bonds which once had a good investment value, but have now dropped in value to a much lower rating.

False bottom

On the stock market, selling prices which seem to have already hit their lowest level because of a subsequent price rise then fall through a false bottom because the price falls even lower.


See Fast Moving Consumer Goods.

Fast Moving Consumer Goods

Products (and the related industry) which are sold in big volumes by big retailers at low profit margins, at keen prices, to domestic consumers - traditionally foods and groceries, household consumables, etc., and nowadays extending to any products of short life and disposable/consumable nature. See FMCG in the acronyms section.)

Fast track

Quick route in a career to success and promotion, associated with high ambition.

Fat cat

A wealthy person living off investments or dividends, or a chief executive of a large company or organisation who is on a very large salary, huge pension, etc.

Fault tolerance

Enables a system, especially in computing, to continue to operate properly even though a component in the system has failed.

Feasibility study

An evaluation of proposed alternatives to determine if they are technically, organizationally, and economically possible within the constraints of the enterprise, and whether they will deliver the desired benefits to the enterprise.


A distinguishing characteristic of a solution that implements a cohesive set of requirements and which delivers value for a set of stakeholders.

Feature tree

A visual representation of planned features of a system.


An organisation which has been formed by the joining together of a group of companies, clubs, etc.

Fiat currency/Fiat money

A very bold term for monetary currency which is established and traded as a national currency, such as US Dollar, Sterling, Euro, etc. From Latin 'fiat', 'it shall be'.

Fidelity bond

Also known as Fidelity Insurance. Protects an employer against any losses incurred because of dishonesty, or damage caused, by an employee.


Describes an organization or individual who manages money or property for a beneficiary.

Figure head

In business, organizations, politics, etc., a person who holds an important position or office but lacks real power or authority; a 'front man'. Derived from the carved painted figurehead models which traditionally were fixed to the front of sailing ships.


A personal organizer (and the name of the company which makes it), which was very popular in the 1980s, with pages which can be easily removed or added. This product was associated with 'Yuppies'.


To provide or obtain funds for a business, commercial project, an individual, etc. The management of money. To sell or provide goods on credit.

Financial dimension

Measures indicating profitability, revenue growth and added economic value.

Financial engineering

The practice of solving financial problems or creating financial opportunities in a company, by changing the way money is borrowed, debts paid, etc.

Financial equity

The ownership of interest in a company, usually in the form of shares.


See Financial Times Stock Exchange.

Financial Times Stock Exchange

Referred to verbally as 'footsie'. There are various FTSE indices (indexes), including most notably the FTSE 1, which is the index of the top 1 shares on the London Stock Exchange, whose movement is regarded as an important indicator of national (and wider) economic health and buoyancy. 

Finite capacity scheduling

A process in which a computer program organizes tasks, matching the resources available to the most efficient way of production.

Fire power

The amount of power, money and/or influence that is available to a business or organization.


A system in a computer which prevents unwanted or unauthorized access, but allows the authorized user to receive information.


See First In First Out.

First In First Out

A queuing system to work.

First order of business

The most important task to be dealt with.

Fiscal drag

A situation in which wages rise because of inflation but income tax thresholds are not increased, which can push people into higher tax brackets and therefore makes them pay an increased proportion of their wages in tax.

Fiscal policy

A government policy to regulate a nation's annual economic activity by setting tax levels and determining government expenditure.


It’s a QC tool.

Fishbone diagram

A diagramming technique used in root cause analysis to identify underlying causes of an observed problem, and the relationships that exist between those causes. Also known as an Ishikawa or cause-and- effect diagram.

Fishbone diagrams

Fishbone diagrams (also known as Ishikawa or Cause-and-effect diagram) are to identify and organize possible causes of a problem.


A technique in which one group presents and other group critically observe the group.

Five Nines

Refers to the 99.999% of the time that some companies claim their computer systems work properly.


Five-whys is a process of repeatedly asking questions to find out the root cause of a problem.

Fixed Parity

In foreign exchange, when the currency of one country is equal in value to the currency of another country.

Fixed term contract

Also known as Temporary Contract. A contract of employment which ends on a specific date, or on completion of a task or project. Fixed term employees have the rights to the same pay, conditions and benefits as full-time employees.


To send a rude or unacceptable message by e-mail, or to post a message on an Internet forum which is offensive or insightful.

Flash drive

A small portable device such as a 'pen drive' which connects to a USB port on a computer and is used to store data which can then be transferred to another computer. 

Flash mob

A secretly-planned (usually via modern computerized social networking technology), quickly-formed, organized group of people, assembled to engage in a quirky activity, typically for the amusement and entertainment of the participants. 


A manager who works flexible hours, often from home using the Internet. A multi-skilled executive who can change tasks or jobs with ease.


A work system in which employees work a set number of hours each week or month, but they decide when they are going to start and finish each day, usually between a range of given working hours.

Flight capital

The movement of large sums of money from one of investment to another, or from one country to another, to avoid high taxes or financial instability due to political unrest.

Floor limit

In retailing, the highest amount of money for a sale for which a debit or credit card can be used by a customer without authorization from the customer's bank.


The process of financing a company by selling shares on the stock exchange for the first time.

Flow chart

It’s a QC tool showing activity or logic flow.

Flynn effect

Research showing that the results of IQ (Intelligence Quotient) tests in various countries (i.e. internationally) have risen consistently over several decades, (after political scientist James R Flynn).

Focus groups

Focus groups elicit ideas, and attitudes from pre-qualified individuals about a specific product, service or opportunity in an interactive group environment.

Focus list

A list of companies, recommended by an investment firm, whose shares are worth buying or selling.

Foot fall

The extent or measure of numbers of people who visit a business or shop or other retail/leisure/entertainment venue during a given period of time. Footfall is a crucial factor in retailing methods, and also in promotion and advertising which focuses on the physical presence - on foot - of consumers at a particular location.


In a report or document, a line or block of text that appears at the bottom of every page which is printed from a computer.


See For your Action.

For your Action

An email acronym.


See For Your Information.

For Your Information

An email acronym.

Force field analysis

A graphical method for depicting the forces that support and oppose a change. Involves identifying the forces, depicting them on opposite sides of a line (supporting and opposing forces) and then estimating the strength of each set of forces.

Force majeure

A clause in a contract which exempts the contracting party (e.g., insurer) from liability in the event of an unforeseen intervention or catastrophe which prevents fulfillment of contractual obligations, such as war, act of God, etc. The term force majeure is French, meaning loosely 'superior strength'.


Also called FX, refers to Foreign Exchange, in which foreign currencies are bought and sold.

Form study prototype

Focuses on basic size, look and feel of the product and not on the functionality.

Formal walkthrough (also known as Team Review)

Technique that uses the individual review and team consolidation activities.

Fortune 5

Published by Fortune magazine, an annual list of the 5 US corporations with the largest revenue.

Forward Integration

A business strategy whereby a company takes control of its distributors, therefore guaranteeing the distribution of the controlling company's products.

Forwarding company

Also called a 'freight forwarder', a company specializing in transfer of freight from businesses or individuals by finding an appropriate transporter of the goods.

Four color process

In printing, the use of four ink colors - yellow, magenta, cyan and black - which are combined together to produce the whole spectrum of colors.

Fractional ownership

An arrangement where a number of people or companies each buy a percentage of an expensive asset, such as a property. The individual owners then share the asset, and when it is sold the profits are distributed back to the owners.


An authorization or license - effectively a business methodology, which can be bought - enabling someone (franchisee) to use the franchisor's company name and trademarks to sell their products services, etc., and usually to receive certain support, in a particular town, area of a country, or international region. 

Free enterprise

An economic system in which private businesses have the freedom to compete with each other for profit, with minimal interference from the government.

Free market

A market in which prices of goods and services are affected by supply and demand, rather than government regulation.

Free on board

Maritime trade term. The supplier delivers the goods to a ship at a specified port. The supplier then pays the shipping costs after obtaining official clearance. Once they have been put on board, the buyer is then responsible for the goods.

Free port

A port where goods can be brought and stored temporarily, without custom duties having to be paid, before being shipped to another country.

Free rider

A person or organization that enjoys benefits and services provided by others, and doesn't pay their fair share of the costs.

Free zone

An area in a country where importers can store foreign goods, prior to further transportation, without having to pay customs duties or taxes on them.


A situation in which companies provide certain goods and services for free, and those businesses who don't follow suit are likely to fail.

Freedom of association

The right of individuals to join together to form, or join an existing, group or organization, including a union.


A UK postal system, usually used in business, in which the recipient business pays the postage on mail, rather than the sender or customer.


Computer software that is copyrighted by the author and offered, usually on the Internet, free of charge.

Fringe benefit

A benefit given to employees in addition to their salary, such as a company car, pension scheme, paid holidays, etc.


In the context of business and retailing, fulfillment refers to the processing of a (consumer or commercial) customer's purchase/order - i.e., a 'sale'. 

Full-time contract

A permanent or ongoing contract of employment in which the employee works at least the standard number of hours in a working week, usually 35.


See Function Points.

Function Points 

A sizing methodology for software projects based on functions of the software.

Functional decomposition

Breaks down a large aspect (processes, functional areas, deliverables, scope, or problems) into smaller aspects, as independent as possible, so that work can be assigned to different groups.

Functional prototype

To test software functionality, qualities of the system, workflow etc. Also referred to as ‘working model’.

Functional requirement

A capability that a solution must have in terms of the behavior and information the solution will manage.

Functional Requirements

Functionalities provided by a solution.


See Functional Specifications.

Functional Specifications

Specification prepared for functionalities.


Extent to which user needs are met by the solution functions.

Functionally oriented structure

Functionally oriented organizations groups staff together based on shared skills or areas of expertise.


Describes goods or commodities which can be exchanged for something of the same kind, of equal value and quality.

Future state description

Desired future state and expected value delivery.



Also called profit sharing. An incentive system which enables employees to have a share in a company's profits.

Game theory

Sometimes called Games Theory, this is a potentially highly complex branch of mathematics increasingly found in business which uses the analysis of competing strategies (of for example market participants) and their effects upon each other to predict and optimize outcomes and results. Relates strongly to cause and effect and chaos theory. Game Theory may also arise in military strategy.

Gane-Sarson Notation

A DFD notation.

Gantt chart

Developed by Henry Gantt in 1917. A type of bar chart which illustrates the scheduled and completed work of a project. It shows start and finishes dates, compares work planned to work done and tracks specific tasks.

Gap analysis

A comparison of the current state and desired future state of an enterprise in order to identify differences that needs to be addressed.

Garden leave

Also called Gardening Leave. Term used when an employee's contract has been terminated but they are instructed by the company to stay away from work, on full pay, during their notice period. Often to prevent them from working for competitors during that time.


To take part of someone's wages, by law, to pay their debts, e.g. child support, alimony.


A person in an organization who controls access to the people in the organization, and/or controls access to information or goods, or even a market. Microsoft could be described as a gatekeeper to the computer industry. Google could be described as a gatekeeper to the internet industry.


A US term for a fast growing company that creates a lot of job opportunities, and which has grown by at least 2% in the last four years.


In selling and buying property, a term used to describe when a purchaser has an offer accepted by the vendor but is then gazumped because someone else makes the vendor a higher offer which the vendor then accepts instead of the first person's offer.

Geek speak

Technical language often used by computer experts which doesn't make sense to non-technical people.

Generation X

A term used for people born during the 1960s and 1970s, who are often described as disaffected and irresponsible.

Genericized Trademark/Brand

A trademark or brand which has become a generally used word in common language in referring to all versions/makes/types of the product class, for example Hoover, Sellotape, Durex, etc. 


An agreement in which employees accept a wage reduction or fewer benefits as a gesture of goodwill, usually because of an economic downturn. The employees are often offered wage rises and new benefits at a later date.

Glamour stock

A company's shares, which are very popular with investors, because they have performed well on the stock exchange.

Glass ceiling

An invisible barrier in the workplace which prevents women and minority groups from advancing to positions of leadership in a company, although some do manage to 'break through' the glass ceiling.

Glass wall

An imaginary barrier in the workplace which prevents women and minority groups from being employed in other sectors of business or industry.


Combination of Glitter and Literati. Glamorous, rich, famous people, often connected to show business.


The process of integrating nations, economically and socially, through free trade, international business activities, technology (for example the Internet), etc.


Global Localization. A term used when an international company adapts its manufacturing methods, products or services to suit local conditions.


Comprises of key terms relevant to a business domain in order to provide a common understanding of terms.


See business goal.


Long-term, on-going and qualitative statements of a condition that the organization seeks to establish and maintain For example: We want to be most preferred technology partner to our clients.

Gold reserve

The amount of gold bullion or gold coins held by a country's central bank to support its currency and provide security for its international debts.

Golden handcuffs

Financial incentives or benefits given to a valued employee to ensure that they continue working for a company and to discourage them from wanting to leave to work for another company.

Golden handshake

Usually offered to high-ranking executives in a large company. A clause in their contract which provides them with a large sum of money and/or other benefits in the event of them losing their job or retiring.

Golden parachute

A company's agreement with an employee, usually a top executive, which promises a significant amount of money and/or benefits if the employee is forced to leave their job, usually because of a change of company ownership, outside of the control of the original employer company.


The difference or premium which a purchaser pays, or which a seller asks, for a business or company compared to the 'book value' of its assets, typically representing intangibles such as brand value, intellectual property, talent, market relationships, etc., and which tend to reflect the overall value and appeal with which the purchaser regards the target acquisition. 


Two proper words (found in a dictionary) which together produce just a single result from a normal Google search.

Governance approach

Identifies the stakeholders who will take decisions, set priorities and approve changes to BA information.

Governance process (change)

A process by which appropriate decision makers use relevant information to make decisions regarding a change or solution, including the means for obtaining approvals and priorities.


A period of time given to a debtor to enable them to pay an overdue bill or loan, or extra time given in a contract for a piece of work to be finished.


See Graphical user interface.

Graphical user interface

A computer terminal interface, such as Windows, that is based on graphics instead of text.

Grass roots

The ordinary people in a business or organization, rather than the management or the decision-makers.


To do or give something without payment. Free of charge.

Graveyard market

A term used on the Stock Exchange to describe a Bear Market in which share owners are reluctant to sell because they face substantial losses, and buyers are reluctant to buy because the financial outlook is poor. Those who are in it can't get out, and those who are on the outside have no desire to get in.

Green audit

Also called Environmental Audit. An official assessment which shows the effect that an organization or a company has on the environment.

Green back

An informal term for US paper money, i.e., the dollar, derived from the color of the money.

Green paper

A discussion document, typically written and circulated in governmental situations, aiming to start a discussion and the process of producing a white paper, so as to table new legislation. See white paper.

Green taxes

Also called Eco tax. Taxes which are levied on companies, businesses, etc., to discourage activities which will harm the environment.

Grey knight

A third person, or company, who makes an unsolicited bid in a corporate takeover, and who takes advantage of any problems which arise between the first bidder (White Knight) and the company being acquired.

Grey market/Gray market

In marketing and business a grey market (gray market in US-English) is the supply of official goods through unofficial channels, for example the availability of branded consumer products on the internet from unauthorized stockists. 

Grey swan/Gray swan

A marketing/economics/probability expression inspired by Nassim Taleb in his books about random events with big consequences, a 'grey swan' refers to a major predicted or known event of national or more usually international significance, which has uncertain outcomes and unquantifiable effects on society, economics, etc. See also the main expression, Black Swan.

Group collaboration

To communicate the package to a group of relevant stakeholders at the same time.


An instruction or description on why or how to undertake a task.



Refers to a person who breaks into or 'hacks' into the secure computer systems of an organization, especially websites and online systems, using online connection, often just as a technical challenge, or potentially with intent to steal, destroy, vandalize information, websites, etc. 

Hall test

A term used when a group of people are gathered together at a particular location and asked to take part in market research.

Halo effect

Where the image or reputation of a person (or group or organization or brand or other entity) is enhanced by influence from or association with the quality of another situation. A halo effect typically refers to an unreliable indicator of good quality (ethics, goodness, honesty, value, benevolence, etc.) but might rarely instead refer to an unreliable indicator of negative quality.


A small printed advertisement, usually on one sheet, often given out to people by hand.

Hands free

Term used when a telephone can be used without having to be held in the hand.

Hands off

A term often applied to managers who do not directly participate when dealing with a situation in the workplace by letting the people involved decide what they want to do.

Hard selling

An aggressive type of selling which puts a lot of pressure on a prospective customer to buy a product or a service.


Tools like printers, photocopiers, scanners allows for replication and distribution of information.


A term used when a product is still being sold, although it is no longer being invested in, prior to being withdrawn from the market.


A type of tag (here a prefix used with a word/term/reference/etc. via electronic keypads, computing, smartphones, etc.) in the social networking website Twitter and similar short messaging systems, so that a word preceded by the hash symbol (#) may be found subsequently or otherwise organized, analyzed, displayed, etc. The symbol is generally called the pound sign in the US, since it is used commonly instead of the traditional British £ symbol in referring to sterling currency.


To find a person who is specialized in a particular job, usually for a senior position in a company, and then persuade them to leave their present employment.

Health and safety

Concerned with the protection of employees from risks and dangers in the workplace.


See Health and Safety at Work Act.

Health and Safety at Work Act

In Britain, a 1974 act of Parliament which regulates and reinforces the health, safety and welfare of employees in the workplace.

Heat seeker

A person who, without fail, always buys the most up to date version of an existing product as soon as it comes onto the market.

Hedge fund

A type of investment fund, which is unregulated and usually very high risk, used by individuals and organizations (not the general public) with large amounts of money to invest.

Heterogeneous group

When the group has dissimilar characteristics.


See High Level Design.

High Level Design

This gives a bird eye view of the design of the project at initial stages.

Frequency based chart

See Histogram.


It’s a QC Tool.

Homogeneous group

When the group has similar characteristics.

Horizontal integration

The joining together of businesses which produce similar goods or offer similar services, or are involved in the same stage of activities, such as production or selling.

Horizontal prototype

A prototype that is used to explore requirements and designs at one level of a proposed solution, such as the customer-facing view or the interface to another organization.

Hot desking

In an office, the practice of having a pool of desks, which are usually equipped with phone and computer links, so that workers can use them when they are required, rather than having their own individual desk.


See House of Quality

House of Quality

Used in QFD which is a Quality tool to prioritize requirements.


See Human Resources.

Human resources

The people who are employed by and operate a business or organisation. The department within a company which deals with recruitment, training, employee benefit, etc.

Hush money

A bribe or payment, which is often illegal, given to someone to stop them from disclosing information, usually to prevent bad publicity or to hide a crime.

Hush mail

An internet service offering encrypted email, file storage, etc.


See Hypertext Markup Language.

Hypertext Mark-up Language

Is the standard markup language for creating web pages and web applications.



A symbol or image which represents a more complex thing, such as a person, or a concept. Icon has come also to mean a role-model or leading example (i.e., symbolically representative of the best of its class). 

Idea showers

Usually called Brainstorming. A method of problem solving involving members of a group meeting and sharing ideas.

Identified risks

Risks identified during risk analysis or any other process.

Identity theft

A crime in which someone obtains another person's personal information, such as passport, credit card details, etc., and poses as that person in order to steal money, get benefits, make purchases, etc.

Idle time

The time that a piece of equipment or a machine, such a as computer, is available, but is not being used.


International Institute of Business Analysis.

Impact analysis

An assessment of the effects a proposed change will have on a stakeholder or stakeholder group, project, or system.


To charge somebody, usually a government official, with serious misconduct. To cast somebody out of public office, for example a president or courtroom judge because of a serious crime or misdemeanor.

Implementation subject matter expertSME

Has specialized knowledge pertaining to implementation of solution components Examples: change manager, solution architect, information architect etc.


Establish ways to increase the probability or impact of events with a positive impact.


Allows for the use case to make use of functionality present in another use case.


Decide to take on more risk to pursue an opportunity.


An organization or company which provides support to new businesses to help them develop and grow.

Independent financial advisor

Someone who works independently, i.e., not for a particular company, and offers people advice about financial matters and recommends where to invest their money.


See Independent Verification and Validation.

Independent Verification and Validation

Are independent procedures that are used together for checking that a product, service, or system meets requirements and specifications and that it fulfills its intended purpose. [1] These are critical components of a quality management system such as ISO 9

Index linked

Concerning salaries, pensions, investments, etc. If they are Index-Linked it means that the payments or income from these may vary according to the rate of inflation.


A specific numerical measurement that indicates progress toward achieving an impact, output, activity, or input. See also metric.

Individual collaboration

To communicate the package to one stakeholder at a time.


The introduction and training of a member of staff in a new job or position in a company.

Industrial Action

Also called a strike in the UK. Known in the US as Job Action. A protest by employees during which they refuse to work, usually because they want better wages and/or better working conditions.


See Industrial Relations.

Industrial relations

Relations between the management and the workers, especially those in unions, in industry.

Industry knowledge

It is an understanding of the current practices and activities with an industry and similar processes across industries It is also an understanding of the positioning of a company within an industry and its impact and dependencies.


Normally referring to the economy of a country, inflation is the gradual increase in the price of goods and/or services, and the consequential devaluing of the national currency. Inflation is typically up to 1%, or more unusually approaching 2% per year. Minimizing inflation is normally a high priority within national fiscal policy since higher levels of inflation cause a variety of economic and business problems. See also deflation and hyperinflation.


See Inflection point.

Inflection point

In business, when important significant changes take place in an organization. (Andrew S. Grove - Intel).


An agent who works on behalf of a business, collecting information on, and developing profiles of, individual customers.

Informal walkthrough

Informal technique conducted when the work product is in draft state and calls for feedback.

Information management approach

Defines how BA information will be stored, accessed and utilized during and after the change is complete.

Information Management System

Is a joint hierarchical database and information management system with extensive transaction processing capabilities.


See Information Security Management System.

Information Security Management System

is a set of policies concerned with information security management or IT related risks.

Information Superhighway

Communications network, notably the Internet, which provides high speed access to information in the form of sound, text, images, etc.


See Information Technology

Information Technology

Also known as IT. The study and use of computers and communications systems.


See Information Technology Infrastructure Library.

Information Technology Infrastructure Library

It’s a Standard.


Stakeholder or stakeholder group who is kept up to date on the task and informed of its outcome.


Ability to inherit properties of super class.


A specific project, program, or action taken to solve some business problem(s) or achieve some specific change objective(s).


A term used to describe the growth of a business from mergers or takeovers, rather than from the increase in productivity or activity of the company's own business.


Information consumed or transformed to produce an output. An input is the information necessary for a task to begin.


Elements contained by the boundary (as seen from inside) E.g. Functional decomposition.

Inside information

Information about a company which is known only by the owners, management and/or employees, and not the general public. The use of Inside Information for the buying and selling of shares is usually illegal.

Inside track

An advantageous position in a company or organization. To know about something before others get to hear about it.


Not having enough finances or assets available to pay all your debts.


A formal review of a work product by qualified individuals that follows a predefined process, and uses predefined criteria, for defect identification and removal.


See Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

Is a professional association with its corporate office in New York City and its operations center in Piscataway, New Jersey.

Integration and test

Is the phase in software testing in which individual software modules are combined and tested as a group.

Integration Test Plan

Test plan which is carried out to test the product after its been integrated.

Intellectual capital

The skills and knowledge of a company's employees, which can be used to make the company more successful than its competitors.


See Intellectual Property.

Intellectual Property

Commonly abbreviated to IP, an idea or creation, e.g., artwork, writing, etc., that belongs to an individual or organization, which has commercial value and therefore cannot be copied or sold without the owner's permission.

Inter alia

Latin for 'among other things' - a traditional term which typically precedes a list of examples, and is found in official or formal text or various sorts. Inter alias means 'among other people', but is much less used.


A shared boundary between any two persons and/or systems through which information is communicated.

Interface analysis

Interface analysis identifies interfaces and interactions between solutions and/or solution components.


See Interface Design Document.

Interface Design Document

Document describing an interface design.

Internal Audit

Activity conducted to check the compliance.

Internal equity 

In a company or organization, ensures the pay each employee receives is determined fairly by the type of job they do.

Internal Rate of Return

Discount rate at which a NPV becomes.


See International Engineering Consortium.

International Engineering Consortium

An international body to specify product standards.


See International Monetary Fund.

International Monetary Fund

Established in 1944 by the United Nations to monitor foreign exchange systems and encourage trade between member nations. It also lends money to developing countries with economic problems.


See International Organization For Standardization.

International Organisation For Standardization

A non-government organization with over 150 member nations, which promotes international standards in trade, technology, science, economy, etc.

Internet cafe

Also called a Cybercafé. A public place where people can use a computer, usually for a fee, to check e-mail, access the Internet, etc. These places often sell drink and food, like a regular cafe.


See Internet Protocol.

Internet Protocol

Is the principal communications protocol in the Internet protocol suite for relaying datagrams across network boundaries.


Ability of systems to communicate by exchanging data or services.


The policy of a government to intervene and manipulate a country's (often its own) affairs and/or economy.


Eliciting information from a person or group of people in an informal or formal setting by asking relevant questions and recording the responses.


A person employed by a large company to work independently to develop new projects and business within the company.

Intrinsic Value

The actual or real value of a business, commodity, asset, etc., rather than the market value or share price.


A new device, process, product, etc., which has been created and developed by an individual or a group.


Money or capital that is invested in a business or in an account with a financial institution in order to make a profit or earn interest.

Investment boutique

A small company which offers specialist advice about investments and business.


Invisible services of a country, such as banking, tourism, insurance, etc., of which the buying and selling are from international trade.

Iron triangle

A project management term (also called the Project Management Triangle, Triple Constraint, and variations of these), the Iron Triangle refers to (according to the concept) the three main inputs and the output of most projects, namely: inputs - 1. Scope (or activities), 2. Budget/cost (or human resources), 3. Time (or timescale or completion date), and the output of Quality (or performance). 


Cause and effect Diagram being named after him as the Ishikawa diagram.

Ishikawa diagram

See fishbone diagram.


See IT Enabled Services.

IT Enabled Services

Services provided through IT.

Item tracking

Item tracking captures and assigns responsibility for issues and stakeholder concerns.


A single instance of progressive cycles of analysis, development, testing, or execution.


Methodology for SW Dev life cycle.



See Java 2 Enterprise Edition.

Java 2 Enterprise Edition

It’s a Programming language.

Job costing

A system of calculating the cost of each individual job or project carried out by a business, includes time, labor, materials, etc.

Job sharing

A work schedule in which two or more people voluntary do one full-time job, sharing the work and dividing the hours between them.

Joint consultation

An organizational decision-making.

Junk bond

Also known as High Yield Bonds. A high risk bond with a high interest rate, often used by companies to raise finances in order to take over other companies.


Quality Concepts Guru.


See Just In Time.

Just In Time

A manufacturing system in which materials and components are delivered immediately before they are required, in order to increase efficiency, reduce waste and minimize storage costs.


Key account

In business, a company's main client or customer, who represents a large percentage of the company's income.

Key Performance Indicator

A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is one that measures progress towards a strategic goal or objective.

Keyword advertising

Used on the Internet. When a user types in a particular 'keyword', an advertisement which is linked to a business relevant to that word, is displayed alongside the search engine results.


A bribe or illegal payment made to someone in exchange for a successful referral for a job or transaction.

Killer app

Short for Killer Application. Derives from the computer industry. A new product or service which is the first in its category and therefore dominates that particular market, creating huge returns on the initial investment.


See Kilo Lines of Code.

Kilo Lines of Code

A size measure for software programs.

Knowledge area 

An area of expertise that includes several specific business analysis tasks.

Knowledge areas

Knowledge areas represent areas of specific BA expertise.

Knowledge base

In a computer system, a database with a store of information, facts and rules which can be used for problem-solving.


See Knowledge Management.

Knowledge Management

Managing knowledge in an organization.


See Knowledge Process Outsourcing.

Knowledge Process Outsourcing

It’s an ITES sector.

Knowledge sources

Original source documents or people from which the necessary decision logic can be or has been derived.


See Knowledge Transfer.

Knowledge Transfer

Refers to sharing or disseminating of knowledge and providing inputs to problem solving.

Knowledge Worker

Also known as an Intellectual Worker. A person who is employed by a company to use their brain and intellect to work with information, rather than performing manual tasks.


Common management term meaning positive recognition, praise or fame - from the Greek word kydos, meaning glory.


Lagging indicators

Lagging indicators that provide results of actions already taken.


See Laid Off.

Laid Off

In industry, etc., when workers lose their jobs, sometimes temporarily, because there is no work for them.

Landing page

On the Internet, the first page that visitors to a website arrive at after they've clicked on a link to the site.

Large cap

On the Stock Exchange, a company that has a large market capitalization, i.e., a high total value of shares.


See Last In First Out.

Last In First Out

A queuing system to work.

Leadership and influencing

Skills involving motivating people to work together, inspiring them to transform vision into reality, reducing resistance to changes, building consensus etc.

Leading indicators

Leading indicators that provide information about future performance.


Also known as the Toyota Production System or Just-In-Time Production. A system used in management, production, manufacturing, etc., to decrease waste and increase efficiency, especially with the use of automated assembly lines in the motor industry.


Business analysts may have to work in new domains where they do not have prior experience During this situation, they must be open to quickly learn new and different types of information and modify their existing knowledge to adapt themselves to a rapidly changing and evolving environment Learning techniques can be visual, auditory or kinesthetic (learning by doing).

Learning and growth dimension

Measures regarding employee training and learning, product and service innovation and corporate culture.

Learning curve 

A graph depicting the rate at which a person learns a new skill. A steep learning curve shows that a person is learning quickly, and a shallow learning curve means that a person is slower and taking more time to learn.


Customer has temporary rights to use an asset.

Legal aid

Legal assistance provided, usually by the state, for people or organizations who cannot afford to pay for solicitors or legal advice.

Legal entity

An individual or organization who has the legal right to enter into a contract or an agreement, is responsible for its actions, and can sue or be sued if the terms of the contract are broken.

Legal reserve

The minimum amount of money, required by law that a bank, insurance company, etc., must set aside in order to be able to operate.


Customer has temporary rights to use an asset

Lessons learned

Lessons learned process (also known as a retrospective) compiles and documents successes, opportunities for improvement, failures and recommendations for improving the performance of future projects or project phases.

Lessons learned process

A process improvement technique used to learn about and improve on a process or project. Lessons learned session involves a special meeting in which the team explores what worked, what didn't work, what could be learned from the just-completed iteration, and how to adapt processes and techniques before continuing or starting anew.

Licensing or Subscription fees

Customer pays for the right to access a particular asset, either as a one-time fee or as a recurring cost.

Life cycle

A series of changes an item or object undergoes from inception to retirement.

Life tables

Also called mortality tables. Tables which show peoples life expectancy, depending on their age, lifestyle, etc., often used by insurance companies.


An emergency loan offered to a company or bank which is in financial trouble.

Lifestyle business

A business set up and run so as to fit with the wider life needs of the business owner(s) which might be called 'life balance', or happiness or wellbeing. 

Lightning strike 

A sudden strike by workers, with little or no warning. These strikes are often short in duration and usually without official union backing.

Limited company

In the uk, a company that has a name ending in 'ltd.' the owners of these companies have limited liability if the company gets into debt.


The most important person or thing in a business or organisation.

Line authority

In business, the power given to management allowing them to give orders and to control subordinates.

Linear and logistic regression

Mathematical modeling done to establish relationships between variables.


See Lines of Code.

Lines of Code

Lines of Code is counting metrics to measure volume of software product.


The closing down of a business by selling its assets to pay its debts.

List of Values

A drop down.

List rental

The renting, from an organization, of a mailing list which has potential customer names and addresses, for a one-off mailing.


Active listening involves giving the speaker complete attention and also interpreting and responding appropriately to what he is trying to communicate It includes summarizing and repeating what was stated to ensure commonality in understanding.


A person or party who is involved in a court action or lawsuit.

Local Content Measure 

Where a business or investor is required to purchase a certain amount of locally sourced materials to be used in the manufacturing, etc., of their product.


Requirements which deal with local languages, laws, currencies, cultures, spellings etc.

Lock out

A term used during an industrial dispute, when management closes down a workplace and bars employees from entering until they agree to certain terms and conditions.

Locus Standi

The right or capacity of a litigant to be heard or to bring an action in court.

Logical data model

Incorporates rules of normalization to formally manage the integrity of the data and relationships to design a solution.

Long Grass

To 'Kick something into the long grass' means to push a problem aside in the hope that it will be ignored or forgotten.

Long Term Liability

Taxes, leases, loans, etc., which are payable over a period greater than one year.


An unintentional mistake in a contract or a law which allows people to evade an obligation in the contract, or to get round the law without actually breaking it.

Loss Leader 

In retail, a product which is offered at a very low price to attract customers who will then buy other goods which will produce more profit for the retailer.

Low Hanging Fruit 

A term used in business for something which is easily obtainable and highly visible, and provides a quick easy way to making a profit.


See Low Level Design.

Low Level Design

Is a component-level design process that follows a step-by-step refinement process.

Low Yield

A term used to describe investments which are low risk and do not produce a high level of income.


See Lower Control Limit.

Lower Control Limit

Minimum performance value.


See Lower Specification Limit.

Lower Specification Limit

Minimum performance expected.

Loyalty card 

A card given to customers by a retailer which gives the customer points, etc., every time they shop there. These points convert into vouchers which the customer can spend at the store at a later date.


Machine code

Also known as Machine language. A computer language, which consists only of numbers that can be read and interpreted by a computer's Central Processing Unit (CPU).


In a computer, a single instruction which results in a complete series of more detailed instructions being put into effect.

Magnetic media

Disks and tapes which are used to record and store computer data.

Mail merge 

The process of automatically personalizing a customized letter or document by using a list of individual names and addresses, so the same letter can be sent to many people.

Mail order

The purchasing or selling of goods over the Internet, telephone, from catalogues, etc., which are delivered to the customer by mail.

Main stream

A term applied to activities, ideas, products/services, etc., that are used/followed/supported by most people. Mainstream basically means ‘commonly used by people'. Mainstream as a marketing term is the opposite of ‘niche' or specialized. Interestingly while 'mainstream' seems like a relatively modern word, it's actually existed in this sense since about 183.


Also known as 'Big Iron'. A large powerful central computer to which a network of smaller computers are connected, used commonly by large organizations.


Ability to change one component without affecting others and without causing unexpected failures, ability to re-use components and testability.

Management buy in

When a management team from outside a company acquires more than 5% of the company, so they become the majority shareholders, and then manage the company themselves.

Management buy out

The purchase of all or part of a company by the company's existing managers.

Management by exception

A management style in which managers give employees the authority to run projects, etc., by themselves and managers only become involved if the employees fail to meet certain criteria or standards.


See Management Information System.

Management Information System

An academic discipline studies people, technology, organizations, and the relationships among them.


A person who is in charge of a project, department, group, team, etc.


Technically a legal or official document giving an order or instruction. More loosely it refers to a permission or approval. In politics or democratic situations such as trade unions it refers to an authorization for leadership to act based on election or vote. Derived from Latin mandatum meaning 'something commanded', from manus (hand) and dare (give). Mandate is also a verb, meaning to empower someone to take action.

Market analysis

Market analysis involves researching customers in order to determine the products and services that they need or want, the factors that influence their decisions to purchase, and the competitors that exist in the Market analysis can also help determine when to exit a market.

Market leader

A company or brand which has the highest sales of a particular product. A best-selling product.

Market orientation

A business strategy whereby a company focuses on meeting the customers’ needs and wants regarding products and services.

Market oriented structure

Organizational structure where staff are aligned to market segments.

Market research

The process of gathering and analyzing information about customers, competitors, etc., in order to make decisions and solve problems connected with selling products or services.

Market sector

Competing businesses which produce or buy similar goods and/or services. The customers for which certain goods and services are marketed.


The promotion and/or selling of a company, product, service, etc.

Marketing mix

A set of marketing tools used by a company to sell its products and/or services to a target market.

Marketing myopia

When a business is being shortsighted regarding the needs of its customers, only focusing on its products or short range goals and missing marketing opportunities.


See Master Black Belt.

Master Black Belt

It’s a Six Sigma certification level.

Master franchise

Allows companies or individuals the right to purchase a sub-franchise business which can be developed in a particular area or country.


See Material Requirements Planning.

Material Requirements Planning

The use of computer software to plan and manage a production process, for example the amount of materials or parts required, calculation of workload, delivery schedules, etc.


A textual form of modeling used to represent information that can be categorized, cross-referenced, and represented in a table format.

Matrix management

Also known as dotted line responsibility. A system of management in which people from different departments in an organization work together, so that each individual employee has two bosses, one functional and one operational. This is common in project management.

Matrix structure

In matrix model, there are separate managers for each functional area, and for each product, service, or customer group.


An independent thinker who does not conform to accepted opinion on certain matters and takes a stand from other people.


Can be quantitatively measured.


A situation in which something, or someone, suddenly dramatically ceases to function properly.


Originally a biological term referring to a behavioral characteristic which transfers non-genetically between people, meme increasingly refers more widely to other non-human characteristics or examples which arise as imitations of or variations on a particular theme.


Usually used for communication within an organization. Memos can be formal letters or informal notes to colleagues.


See Memorandum of Understanding.

Memorandum of Understanding

Is a bilateral or multilateral agreement between two or more parties.

Menu bar

On a computer screen, the strip at the top of each open window that contains pull down menus with functions, for example file, edit, etc.


Relating to trade or commerce.

Merge purge

The process of combining two or more lists or files of names and addresses etc., typically databases, and removing duplicated and/or unwanted items, to produce one new clean list or database.


The joining of two or more companies, organizations etc.


In business, a system in which people advance because of their abilities rather than their connections or wealth, etc.

Meta data

Data about data.


A description of data to help understand how to use that data, either in terms of the structure and specification of the data, or the description of a specific instance of an object.


A body of methods, techniques, procedures, working concepts, and rules used to solve a problem.

Methodology knowledge

Methodologies determine how a change is approached and managed Awareness of a variety of methodologies help Business analysts to quickly adapt and perform in changing environments.


A quantifiable level of an indicator measured at a specified point in time.

Metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Metrics and KPIs measure the performance of solutions, solution components and other matters of interest to stakeholders. Helps in determining whether the desired future state has been achieved.


Study of measurements.


See Microsoft Project Plan.

Microsoft Project Plan

Schedule of any project being maintained as a MPP with the responsibility, duration, plan and actual dates.

Middle management

In organizations and business, managers who are in charge of small departments and groups of people while reporting to upper management.


A person who arranges business or political deals between people, usually for a commission or fee, or, more generally, any person or company buying goods from a supplier and selling them to customers, usually at a profit.


See Military Standard.

Military Standard

Standard used by military systems.


See Minutes of Meeting.

Minutes of meeting

Used to record the outcome of meeting which includes the action items, issue raised, decision drawn, specifications etc.

Mirror site

On the internet, an exact copy of a popular website. This is done so that some of the traffic can be diverted from the original website to the mirror site when the original site becomes very busy. Alternatively a copy website whose purpose is to attract and direct additional visitors towards the original site, regarded as unacceptable SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or 'cheating' by most search engines.

Mission statement

A formal declaration of values and goals that expresses the core purpose of the enterprise.


Reduce risk probability or the possible negative consequences.


A representation and simplification of reality developed to convey information to a specific audience to support analysis, communication, and understanding.


See Model View Controller.

Model View Controller

A software design approach.

Modelling notations/ standards 

Helps requirements and designs to be precisely specified.

Modelling tools

Tools that facilitate drawing and storing matrices and diagrams to represent requirements.


From Modulate and demodulate. An electronic device which is used to connect computer systems using a telephone line for transmitting data.


An arbitrator or mediator. Someone who presides over a debate. On the Internet - a person who presides over a website forum to make sure that rules and guidelines are adhered to.


Also called a tycoon. A very rich, powerful business person.


Magical or special power, referring to a charismatic person, or a product with unusually seductive qualities. Such people can be said to have their 'mojo working', an expression popularized by blues singer Muddy Waters in his 1957 hit song 'Got My Mojo Working'.

Money spinner

A product or project that generates a lot of earnings.


Collecting data on a continuous basis from a solution in order to determine how well a solution is implemented compared to expected results. See also metric; indicator.


A situation in which one company or organization has complete control of all, or nearly all, of the market for a particular type of product or service.


Also known as Buyers Monopoly, a market in which there is only one customer for a product or service being sold by several sellers.


See Monthly Status Report.

Monthly Status Report

A status report prepared on a monthly basis.

Moral hazard

The situation in businesses and organizations when people are protected, e.g. By insurance cover, so they are more likely to take risks.


Also known as the logic board. The main circuit board of a computer which has all the components to make everything in the computer work together, such as the monitor, keyboard, mouse, DVD drive, etc.

Motivational research

A type of market research used to investigate the reasons why people buy specific products or brands.

Multi-phased prioritization approach

Prioritization done multiple times where the prioritization basis can be different.

Mutual company 

A type of organization, business, etc., which is owned by members and has no shareholders. The members usually have a share of the profits.

Mystery shopper

A psychometric questionnaire or personality test in which people answer questions about themselves, which helps identify strengths and personal behavioral/behavioral preferences. See personality styles and models.

BA Career Guide 2023



Also known as Begware. Computer shareware that periodically displays messages on your computer screen prompting you to register for a product and/or pay a fee.

Narrow money

Also called M1. A country's money supply which can be exchanged, for example coins, bank notes, bank cheques, travelers cheques, etc.


A problem or opportunity to be addressed.

Negative inventory 

A situation where a mistake in the ordering system or transactions of a business shows the stock to be less than zero. Sometimes this is done deliberately to reduce costs.

Negotiation and conflict resolution

These skills involve mediating discussions between stakeholders and team members to resolve difference of opinions arising from different points of view and help them arrive at a common consensus.


In business and organizations, nepotism refers to those in power showing favoritism towards friends and family, for example by giving them jobs because of their relationship rather than their abilities. 

Nest egg

A sum of money which someone has saved for the future.

Net Present Value

Net Present Value (NPV) is the present value of the benefits minus the original cost of the investment Net Present Value = Present Value – Cost of Investment.

Net profit margin

Usually expressed as a percentage, in business, the money earned after costs, expenses, taxes, etc., have been deducted.

Net centric

Activities, communities, services, information, etc., interconnected by the internet.


A person who meets and builds relationships with other people in order to make business or social contacts.

Neural networks

A computer system modeled on the human brain and nervous system.


A neutral approach to risk means that the probable benefits gained from the risk response must equal or outweigh the costs in order to justify action.

New issue

On the stock market, a share or bond which is offered to the public for the first time.


A newcomer or novice at something, especially on the internet.

Next generation

Term used to describe a product or technology which has been improved or upgraded so that the newest version is much more advanced than previous versions.

Niche market

A specialized market in which a specific product is sold to a particular type or group of customers. A product or service for which there is sometimes little demand and often little or no competition.


See Non Configurable Item.

Non Configurable Item

Items which are not under configuration control.


See Non Functional Requirements.

Non Functional Requirements

Requirements for system which are not functional.


See Non-compliance.

Non-compliance / Non-conformance

Failure or refusal to obey or comply with a rule, regulation or standard, which can commonly result in serious action by an inspector or ombudsman.


A signed formal agreement in which one party agrees to keep certain information secret. Often used in business when products or projects are being developed.


See Non-executive.


In business, a member of a board of directors or a consultant who is not an employee of a company but who gives independent advice.

Non-executive Director

Also called Outside Director. A person who is an independent member of a company's board of directors, i.e., they are not an employee of the company and are therefore not responsible for the day to day operations of the company but monitor the activities of the full time executives.

Non-functional requirement

A type of requirement that describes the performance or quality attributes a solution must meet. Non-functional requirements are usually measurable and act as constraints on the design of a solution as a whole.


Aspects and activities for which the customer is not willing to pay.

Non-verbal communication

Non-verbal forms of communication like body movement, facial expressions, gestures, posture, eye contact etc. Help to strengthen the communication as these cues are indicators of the feelings and intent of the communicator.


See Not Applicable

Not Applicable

An email acronym.


A person, usually a solicitor, officially authorized to witness signatures and certify legal documents.

Note book

A very small portable computer.

Not spot

An area of poor or lack of coverage in cell phone service or similar communications technology.

Noun concepts

Entities or objects of interest for e.g. “Customer”, “Order” etc.

Number cruncher

An accountant or person who's job is working with numbers, and who is able to do large calculations. A computer which can perform complex calculations in a short time.



See Object Oriented Analysis and Design.

Object Oriented Analysis and Design

Is a popular technical approach for analyzing, designing an application, system, or business by applying the object-oriented paradigm and visual modeling throughout the development life cycles to foster better stakeholder communication and product quality.


See Object Oriented Database.

Object Oriented Database

Is a database management system in which information is represented in the form of objects as used in object-oriented programming.


See Object Oriented Programming.

Object Oriented Programming

A programming technology in which program components are put together from reusable building blocks known as objects.


See Business objective.


Descriptive, granular, specific and linked to measures to objectively assess if the objective has been achieved.


To elicit information by observing activities and their context.

Studying and analyzing one or more stakeholders in their work environment in order to elicit requirements.


The state of becoming obsolete or out of date. Old-fashioned.

Occupational hazard

Aspects of a job which can be dangerous or pose a high risk of injury.

Occupational psychology

Also called Organizational Psychology. The study of people’s behavior at work, covering personal relations, mental health, employee selection and training, safety, etc.

Off the grid

A person who does not wish to be in 'the system' (for example has no bank account, employment or tax identification, no fixed address, etc.). May instead refer to a person who lives self-sufficient in terms of gas, electric, water, sewerage services, etc. Or someone not connected to the internet.


See Off-balance Sheet

Off-balance sheet

Refers to items such as assets or debts which are not recorded on a company's balance sheet.

Offer document

A document which a prospective buyer of a company sends to the company's shareholders giving details of the offer in the hope of persuading them to sell their shares.

Office tools

These tools are used to document and track information and artifacts.

Official strike

A work stoppage by employees that has the backing and approval of a union.


Refers to a computer which is not connected to the internet.


Refers to accounts, investments, banks, etc., which are in countries where there are lower taxes and/or little government control.


See Online Analytical Processing.


A market in which a small number of companies control the supply of certain goods and services.


See On Line Analytical Processing.

On Line Analytical Processing

Systems designed for data analysis.


See On Line Transaction Processing.

On Line Transaction Processing

Systems designed for data management.

Onion diagram

Indicates level of stakeholder involvement with the solution and which stakeholder directly interacts with the solution or participate in a business process.


Refers to a service or product which is available to use or buy on the Internet. A computer which is connected to the Internet.

Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)

A business intelligence approach that allows users to analyze large amounts of data from different points of view.

Open book management

A management technique in a company whereby all the employees are involved in the running of the company by training them in, and giving them access to, financial and operational details.

Open communication

In business, a situation in which employees have full information about the organization, and are encouraged to exchange ideas and objectives with management.

Open ended questions

Questions which can have descriptive answer.

Open offer

Also known as Entitlement Issue. An offer to existing shareholders of a company, which entitles them to purchase new shares at a fixed price, usually lower than the current market price, in order to raise money for the company.

Open source

Describes computer software for which the original source code is freely accessible to everyone, so that anyone can modify or copy the program without paying a fee.

Operating income

The gross earnings of a company minus operating costs, excluding taxes and interest.


See Operating System.

Operating system

Is system software that manages computer hardware and software resources and provides common services for computer programs.

Operational support

A stakeholder who is responsible for the day-to-day management and maintenance of a system or product.

Operative rule

See Behavioral business rule.

Opportunities (External)

External factors that the assessed group can take advantage of such as new markets, new technology, changes in the competitive marketplace, or other forces.

Opportunity cost

Term which refers to the value or benefit of something which will be lost in order to achieve or pursue something else.


To get the most out of something. To use something in the best possible way.


See Order to Cash.

Order to cash

The process from customer order to receipt of cash.


Also called Organization Chart. A diagram which shows the structure of a business or organization, showing connections between departments, jobs, etc.


An autonomous group of people under the management of a single individual or board, that works towards common goals and objectives.

Organization and time management

Business analysts handle multitudes of information which must be organized and stored efficiently based on importance so that they can be reused when required Prioritizing tasks and deadlines will help to manage time effectively.

Organization knowledge

It provides an understanding of the management structure like the people who occupy key positions, relationships between business units, formal and informal communication channels etc. And also the business architecture which provides an understanding of how the enterprise generates profits and accomplishes its goals.

Organization modelling

The analysis technique used to describe roles, responsibilities and reporting structures that exist within an enterprise.

Organizational capability

A function inside the enterprise, made up of components such as processes, technologies, and information and used by organizations to achieve their goals.

Organizational change management

See change management.

Organizational culture

Deals with the beliefs, values and norms shared by the members of an organization.

Organizational model

Is a visual representation of the organizational unit.

Organizational strategy

Set of goals and objectives which guides operations, establishes direction and provides a vision for the future state can be explicit or implicit.

Organizational structure 

Describes the formal relationships between people working in the enterprise.

Organizational unit

Any recognized association of people within an organization or enterprise.

Orphaned technology

A term which refers to computer products, programs, etc., which have been abandoned or not marketed by their developers.

Out placement

A service provided by a former employer which helps a terminated employee finds a new job.


To offer more money than a rival for something, especially at an auction.

Outbound telemarketing

When a company calls prospective customers on the phone in order to sell them goods or services, compared to inbound telemarketing where the customer calls a company for assistance or to purchase goods.

Outdoor advertising 

Also known as Out-of-home advertising. Advertising which consumers can see while they are outside, e.g. Billboards, newsstands, skywriting, advertising blimps, etc.


Term used in the UK to describe money being paid out on a regular basis by an individual or a company.


The total amount of money which has to be spent to acquire an asset or start a project, including costs, taxes, delivery charges, etc.


Elements not contained within the boundary (as seen from outside) e.g. Context diagram.


An arrangement in which a company produces goods or provides services for another company, usually in the same country.

Over capitalized

Refers to a business which has been provided with more money than it needs. To overestimate the capital value of a business.


A company's surplus, such as money or goods, which is available but exceeds the amount needed or required.


A situation which occurs when a company expands its business too quickly and does not have enough capital to pay expenses, such as debts, wages, etc., which often results in liquidation.


Individual or group that needs the requirement, or will be the business owner after the project is released into target environment.


Page break

On a computer screen, a mark which indicates where a new page will be printed in a document.

Page traffic

In computing, the number of times a web page has been visited.

Palm top

A small computer which fits into the palm of the hand.

Paper loss

In business, a loss which has occurred and appears in a company's accounts, but has not yet been realized until a transaction has been made, e.g. the sale of an asset which has lost value.

Paper prototyping

Interface or process is drafted using paper and pencil.


An office worker who has a boring job dealing with paperwork all day.

Parametric estimation

Uses a calibrated parametric model of the element attributes for example, if one use case takes 24 hours to develop, it will take 48 hours for developing 2 use cases.

Parent company

A company or organization which owns more than 5% of the voting shares in another company, therefore the parent company controls management and operations in the other (subsidiary) company.


A business which is owned by two or more people, all sharing the profits and responsibility for managing the business.

Party plan

Also called party selling. A method of marketing in which agents host parties, usually at someone's home, to demonstrate and sell products to invited potential customers.


A computer language which is used to write programs, also used in teaching programming.

Pass around

Multiple reviewers provide verbal or written feedback.

Passive/unnoticeable observation

Observer asks questions at the end and does not cause interruption to work


An official document which grants an inventor or manufacturer sole rights to an invention or product.

Patent pending

A phrase sometimes printed on goods to show that a patent has been applied for but not yet granted.

Pay as you go

Refers to a method of paying for a service as you use it, such as mobile phone credit. Also can be used to pay debts as they are incurred.


See Pay Per Click.

Pay per click

A method of internet/website/electronic advertising by which an advertiser pays according to the number of visitors/users who click on an advert. 

Payback period

Time period required to generate enough benefits to recover the cost of the change.

Pecking order

The hierarchy in businesses, organizations, etc., i.e., the order of people at different ranks. 

Peer review

A formal or informal review of a work product to identify errors or opportunities for improvement. See also Inspection.


See Peer to Peer.

Peer to Peer

Is a model for computer connectivity and file-sharing which extends more widely to services and large-scale services/supply models, and which threatens/promises to change the world. See Peer-to-Peer.

Pen pusher

An employee with a boring job whose work consists of dealing with unimportant documents, paperwork, etc.

Penalty as a basis for prioritization

Consequences resulting from not implementing a requirement it may also be negative, that is, not satisfying customer needs.

Penetration pricing

The practice of charging a low price for a new product for a short period of time in order to establish a market share and attract customers.


A private or government fund from which regular payments are made to a person who has retired from work, or who is considered too ill to carry on working.


See People Capability Maturity Model.

People Capability Maturity Model

It’s a CMM standard which concentrates on the HR processes.

Per capita

For each person in the population. Per head. An expression of something (for example car ownership, consumption, etc.) In relation to the population of a particular city, nation, etc.

Per diem

Latin for 'Per day'. Often refers to money paid to employees for daily expenses or reimbursements.


See Performance (Project/Program) Evaluation on Review Technique.

Performance (Project/Program) Evaluation on Review Technique

A management scheduling tool which charts the tasks involved in a project, showing the sequence of the work, the time needed for each task, etc. Each component of the estimate is given three values: Optimistic estimate or best-case scenario, Pessimistic estimate or worst-case scenario, Most likely estimate PERT value (Optimistic + Pessimistic + (4 times Most Likely))/6.

Performance efficiency

Time taken to perform activities and resource utilization levels.

Performance improvement plan

Is measuring the output of a particular business process or procedure, then modifying the process or procedure to increase the output, increase efficiency, or increase the effectiveness of the process or procedure.

Performance testing

It’s a type of testing process to test the performance of the application/SW being built.


A person who works for an organization on a long-term contractual basis, but who is not a permanent employee.

Permission marketing

A term used for the advertising of products or services on the Internet, for which the marketing company obtain the consent of prospective customers to send them information about certain products or services.


Persona is a fictional character or model that depicts the way a typical user interacts with a product.

Personal accountability

Includes effective planning of BA work to achieve targets and goals by completing tasks on time and meeting expectations of stakeholders and colleagues.

Personal assistant

A person who works for one person, often an executive, in an organisation, performing secretarial and administrative duties.


See Personal Computer.

Personal Computer

Is a multi-purpose electronic computer whose size, capabilities, and price make it feasible for individual use.


See Personal Digital Assistant.

Personal Digital Assistant

Small hand-held electronic device that is used for storing information and can serve as a telephone, diary, alarm clock, fax, etc.

Personal information manager

Computer software which handles personal information, such as names, addresses, memos, lists, e-mails, etc.

PEST Analysis

Political Economical Social and Technological Analysis. A business tool which is used in strategic planning and helps to understand the environmental influences on a business or organization.

Petty cash

A small amount of cash kept by a business to pay for small purchases.


A tablet computer that is also a phone. Or a phone that is also a tablet computer. This term emerged 212/13 with the launch of the technology to which it refers. A word formed like this (i.e., a combination of parts of the two words/things it refers to - in this case, phone and a tablet) is called a portmanteau.

Physical capital

Refers to a company's assets which are used in a production process, such as machinery, buildings, materials, etc.

Physical data model

Describe how a database is physically organized It addresses concerns like performance, concurrency and security.


A person, or persons, posted at the entrance of a place of work which is affected by a strike, in order to stop people entering the premises.


Also called a Pictograph. A graphic symbol or diagram which represents a concept, an amount, an activity, etc., in pictures.

Pie chart

A chart or graph which is circular in shape and divided into triangular sections (like slices of a pie), the sizes of which are relative to the quantities represented.

Piece rate

A payment system in which employees are paid a fixed rate for each item they produce.

Piece work

Work in which payment is based on the amount of work done regardless of the time it takes to do it.

Piggy back

A system which rides on the back of an existing system, e.g. A loan or mortgage or an advertising campaign.

Personal Identification Number (PIN)

A number given by a bank to a customer so the customer can access their bank account using an ATM (cash machine), or use their credit/debit card in retail outlets.

Pink collar

Describes jobs which were once traditionally done by women, such as nursing, secretarial, teaching, etc.


The unauthorized copying of CDs, DVDs, computer programs, etc., in order to sell them or give them away.


Chart used for data representation.


Short for Picture Element. The smallest element of an image displayed on a computer screen. The quality of the image depends on the number of pixels per square inch, i.e., the more pixels the higher the resolution.


A detailed scheme for doing or achieving something usually comprising a set of events, dependencies, expected sequence, schedule, results or outcomes, materials and resources needed, and how stakeholders need to be involved.


See Plan Do Check Act.

Plan Do Check Act

A cycle proposed to complete any work.

Plan-driven approach 

See Predictive approach.

Planning poker

An agile approach in estimating stories.


See Please Find Attached .

Please Find Attached 

A common acronym used in mailing.

Plenary/Plenary session

Plenary essentially means full or complete. In the context of formal organized gatherings it means fully attended by everyone together. 


See Point of Sale System

Point of Sale System

A system used at selling system.


See business policy.

Pop under

On a computer, an advertisement, etc., which comes up on the screen behind the web page which is being viewed, and does not appear until the page is closed.


On a computer screen, a small window containing an advertisement, etc., which appears on a page on top of the content which is being viewed.


How easy it is to transfer a solution or component from one environment to another.


On the Internet, a website, usually a search engine, which is the point of entry to other websites, and offers services such as e-mail, news, shopping, etc.


A collection of investments, such as shares, bonds, etc., which are owned by an individual or organization.


Term used to describe the way a company, product, service, etc., is marketed in order to make it stand out from the competition by choosing a niche according to brand, price, packaging, etc.

Post dated

To insert a future date on a cheque or document at the time of writing, so it becomes effective at that later date.


Condition achieved after successful completion of the use-case.

Potential value

Used as a benchmark to assess value delivered by requirements.

Power lunch

A business meeting held over lunch in which important decisions may be made, or high level discussions carried out.


Condition that must exist for the use case to be initiated

Predictive approach

An approach where planning and baselines are established early in the life cycle of the initiative in order to maximize control and minimize risk. An approach to deliver functionalities in narrow slices.

Predictive scorecards

A score card enabling a business decision.

Present value

Present value = sum of (net benefits in that period / (1 + discount rate for that period)) for all periods in the cost-benefit analysis.

Presentation software

Creation of training material, presentation of information etc.

Press conference

Called a news conference in the US. A meeting held by a business, organization, individual, etc., to which journalists are invited to hear a public announcement, and usually to ask questions.

Pressure group

An organized group of people, or lobbyists, who campaign to influence businesses, governments, etc., to change their policies, e.g. regarding the environment, or to change laws.


Establish ways to reduce the probability of an event with a negative impact.


To evaluate the price of a product by taking into account the cost of production, the price of similar competing products, market situation, etc.

Primary data

Data which is collected by a company, business, etc., itself for its own use, using questionnaires, case studies, interviews, etc., rather than using other sources to collect the data.

Primary research

Use primary research such as surveys, interviews, or direct observations if necessary.

Prime cost

In manufacturing, etc., the cost of direct materials and labor required to make a product.


Determining the relative importance of a set of items in order to determine the order in which they will be addressed.


Which requirements need to be implemented first.


A legal relationship between two parties in a contract.

Pro Bono

Short for Pro Bono Publico (Latin for ‘The public good'). Work carried out in the public interest for no fee or compensation, e.g. by a lawyer.

Pro tem 

Temporarily. For the time being.

Proactive analysis

Identifying problem areas for preventive action.


A trial period during which an individual's suitability for a job or membership to a club, etc., is tested.


Complete integrity. Having strong moral principles and total honesty.

Problem solving

Problems are defined and solved so that stakeholders understand the root cause of a problem and the solutions that address it objectives that will be achieved on solving a problem are stated clearly and alternative solutions are developed the best possible solution is then chosen.


A set of activities designed to accomplish a specific objective by taking one or more defined inputs and turning them into defined outputs.

Process analysis

Process analysis analyzes processes for their effectiveness, efficiency and identifies improvement opportunities.

Process centric view

Used to look for ways to enhance the performance of present activities.

Process model

A set of diagrams and supporting information about a process and factors that could influence the process. Some process models are used to simulate the performance of the process.

Process modelling

Process modelling is a standardized graphical model to describe the sequential flow of work or activities.


A solution or component of a solution that is the result of an initiative.

Product backlog

A set of user stories, requirements, or features that have been identified as candidates for potential implementation, prioritized, and estimated.

Product box

A dummy box designed to showcase product in a super market.


See Product Life Cycle.

Product Life Cycle

Is the process of managing the entire lifecycle of a product from inception, through engineering design and manufacture, to service and disposal of manufactured products.

Product placement

Also called Embedded Marketing. A type of advertising where a company pays a fee to have one or more of its products used as props in a film or television show.

Product portfolio

A variety of products which are manufactured or distributed by a company or organization.

Product scope

See solution scope.

Product vision statement

A brief statement or paragraph that describes the goals of the solution and how it supports the strategy of the organization or enterprise.

Profit center

A business division or department or unit which is responsible for producing a profit, for example a shop unit within a chain of shops, or a branch within a network dealerships. Significantly a Profit-center business unit will use a 'Profit and Loss Account' as a means of managing and reporting the business. 

Profit sharing

An incentive scheme in which a business shares some of its profit , usually in cash or shares, with its employees.

Profit squeeze

A situation in which a company or business makes less profit over a period of time because of rising costs and/or falling prices.


An organization or individual who makes excessive profits by charging very high prices for goods which are in short supply.


See Program Management Office / Project Management Office.

Program Management Office / Project Management Office

A unit responsible for monitoring project performances.

Program process flow

A program process flow shows the sequential execution of program statements within a software program.

Programmable Read Only Memory (PROM)

In a computer, a permanent memory chip which can only be recorded on once, by the computer user, not the manufacturer, after which the data is stored and cannot be changed.


A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.

Project management

The process of managing and planning a successful project from start to finish, which includes controlling, organizing, managing resources, people, budgets, etc. See project management.


See Project Management Plan / See Project Management Professional.

Project Management Plan

Plan created to manage project.

Project manager

A stakeholder who is responsible for managing the work required to deliver a solution that meets a business need, and for ensuring that the project's objectives including scope, budget, schedule, resources, quality, and risk. Are met while balancing the project constraints.

Project Plan

See Project Management Plan.

Project scope

The work that must be performed to deliver a product, service, or result with the specified features and functions.

Project sponsor

A person in an organization who instigates or proposes a project, and creates/establishes/agrees the necessary executive approval, funding, resourcing, etc., typically extending to the appointment of the project manager. A project sponsor is usually and crucially responsible for developing and presenting the financial justification for the project, which generally entails outcomes and timescales, and assuming personal accountability for the success of the project.


A promotional broadcast on television, radio, etc., advertising a product, TV show, film, etc.


The use of marketing and/or advertising to bring attention to a product, brand, service, company, etc., usually in order to increase sales. The raising of an employee to a higher rank in an organization.

Proof of concept / Proof of principle

A model created to validate the design of a solution without modeling the appearance, materials used in the creation of work, or processes and workflows ultimately used by the stakeholders. Created to validate the system design without modelling appearance, materials used etc.


In computing, a set of rules which determine the way data is transmitted between computers. The code of conduct in an organization, etc.


A partial or simulated approximation of the solution for the purpose of eliciting or verifying requirements with stakeholders.


The origins and history/development/movement of a created work (originally referring to art work, but now extending to any created work, such as writings, computer programs, etc.) Such as to provide record and evidence of the creator, reliability, ownership, adaptation, etc., of the work, thereby demonstrating or supporting the work's authenticity and quality. 


A false name, commonly adopted by a writer seeking to hide their true identity.

Public domain

Something that is not protected by copyright and is openly available for anyone to use, look at, etc.

Public enterprise

A business or economic activity owned and controlled by the government.

Public limited company

A company with limited liability, whose shares can be purchased by the public.


See Public Relations Officer.

Public Relations Officer

Also known as a Chief Communications Officer. A person whose job is to promote and establish a good relationship between their client - an organisation or an individual - and the public.

Purchasing power

Also called spending power, the amount of goods or services which can be purchased with a particular currency, or more generally, the amount of money a person or group has available to spend on goods and services. The term may also emphasize a group or organization's ability to achieve heavily discounted prices or rates due to the high buying volumes.

Pure play

Term that relates to a company which deals in one specific line of business, rather than a range of products, services, etc.


A company or person who supplies provisions, especially food.

Push system

In production, a system in which the demand for goods is predicted by the company, so more goods are made to keep up with pre-set levels rather than customer demand.

Pyramid selling

A system in which people buy the rights (often a franchise) to sell a company's products to other distributors who have been recruited, who then sell the products on to other recruits. This type of selling often ends up with no final buyer for the products. The few people at the top of the pyramid commonly make a lot more money than the many people at the bottom.


Qualified opinion

A statement written by an independent auditor which accompanies a business's financial statements, saying that the audit has been limited, e.g., because the auditor may not have been able to collect all the information required to carry out a full audit.

Qualifying period

The length of time an employee must serve in a job before being entitled to various benefits, or being able to make a claim against unfair dismissal.


Associated with a thing's quality which cannot be measured, such as feel, image, taste, etc. Describes peoples qualities which cannot be measured, such as knowledge, behavior, attitude, etc.


The degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfills needs.

Quality assurance

A set of activities performed to ensure that a process will deliver products that meet an appropriate level of quality.

Quality attributes

A set of measures used to judge the overall quality of a system.

Quality circle

Originating in Japan, a group of workers in a company who meet regularly to discuss ways in which to improve working conditions for employees and productivity for the company.


See Quality Control

Quality Control

Is a process by which entities review the quality of all factors involved in production. ISO 9 defines quality control as "A part of quality management focused on fulfilling quality requirements.


See Quality Function Deployment

Quality Function Deployment

Is a method developed in Japan beginning in 1966 to help transform the voice of the customer [VOC] into engineering characteristics for a product.


See Quality Management System

Quality Management System

Is a collection of business processes focused on consistently meeting customer requirements and enhancing their satisfaction.


Related to or measured in numbers. Comparison based on quantity rather than quality.

Quantity surveyor

A professional whose job is to calculate the cost of materials, labor, etc., needed to complete a project.


A set of defined questions, with a choice of answers, used to collect information from respondents.


The minimum number of people who must attend a meeting in order for valid business to be conducted.


An official allocation of something, or a limited amount of people allowed. A fixed amount of something, e.g. sales, which must be reached.



Race to the bottom

A phrase said to be coined by US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis. A situation in which competition between nations could result in lower standards, cheaper wages, poorer working conditions, etc.

RACI matrix

RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed) matrix, or specific information technology system roles and responsibilities identified in a CRUD (Create, Read, Update and Delete) matrix.

Rain maker

An employee, often an executive, who brings a lot of business and income to a company.


See Random Access Memory.

Random Access Memory

In computing, the place where current data is stored while a computer is being used. The data is removed when the computer is switched off.

Random Sample

Often used in research, a method of sampling members of a large group, such as a population, in which everyone has an equal chance of being selected.

Rank and file

The ordinary members of a group, such as enlisted troops in an army, or members of a union, who have no power.


See Rapid Application Development.

Rapid Application Development

A methodology to develop software rapidly.

Rate of return

The amount of profit or loss generated by an investment, expressed as a percentage of the total sum invested.

Rating agency

A company which assesses and rates businesses on their credit-worthiness and/or their ability to repay debts.

Ratio analysis

A study of a company's financial statements which show the relationships between items listed on a balance sheet and gives an indication as to whether the company can meet its current obligations.


See Rational Unified Process.

Rational Unified Process

A methodology to develop software in an iterative manner.


Relational Database Management System.

Reactive analysis

Identifying root causes for corrective action.

Reactive Marketing

Describes when companies or businesses wait for customers to contact them in order to buy their products or services.

Real time

In computing, systems which receive information and update it at the same time.


To change the name, brand or logo of an existing product or business, especially cars.


To switch a computer off and restart it again immediately.


Change the name, packaging, etc., of an existing product or business and advertise it as new and improved.


To ask customers to return a product which they have bought because it has been found to be faulty or dangerous.


To put more money into a business, often one which is facing bankruptcy. To reorganize a company's capital structure by exchanging preferred stock for bonds, usually to reduce taxes.


Loosely meaning 'in return', based on the stricter mathematical sense of the word, found in financial and scientific theories, where reciprocal refers to the number or fraction which when multiplied by a specified other number or fraction will produce the number one. For example a half is the reciprocal of the number two; and a fifth is the reciprocal of the number five. The word derives from Latin‘re’ (back) and ‘pro’ (forward).

Reciprocal trade/trading

Exchange of product or services. A simple example might be an accountant providing book-keeping services to a telemarketing company which in return performs telemarketing services on behalf of the accountant.


Based on the notion of mutuality or return in the term 'reciprocal', reciprocity means give-and-take, such as to achieve a mutually agreeable balance.

Recognition test

Also known as Readership test. A test carried out after people have read a newspaper, magazine, etc., to see if they have remembered or read a particular advertisement.

Recommended actions 

Actions to improve value of a solution.


To seek employees for a business or organization. To enlist military personnel.

Red ink

Term used when referring to a company's financial loss.


The practice of protecting the salary of employees whose jobs have been downgraded because of the restructuring, etc., of the company.


See Redundant Array of Independent Disks.

Redundant Array of Independent Disks

On a computer, a way of storing data by spreading it across multiple disks, therefore providing greater security, faster access, etc.


A letter/statement written about a person by someone who knows them, detailing their abilities, character, qualifications, etc., which is sent to a prospective employer.

Regression Testing

It’s a kind of testing which is performed to check if the old code is affected due to the generation of new code.


A stakeholder from outside the organization who is responsible for the definition and enforcement of standards.

Regulatory or Policy Compliance as a basis for prioritization

These requirements take precedence over stakeholder interests as regulatory and policy demands are mandatory they cannot be overlooked


See Relational Database Management Systems.

Relational Database Management Systems

A data base management system based on relational principles.

Release plan

An activity in Agile where stories are assigned to various releases.


Aligned with organization’s vision, mission and goals.


Measure of application being available when needed Includes ability of the application to recover from errors, uptime, or failures in interfaces.


The customer has temporary rights to use an asset.


Same person reaching same conclusion over a period of time.


Reporting is the process of informing stakeholders of metrics or indicators in specified formats and at specified intervals.

Reporting Line

In a business or organization, employees, managers, etc., who report to the next person higher up, usually their boss.


A real or virtual facility where all information on a specific topic is stored and is available for retrieval.


To take back property, goods, etc., usually from an individual or organization who has failed to repay a loan or has defaulted on a repayment plan.


Different personnel reaching same conclusion.

Request for Information (RFI)

A formal elicitation method intended to collect information regarding a vendor's capabilities or any other information relevant to a potential upcoming procurement.


See Request for Proposal.

Request for Proposal (RFP)

A requirements document issued when an organization is seeking a formal proposal from vendors. An RFP typically requires that the proposals be submitted following a specific process and using sealed bids which will be evaluated against a formal evaluation methodology.


See Request for Quote.

Request for Quote (RFQ)

A procurement method of soliciting price and solution options from vendors.

Request for Tender (RFT)

An open invitation to vendors to submit a proposal for goods or services.


A usable representation of a need.


See Requirement Specification.

Requirement Specification

Document specifying requirements.

Requirements (traced)

Requirements for which relationships to other requirements, solution components, or releases, phases, or iterations are established.

Requirements allocation

The process of assigning requirements to be implemented by specific solution components.

Requirements analysis and design definition

Tasks bas carry out to organize elicited requirements, model them, validate and verify them and identify and estimate Potential value of solution options.

Requirements architecture

The requirements of an initiative and the interrelationships between these requirements.

Requirements artefact

A business analysis artifact containing information about requirements such as a diagram, matrix, document or model.

Requirements attribute

A characteristic or property of a requirement used to assist with requirements management.

Requirements defect

A problem or error in a requirement. Defects may occur because a requirement is poor quality (see requirements verification) or because it does not describe a need that, if met, would provide value to stakeholders (see requirements validation).

Requirements document

See Requirements package.

Requirements life cycle

The stages through which a requirement progresses from inception to retirement.

Requirements life cycle management

Tasks bas perform to manage and maintain requirements and design information from start till end.

Requirements life cycle management tools

Tools that facilitate recording, organizing, storing and sharing requirements and designs.

Requirements management

Planning, executing, monitoring, and controlling any or all of the work associated with requirements elicitation and collaboration, requirements analysis and design, and requirements life cycle management.

Requirements management plan

A subset of the business analysis plan for a specific change initiative, describing specific tools, activities, and roles and responsibilities that will be used on the initiative to manage the requirements. See business analysis plan.

Requirements management tool

Special-purpose software that provides support for any combination of the following capabilities elicitation and collaboration, requirements modelling and/or specification, requirements traceability, versioning and baselining, attribute definition for tracking and monitoring, document generation, and requirements change control.

Requirements management tools/repository

Tools to store and manage BA information.

Requirements model

An abstract (usually graphical) representation of some aspect of the current or future state.

Requirements package

A specialized form of a business analysis package primarily concerned with requirements. A requirements package may represent a baseline of a collection of requirements.

Requirements traceability

The ability for tracking the relationships between sets of requirements and designs from the original stakeholder need to the actual implemented solution. Traceability supports change control by ensuring that the source of a requirement or design can be identified and other related requirements and designs potentially affected by a change are known.

Requirements validation

Work done to evaluate requirements to ensure they support the delivery of the expected benefits and are within the solution scope.

Requirements verification

Work done to evaluate requirements to ensure they are defined correctly and are at an acceptable level of quality. It ensures the requirements are sufficiently defined and structured so that the solution.

Requirements viewpoints

See Viewpoint.

Requirements Views

See Views.

Requirements workshop

A structured meeting in which a carefully selected group of stakeholders collaborate to define and/or refine requirements under the guidance of a skilled neutral facilitator.


An official written request or demand for something.


To make void or cancel, for example a law or contract.


The gathering of information, facts, data, etc., about a particular subject.


See Research and Development.

Research and Development

Investigative work carried out by a business to improve and develop products and processes.

Residual risk

The risk remaining after action has been taken or plans have been put in place to deal with the original risk.


Those who will be performing the work on the task.

Restrictive practice

A trading agreement between businesses or industries which prevents free competition. The practice of workers, often trade unions, of protecting their jobs in a manner which limits the freedom of other workers.


A written summary of a person's education, employment record, qualifications, etc., which is often submitted with a job application.

Retained earnings

The earnings of a business or company which is used for reinvestment, rather than being distributed to shareholders as dividends.

Retained profits

A business profit, after tax and dividend payments to shareholders, which is retained by the business and often used for reinvestment.


To cut down on spending, economize, for example to reduce a workforce.


See Lessons learned process.


See Return On Assets.

Return On Assets

Net income divided by total cost or value of assets. The more expensive a company's assets, the less profit the assets will generate.


See Return On Capital Employed.

Return On Capital Employed

A company's financial indicator which compares earnings with the company's capital investments.

Return on Investment

A measure of the profitability of a project or investment. Calculated as 

Net benefits * 1 / Cost of the change.

Revenue stream

A revenue stream is a way or method by which revenue comes into an enterprise from each customer segment in exchange for the realization of a value proposition.

Revenue thorough sales

The customer is granted ownership rights to a specific product.


Reviews are performed to communicate, verify and validate the content of work products.


See Request for Information.


See Request for Proposal.


See Request for Quote.


See Request for Tender.


Effect of uncertainty on the value of a change, solution or enterprise bas identify, prioritize and mitigate risks by collaborating with stakeholders.

Risk analysis

Identify uncertainties that could negatively affect value, analyze and evaluate those uncertainties and develop and manages way of dealing with the risks.

Risk analysis results

Risks identified as critical for achieving desired outcome should be addressed.

Risk as a basis for prioritization

Chances that a requirement cannot deliver Potential value or get fulfilled due to factors like difficulty in implementation, rejection from stakeholders etc.

Risk assessment

Identifying, analyzing and evaluating risks.

Risk Management Plan

Document to manage risks.

Risk register

A register to maintain risks.


Seeks to reduce risks, particularly negative risks and prefers to approach as close to certainty as possible A reduction in potential benefits in return for a more certain outcome is seen as an acceptable trade-off.

Risks as basis for prioritization

Associated with meeting, or not meeting the requirement.


Willingness to accept relatively high risks in order to maximize the potential benefit Risk-seekers may accept low chances of success if the benefits of success are higher.

Rogue Trader

A stockbroker who makes unauthorized, usually high risk, trades on behalf of their employer, often resulting in huge losses.


See Return on Investment.

Roles and permissions matrix

Roles and permissions matrix ensures coverage of activities by denoting responsibility, to identify roles, to discover missing roles and to communicate results of a planned change.

Rolling Contract

A contract which runs for a specific period of time and continues to be renewed for further periods, subject to review.

Rolling wave

Rolling wave technique involves continual refinement of estimates estimate the details for activities in the current iteration or increment and extrapolate it for the entire scope of work.

Root cause

The cause of a problem having no deeper cause, usually one of several possible causes.

Root cause analysis

A structured examination of an identified problem to understand the underlying causes.

Rational rose tool

See Rose.


An IBM tool for Object Oriented design.

Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM)

Based on limited information, a high level estimate with a very wide confidence interval.


A device which connects at least two computer networks and sends data from one to the other.


A fee paid for the use of another person's property, for example a copyrighted work, a patent, a franchise, etc. A payment made to a writer, composer or singer when a book, CD or performance of their work is sold. A share of the profit paid to the owner of the land which an oil or mining company is leasing.

Rules engine

A centralized system to manage business rules.

Run of Network

Describes when an advertisement is placed on any page on one or more websites and the advertisers have no say where their advert is placed, usually because the advertising rates are cheaper.

Running Cost

The day to day running costs of a business, for example wages, rent, utilities, etc.

Rush hour

The peak periods at the beginning and end of the day, usually longer than an hour, when people are travelling to and from work.




A period of leave which is granted to an employee, sometimes up to a year, in order for them to study, travel, rest, etc.


An employee’s wages which are paid on a regular basis for performing their job.

Satisfy relationship

Relationship between an implementation element and the requirements it is satisfying.


Extent to which a solution is able to evolve to handle increased amounts of work.

Scenarios and use cases

Scenarios, and use cases describe how a person or system interacts with a solution to accomplish one or more of that person or systems goals.


See Schedule Variance.

Schedule Variance

Measure of variance from planned schedule.


A split or division in a group into opposing factions, caused by differences of opinion.

Scope models

Scope models describe scope of analysis or scope of a solution


The boundaries of control, change, a solution, or a need.

Scope model

A model that defines the boundaries of a business domain or solution.

Scope of Solution Space

Range of solutions that may be considered

Screen Based Activity

A task which is carried out using a computer.

SD Card

Secure Digital Card. A small memory card used in portable devices such as mobile phones, cameras, etc.

Search Engine

Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., are examples of Search Engines which locate, list and rank (according to various criteria and unknown algorithms) relevant websites and website content on the Internet when the user types in key words or phrases.

Second Generation

Term which describes an improved product, service, etc.

Secondary actor

An actor external to the system under design that supports the execution of a use case.

Secondary boycott

An organized protest to prevent or persuade a company from doing business with another company which is involved in a dispute.

Secondary market

On the stock exchange, the purchasing of shares from another investor rather than from the issuing company.

Secondary research

Obtaining data from secondary sources such as internet or published databases

Secure electronic transfer

A safe and confidential way of paying for goods which have been purchased over the internet.


Ability to ensure appropriate confidentiality and integrity of information, to verify when actions were taken and by whom and to authenticate users.


A business meeting for training purposes or for discussing ideas.

Sensitivity analysis

Looks at the effects of the performance of a system, project, etc., by changing the variables, such as costs, sales, production, etc.

Sequence diagram

A type of diagram that shows objects participating in interactions and the messages exchanged between them.

Sequence diagrams

Sequence diagrams (also known as event diagrams) model logic of usage scenarios, by showing the information (also known as stimuli, or message) passed between objects during execution of a scenario.

Sequential sampling

A sampling method in which an unfixed number of samples are tested and enough data is collected before a decision can be made.


A computer which provides services, such as e-mail, file transfers, etc., to other computers connected to the network.


The performance of any duties or work for a stakeholder, from the perspective of the stakeholder.


See Service Level Agreement.

Service Level Agreement

Agreed service levels.

Service Level Agreements

Organization constraints which are agreed upon by the provider and user of the solution.


See Service Oriented Architecture.

Service Oriented Architecture

An architecture created to use services.


Any of the equal units into which a company's capital stock is divided and sold to investors.


Copyrighted computer software which is available for a free trial, after which a fee is usually charged if the user requires continued use and support.


A dishonest business person who cheats and swindles others.

Shark repellent

Measures taken by a company, such as creating different voting rights concerning shares, or requiring certain shareholders to waive rights to capital gains resulting in a takeover, etc., in an attempt to keep a hostile bid from succeeding.

Shark watcher

An individual or company who monitors the stock market for another company and warns them of a potential takeover, e.g., if a lot of their shares are being bought by one person or one company.


A very tight, barely adequate budget.

Shopping Bot

Also called Price Engine. Computer software which searches the Internet and compares prices from retailers for specific products.


See Short Message Service.

Short Message Service

Allows a text message to be sent from one mobile phone to another.

Silicon alley

An area in Manhattan, New York, which is known for its internet and multi-media companies.

Silicon valley

An area south of San Francisco, California, which is noted for its computer and high-technology industries.

Silver bullet

A simple extremely effective solution to a very challenging and serious problem. A metaphor alluding to the mythical method of killing a werewolf or similar monster. See also Magic bullet, which basically means the same.

Silver surfer

An older person who uses the internet.

SIM card

From the full meaning, Subscriber Identification/Identity Module. A small removable card which stores personal information on a mobile phone or other small personal computerized device. There are other less serious interpretations of the SIM acronym.


To demonstrate solutions or solution components.

Single issue review (also known as Technical review)

Focuses on either one issue or a standard.


Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs and Customers.

Six Sigma

A business strategy, originally developed by Motorola, which strives for perfection in production and quality. Methodology for Process Performance Improvement.

Six Thinking Hats

Group dynamics and decision-making concept devised by Dr Edward De Bono, from the book so named, based on De Bono's theory of how people look at things/situations from different perspectives.


Something, such as a film, book, share, etc., in which there is little interest but suddenly becomes a success.

Sleeping partner

Also called Silent Partner. A person who has invested capital in a company but does not take an active part in managing or running it.

Slush fund

Also called Slush Money. Funds which are raised and set aside for dishonest or illegal purposes, e.g., for bribing government officials.


See Subject Matter Expert.

Smoke and Mirrors

Term based on a magician's illusions. To cover something up by drawing attention away from it.

Snail mail

Mail which is delivered in the traditional way by postal service, rather than e-mail.

Sneaker net

Humorous term describing the transfer of electronic information, such as computer files, by physically taking the disk, cd, etc., from one computer to another.

Social enterprise

A business chiefly having positive social and/or environmental aims, in which community and staff tend to feature strongly in priorities, and where profit is a means towards social, environmental or community purposes rather being an aim itself for the enrichment of owners or shareholders.

Social networking

On the internet, online communities which are built for people who share interests and activities, or to make and/or contact friends and family, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc. The practice of making business and/or social contacts through other people.


See Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication.

Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication

Founded in Brussels in 1973, a system for transmitting payments, share transactions and other financial messages safely between financial institutions all over the world.

Soft loan

Also known as Soft financing. A loan which has attractive terms for the borrower, such as low or no interest rates and/or a long repayment period, often made by banks to developing countries.


A general term for programs, etc., used to operate computers.


See Software Configuration Management.

Software Configuration Management

Manage configuration for software components.

Software Configuration Management Plan

Plan created to manage configuration for software components.


See Software Development Life Cycle.

Software Development Life Cycle

Way to develop software.

Software engineer

See Developer.


See Software Engineering Process Group.

Software Engineering Process Group

It’s a function which develops processes in software organizations.


See Software Requirement Specification.

Software Requirement Specification

Is a description of a software system to be developed. It lays out functional and non-functional requirements, and may include a set of use cases that describe user interactions that the software must provide.

Sole trader

Also called Sole proprietor. A business which is owned and managed by one person who is responsible for any debts which are incurred, keeping their own accounts, etc.


A specific way of satisfying one or more needs in a context.

Solution component

A sub-part of a solution that can be people, infrastructure, hardware, software, equipment, facilities, and process assets or any combination of these sub-parts.

Solution evaluation

Tasks BAs perform to assess the performance and value delivered by a solution.

Solution knowledge

Experience dealing with commercially available solutions or suppliers can help Business analysts to evaluate possible alternatives and improve an existing solution.

Solution life cycle

The stages through which a solution progresses from inception to retirement.

Solution limitation

Challenges associated with current solutions.

Solution option

One possible way to satisfy one or more needs in a context.

Solution performance goals

Goals for solution performance.

Solution performance measures

Current performance of existing solutions.

Solution recommendations

Possible solutions which can be pursued in order to achieve the future state.

Solution requirement

A capability or quality of a solution that meets the stakeholder requirements. Solution requirements can be divided into two sub-categories functional requirements and non-functional requirements or quality of service requirements.

Solution requirements

Capabilities and qualities of a solution that meets stakeholder requirements broadly classified into - Functional requirements, Non-functional requirements or quality of service requirements.

Solution scope

The set of capabilities a solution must deliver in order to meet the business need.

Solvency Margin

The money a business requires in the form of cash or saleable assets, which must exceed the amount needed to pay bills, debts, etc.


Having enough funds to pay all your debts.

Source of requirement 

Source that has the authority to define the particular set of requirements Consult the source if the requirement changes, or if more information is needed regarding the requirement or the need that drove the requirement.


See Statement of Work.


Unsolicited e-mail which is sent to numerous recipients.

Special Interest Group (SIG)

On the Internet, a place where people can discuss and exchange information about a particular subject. A group or organization whose aim is to influence political decisions by trying to persuade government officials to act or vote in the group's interest.

Special resolution

In business, a resolution which must be passed by a high majority of a company's shareholders, often 75%, as opposed to an ordinary resolution, which only requires more than 5% of the vote.


Something with an observable outcome.


The presentation of news/reports/information by politicians, business-people, etc., (typically cynically, dishonestly, unethically) in a highly positive way, or in a way designed to support a particular position.


Methodology used for SW development life cycle.


A stakeholder who is responsible for initiating the effort to define a business need and develop a solution that meets that need. They authorize the work to be performed and control the budget and scope for the initiative.

Spot check

A random inspection or examination, often with no warning, of a sample of goods or work performance to check for quality.

Spread sheet

On a computer, a program used for entering, calculating and storing financial or numerical data.


Supports decision analysis through logical and mathematical manipulations.

Sprint backlog

Backlog items selected for a sprint.

Sprint plan

Planned activities for a sprint.


Structured Query Language - A data management language for RDBMS systems.


Indicates how mature the requirement is used to determine whether the requirement is firm enough to start work on presence of large numbers of unstable core requirements indicates significant risk to project.

Stability as a basis for prioritization

Requirements with less stability have low priority it means the requirement can change upon further analysis and stakeholder consensus


A group or individual with a relationship to the change, the need, or the solution.

Stakeholder analysis

Identifying and analyzing the stakeholders who may be impacted by the change and assess their impact, participation, and needs throughout the business analysis activities.

Stakeholder analysis results 

Understand stakeholders who need to contribute for understanding and analysis of the current state.

Stakeholder collaboration approach

A high level plan to collaborate with stakeholders.

Stakeholder collaboration plan

A plan created to enable stakeholder collaboration.

Stakeholder list

A catalogue of the stakeholders affected by a change, business need, or proposed solution, and a description of their attributes and characteristics related to their involvement in the initiative.

Stakeholder map

Represent the relationship of stakeholders to the solution and to one another 2 common forms of stakeholder maps are:

Stakeholder matrix 

Maps level of stakeholder influence against level of stakeholder interest/impact on stakeholders.

Stakeholder proxy (business analyst)

The role a business analyst takes when representing the needs of a stakeholder or stakeholder group.

Stakeholder requirement

A description of the needs of a particular stakeholder or class of stakeholders that must be met in order to achieve the business requirements. They may serve as a bridge between business requirements and the various categories of solution requirements.


See Standard Operating Procedure.

Standard Operating Procedure

Is a set of step-by-step instructions compiled by an organization to help workers carry out routine operations.

State diagram

An analysis model showing the life cycle of a data entity or class.

State models

State models (also sometimes called a state transition model) describe and analyze the different possible states (formal representation of a status) of an entity within a system, how that entity changes from one state to another and what can happen to the entity when it is in each state.

State of the art

The highest level of development and/or technology applied to a product or service which is currently available.

State table

A state table is a 2-dimensional matrix showing states and the transitions between them.

Stated requirement

A requirement articulated by a stakeholder that has not been analyzed, verified, or validated. Stated requirements frequently reflect the desires of a stakeholder rather than the actual need.


See Statement of Work.

Statement of Work

Is a document routinely employed in the field of project management. It defines project-specific activities, deliverables and timelines for a vendor providing services to the client. A written description of the services or tasks that are required to be performed.


See Statistical Process Control.

Statistical Process Control

Is a method of quality control which uses statistical methods. SPC is applied in order to monitor and control a process.


A person who specializes in or works with statistics.


Indicates whether requirement is proposed, accepted, verified, postponed, cancelled, or implemented.

Steering committee

Also called Steering group. A group of people who are responsible for monitoring a company's operations or project progress, by ensuring it complies with company policies, resources and costs are approved, etc.


An investor's share of ownership in a company which entitles them to equity in the company, dividends, voting rights, etc.

Stock exchange

An organized market place where shares in companies are traded by professional stockbrokers.


See Stock Keeping Unit.

Stock Keeping Unit

A unique number which identifies the price, size, manufacturer, etc., which is assigned to a product by a retail store.

Stock ticker

A display which automatically updates and shows the current prices and volumes of traded shares on the stock market.

Stock broker

A person or company who buys and sells shares, bonds, etc., on behalf of others, in return for a fee.

Story point

An agile estimation method to size user stories.


Visually and textually details the sequence of activities.

Straight re-buy

When a business or individual orders the same goods, in the same quantity from the same supplier.

Strap line

A subheading in a newspaper or magazine. A slogan attached to a well-known brand.

Strategic industry

An industry which is considered essential to the economy of a region or country.

Strategic management

The process of predicting and assessing a company's opportunities and difficulties, and making decisions so the company can achieve its objectives and gain a competitive advantage.


A description of the chosen approach to apply the capabilities of an enterprise in order to reach a desired set of goals or objectives.

Strategy analysis

Tasks bas perform to identify a need of strategic or tactical importance, how to collaborate and enable stakeholders to address that need etc.

Strengths (internal)

Anything that the assessed group does well such as experienced personnel, effective processes, it systems, customer relationships, or any other internal factor that leads to success.

SWOT analysis

Strengths – Weaknesses – Opportunities and Threats. An analysis model used to understand influencing factors and how they may affect an initiative. 

Stress/Stress management

Area of study and corporate/employer responsibility relating to workers' health, well-being, productivity. See Stress management.


A work stoppage caused by a disagreement between employees and management over working conditions, pay etc.

Structural rule

See Definitional business rule.


To hire someone to carry out some of the work that you have been contracted to do.

Subject Matter Expert (SME)

See Domain subject matter expert; implementation subject matter expert.

Succession planning

The process of identifying suitable employees who can be trained and prepared to replace senior staff when their positions become vacant.


An official document which orders a person to appear in court to answer a complaint against them.

Sunk cost

A company's past expenditures which cannot be recovered, and should not be taken into account when planning future projects.

Sunset provision

Also called Sunset Clause. A provision which states that a particular law or regulation will expire on a certain date unless further action is taken to extend it.


A stakeholder outside the boundary of a given organization or organizational unit who provides products or services to the organization and may have contractual or moral rights and obligations that must be considered.

Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs and Customers (SIPOC)

A tool used to describe relevant high-level elements of a process. May be used in conjunction with process mapping and ‘in/out of scope’ tools, to provide additional detail.

Supply and demand

Supply is the amount of a product or service which is available, and demand is the amount which people wish to buy. When demand is higher than supply prices usually rise, when demand is less than supply prices usually fall.

Supply chain

A chain through which a product passes from raw materials to manufacturing, distribution, retailing, etc., until it reaches the end consumer.

Support vector machines

In machine learning, support vector machines (SVMS, also support vector networks) are supervised learning models with associated learning algorithms that analyze data used for classification and regression analysis

Supporting materials

Any materials, information, tools, or equipment to Prepare for elicitation, or use during the elicitation.

Surface mail

Mail which is transported over land or sea, not by air.


Collecting and measuring the opinions or experiences of a group of people through a series of questions.

Sweat equity

Term used to describe a person's investment in a project, etc., by the contribution of their time and effort, rather than their money.


A horizontal or vertical section of a process diagram that shows which activities are performed by a particular actor or role.


A meeting or conference at which experts discuss a particular topic, often with audience participation.

Synchronous call

Synchronous call transfers the control to the receiving object the sender cannot act until a return message is received.


The working together of two or more individuals, groups, companies, etc., to produce a greater effect than working individually.


A set of interdependent components that interact in various ways to produce a set of desired outcomes.

System process model

A system process model defines the sequential flow of control among programs or units within a computer system.


See System Test Plan.

System Test Plan

Test plan created to test a system.

Systems thinking

Understanding the enterprise from a holistic view by learning how people, process and technology interact.



A word or words assigned to or associated with electronic data, usually on a website, to aid searching, finding, analysis, display, organization, etc., of the data. Used as a verb also, for example, to tag or tagging articles, content, etc., when posted onto a website.


Modify methodology to suit the context.


The purchase of one company by another.

Takeover bid

A bid made by an organization or individual to acquire a company, usually by offering to purchase the shares of the company's shareholders.

Takeover panel

A panel set up in certain countries to ensure that all company takeovers comply with laws and regulations, and that all shareholders are treated equally and fairly.

Target company

A company that another company or organization wants to acquire.

Target market

A specific group of people with similar characteristics, needs, lifestyle, etc., at which a company markets its products or services.

Target metric

A target metric is the objective to be reached within a specified period.


A discrete piece of work that may be performed formally or informally as part of business analysis.

Task force

A group of people formed to work on a particular project or assignment.


A fee imposed by a government on personal or corporate income, products, services, etc., in order to raise revenue to pay for public services.

Tax exile

A person or business who chooses to leave a country to reside or operate in another country, usually called a Tax Haven, where taxes are much lower or there aren't any.


See Total Cost of Ownership.


Television Commerce. The purchasing and selling of products and services using interactive television.


Through teaching, bas utilize different methods to communicate information, concepts, ideas and issues to stakeholders and ensure that they are understood by them.

Team player

A person in any type of profession who works well as a member of a team.

Team work 

It is essential for a BA to understand how a team is formed and how it functions in order to work productively with team members Resolving team conflicts is essential to develop and implement solutions effectively.


A person who is very knowledgeable, or an expert, in technology, especially computing.

Technical analyst 

A stock market analyst who uses charts and computer programs to study investments in order to predict the future of share prices, etc.


See Technical Design Document.

Technical Design Document

Document describing technical design.


See Technical Specification.

Technical specification

Document describing technical specifications.

Technical support

A service provided by the vendor of technology products, such as computers, mobile phones, televisions, etc., which the purchaser can use if they need help using the product.


A manner, method, or style for conducting a business analysis task or for shaping its output.


A conference involving two or more people at different locations, using telecommunications equipment, such as computers, video, telephone, etc.


Also known as Telesales. The selling of goods or services by contacting potential customers by telephone.


An arrangement in which the employee works at home and contacts their office or workplace by telephone or computer.

Template architectures

An architectural framework is a collection of viewpoints that is standard across an industry, sector or organization.

Temporal event

An event based on time that can trigger the initiation of a process, evaluation of business rules, or some other response.

Terms of reference

A document which describes the objectives, scope and purpose of a project, committee, meeting, etc. 

Test case

Term used to describe a court case which establishes legal rights and serves as a precedent for future similar cases.

Test market

In marketing, a product or service which is tested in a particular area of the country before it is launched nationally.

Test plan

Is a document detailing the objectives, target market, internal beta team, and processes for a specific beta test for a software or hardware product. The plan typically contains a detailed understanding of the eventual workflow.


An individual responsible for determining how to verify that the solution meets the requirements defined by the business analyst, and conducting the verification process.

Text message

A written message sent from one mobile phone to another.

Text to speech

Describes the converting of text into audible speech on a computer by using speech synthesis techniques.

Theory of constraints

Theory originally developed by Dr. Eliyahu Goldratt, which states that every organization must have at least one constraint that should be overcome by recognizing and dealing with the cause of the 'bottleneck', thus enabling the company to achieve its goals.

Theory X and Y

Developed by Douglas McGregor in the 1960s, a theory which states that most people in the workplace do not enjoy work and will take every opportunity to avoid doing their job because they are lazy and need to be closely supervised, threatened and disciplined by management.


Theory Y is the opposite to Theory X, a method of managing people in the workplace based on the idea that most workers enjoy their job, are self-motivated and want responsibility, and the managers role is to help the workers realize their full potential by giving them more responsibility, including them in decision-making, etc.

Think tank

A group or organization which researches and advises on issues relating to technology, economy, politics and social strategy.


See Third Generation.

Third Generation

Describes wireless technology which has been developed to send messages and data over networks using mobile phones, computers, etc.

Third party

A person or organization not principally involved with the other two parties but who has an interest in an agreement or contract. In an insurance policy, the third party is the person whose car, etc is damaged by you in an accident.

Threats (external)

External factors that can negatively affect the assessed group such as a new competitor, economic downturns, or other forces threats are also outside of the group’s control.

Throw-away prototype

A prototype used to quickly uncover and clarify requirements or designs using simple tools, sometimes just paper and pencil. It is intended to be discarded when the final system has been developed.


Maintenance request.

Time and a half

Rate of pay which is 50% more than the regular rate, usually for overtime work.

Time and motion study

The study and analysis of a specific job within an organization, the results of which are used to improve efficiency and production.

Time sensitivity as a basis for prioritization

The date after which the implementation of a requirement loses value considerably.


Has a defined timeframe consistent with the business need.


An agreed-upon period of time in which an activity is conducted or a defined deliverable is intended to be produced.

Time share

A lease on a (usually holiday) property jointly owned by several people who have the right to use it during agreed times of the year, usually for one or two weeks. The industry is often associated with high-pressure or unethical selling methods.

Title deed

A legal document which proves a person's rights of ownership of property or land.


The desired future state.


See To Be Decided.

To Be Decided

An email acronym.


The practice of doing the minimum required, especially by law, by making small token gestures, such as employing or including a single person who represents a minority or ethnic group.


On a computer screen, a set of icons or symbols, usually under the menu bar, which allow you to perform different tasks on your computer, such as print documents, change font size, use a paintbrush, etc.

Top brass

The most important people in a company or organization.

Top dog

The person who has the highest authority and is in charge of a whole operation, business, etc.

Top dollar

The very highest price paid for a product, service, worker, etc.

Top heavy

Describes a company or business which has too many managers and/or administrators in comparison to the number of workers.


See Top Level Domain.

Top Level Domain

The last part of a domain address on the Internet, for example .com (commerce), .gov (government), etc.

Top-down estimation

Estimate efforts for components using hierarchical breakdown.

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

Cost of change + Usage cost + Support cost for a period.

Total costs

In business, the costs of manufacturing, overheads, administration, etc. - i.e., the sum of fixed costs and variable costs. In investments, the price paid for a share, security, etc., plus brokerage fees, taxes, interest due to the seller, etc.


See Total Quality Management.

Total Quality Management

A company management system which seeks to improve the quality of products and services and to improve customer satisfaction by giving everyone in the organization the responsibility of achieving and keeping high standards.

Touch Base

To make contact, usually managers who want to communicate with their staff.


Ability to look at a requirement and others to which it is related, linking business requirements to stakeholder and solution requirements, to artifacts and to solution components

Traceability repositories

A tool or manual approach to maintain requirements traceabilities.

Trade secret

A secret device or formula used by a company in the manufacturing of a product which gives it an advantage over the competition.


See Trademark.


A symbol, logo, word or phrase which is used exclusively by a company, individual, etc., so their products or services can be easily identified, A Trademark cannot legally be used by anyone else.


Accept a compromise on a feature based on resource constraints.

Trail blazer

An innovator or pioneer. An individual or company who is the first to do or discover something, and leads where others follow.

Transaction or usage fees

The customer pays each time they use a good or service.


Liability for dealing with the risk is moved to, or shared with, a third party.

Transition requirement

A requirement that describes the capabilities the solution must have and the conditions the solution must meet to facilitate transition from the current state to the future state, but which are not needed once the change is complete. They are differentiated from other requirements types because they are of a temporary nature.

Transition requirements

Capabilities that the solution must possess in order to facilitate transition from current state to future state.


Multinational. Refers to businesses, organizations, etc., which operate in or between several countries.


A person in a company, organization, club, etc., who is responsible for the management of funds and accounts.

Trial offer

A temporary offer by a company usually aimed at first-time buyers in which a customer can try a product or service free or at discounted rates for a short period of time.


An event (typically an action taken by a primary actor) that initiates the flow of event for a use case.


To identify and solve problems which arise in the workplace.


Timely delivery of tasks, honesty, consistency and confidence in conduct helps in earning the trust of stakeholders once trust is built, stakeholders discuss sensitive issues with Business analysts and also give importance to their ideas and recommendations.



 See User Acceptance Test.


See Unified Modeling Language.


Describes subsidiary companies whose financial statements, shares, etc., are not included in the parent company's finances.


Without opposition or competition. A lawsuit which is not disputed by the person against whom it has been filed.


To fall short of reaching a goal or target.

Unified modelling language 

A notation specified by the Object Management Group for describing software application structure, behavior, and architecture. It can also be used for describing business processes and data structures. The most common UML® diagrams used by business analysts are Use case diagrams, Activity diagrams, State machine diagrams (also known as State diagrams), and Class diagrams.


Performed by one person, group, side, party, etc - basically ‘Going alone'. For example a unilateral decision is one made without dependence or condition upon others who might have interests in the matter in question. See Bilateral and Multilateral.


See Unique Selling Point/Proposition.

Unique Selling Point/Proposition

The key feature of a product or service which makes it stands out from the competition.

Unique visitor

Describes a person who visits a website, as one unit, even if they have made several visits to the same site in a particular period of time, usually 24 hours.


See Unit Test Plan.

Unit Test Plan

Test plan created to test an individual module.


See Universal Product Code.

Universal Product Code

A bar code, using thick and thin vertical lines, which is printed on labels, packets, etc., to identify a specific product, and is used for stock control.


See Universal Resource Locator.

Universal Resource Locator

The address of a web page on the Internet.


See Universal Serial Bus.

Universal Serial Bus

A device on a computer which is used for connecting other devices, such as telephones, scanners, printers, etc. Bus is derived from Busbar, a metal conductor strip within a switchboard.

Unlimited company

In the UK, a company whose owners have unlimited liability, e.g. If the company goes into liquidation the owners are required to raise the funds to pay the company's debts.


Not requested or invited, for example junk mail.

Unsystematic risk

Also called Residual Risk. The risk that can affect a company's share prices, production, etc., such as a sudden strike by employees.


On a computer, to return files to their original size after they have been compressed.

Up selling

A sales technique in which the salesperson tries to persuade the customer to purchase more expensive and/or more goods than they originally intended.

Up time

The period of time which a computer, piece of machinery, etc., is operational and available for use.


To transfer data or programs from a smaller computer, camera, etc., or a computer at a remote location, to a larger computer system.


See Upper Control Limit.

Upper Control Limit

Lilely highest value for a process.


See Upper Specification Limit.

Upper Specification Limit

Maximum allowable value for a process.


Also called Plus Tick. On the Stock Market, a transaction or quote at a price above the preceding transaction for the same security.

Upwardly mobile

Describes someone who is moving towards a higher social and/or economic position.


Indicates how soon the requirement is needed. It is necessary to specify this separately from priority when a deadline exists for implementation.


How easy it is for a user to learn how to use the solution.

Usability prototype

Model to test how end user interacts with the system.

Use case

A description of the observable interaction between an actor (or actors) and a solution that occurs when the actor uses the system to accomplish a specific goal.

Use case diagram

A type of diagram defined by UML® that captures all actors and use cases involved with a system or product.

Use case point

Estimation prepared on the basis of use cases.


See End user.

User Acceptance Test (UAT)

Assessing whether the delivered solution meets the needs of the stakeholder group that will be using the solution. The assessment is validated against identified acceptance criteria.

User friendly

Easy to learn or use by people who are not experts.


See User Interface.

User Interface

In the industrial design field of human–computer interaction, is the space where interactions between humans and machines occur.

User requirement

See Stakeholder requirement.


See User Requirement Specification.

User Requirement Specification

Requirements specified by users.

User stories

User Stories are a brief textual description, typically 1 or 2 sentences, of functionality that users need from a solution to meet a business objective.

User story

A small, concise statement of functionality or quality needed to deliver value to a specific stakeholder.

User name

In computing, refers to the name that uniquely identifies the person using a computer system or program and is usually used with a password.


An imaginary society or world or situation which is ideal and everyone has everything they want, from the highly revered English statesman, scholar, lawyer and writer, Sir Thomas More's 1516 century book Utopia, whose full Latin title loosely translates to mean 'On the Best State of a Republic and on the New Island of Utopia'. The opposite term Dystopia, was devised two centuries later.


Buildings and construction industry term referring to insulation effectiveness of materials.


Validate relationship

A relation between a requirement and its test case to validate whether the solution fulfills the requirement.

Validated requirement

A requirement that has been reviewed and is determined to support the delivery of the expected benefits, and is within the solution scope.


See Validation.


The process of checking that a deliverable is suitable for its intended use. See also Requirements validation.


The worth, importance, or usefulness of something to a stakeholder in a context.


See Value Added Reseller.

Value Added Reseller

A company which purchases a product and modifies or enhances it before reselling it to the consumer. This practice is common in the computer industry.


See Value Added Tax.

Value Added Tax

A tax paid by consumers which is added to the price of certain goods and services.

Value proposition

A value proposition represents what a customer is willing to exchange for having their needs met.

Value stream mapping

 A complete, fact-based, time-series representation of the stream of activities required to deliver a product or service.


Characteristics, features, and business activities for which the customer is willing to pay.


Term used to describe computer software which is advertised before it has been, and may never be, developed, often to damage sales of a competitor's product which has already been launched.

Variable cost

In business, costs which vary according to the changes in activity, production, etc. of the company, such as overheads, labor and material costs.


Variance is the difference between expected and actual performance.


Number of stories implemented per sprint.


A person or business who sells goods, property, etc.

Vendor assessment

Assess ability of a potential vendor to meet commitments regarding the delivery and consistent provision of a product or service.

Verb concepts

Actions those can be carried out on Noun concepts Such as “Create”, “Update” This would form sentence like “Create Customer”, “Update Order”.

Verbal communication

Speaker uses spoken words to convey BA information, ideas, concepts, facts and opinions to the receiver.


See Verification.


Test deliverables as per provided specifications and quality.


See Verification and Validation.

Verification and Validation

Are independent procedures that are used together for checking that a product, service, or system meets requirements and specifications and that it fulfills its intended purpose.


The process of determining that a deliverable or artifact meets an acceptable standard of quality. See also Requirements verification.

Verified requirement

A requirement that has been reviewed and is determined to be defined correctly, adheres to standards or guidelines, and is at an acceptable level of detail.

Vertical dis-integration

A situation in which a company that previously produced parts and materials is now buying them from other suppliers.

Vertical integration

A situation in which a company acquires one or more of the companies which are involved in the production or distribution processes of its goods/services, for example a brewer which buys a pub chain, or a clothing retailer which buys a knitwear factory.

Vertical prototype

A prototype that is used to drill down into a proposed solution to uncover requirement and design considerations through multiple layers of a solution that are not easily understood or that are not discernible on the surface. It may include interaction between several solution components.

Vested interest

When an individual, business or group has a special interest in something, such as property, an activity, etc., from which there is a personal or financial gain.


Capable of being done or working successfully.


A set of conventions that define how requirements will be represented, how these representations will be organized, and how they will be related.


Viewpoints suggest what information should be provided to each stakeholder group as different groups of stakeholders have different concerns it defines how requirements will be represented, related and organized.


Views describe actual requirements and designs that are produced a collection of views makes up the requirements architecture for a specific solution.

Viral marketing

Also known as Word Of Mouth. An advertising and marketing technique which encourages people to pass on information about a product, etc., often by e-mail or from one internet website to another.

Virtual memory

On a computer, a technique of simulating additional memory by moving data between the computer’s memory and a hard disk.

Virtual reality

An artificial three-dimensional (3-D) image or experience, created by a computer, and which seems real to the person looking at it.


A computer program with a hidden code, designed to infect a computer without the owners knowledge, and which causes harm to the computer or destroys data, etc.

Visual prototype

Model to test visual aspects of the solution.

Visual thinking

Graphical representations help to communicate complex concepts and models to stakeholders and thereby help them understand and engage in the concepts that are being presented.

Visual/Video display unit

A computer screen or monitor which displays text and/or pictures.


An occupation for which a person is strongly suited and/or to which they are dedicated.

Voice recognition

Technology which allows computers, mobile phones, etc., to be operated by being spoken to.

Voluntary liquidation

A situation where the owners/directors of a solvent company decide to cease business, sell the company's assets and pay all the creditors.


See Value Stream Mapping.


Walking papers

Also called Walking ticket. A notification of dismissal from a job.


A review in which participants step through an artifact or set of artifacts with the intention of validating the requirements or designs, and to identify requirements or design errors, inconsistencies, omissions, inaccuracies, or conflicts.

Watch dog

A list of investments being monitored because they are showing signs of unusual activity, often because the companies who own the shares may be takeover targets.

Watch list 

In the US and Canada, a long distance telephone service which provides discounted calls for companies that place large volumes of long distance telephone calls.


Software Development Methodology.


See Work Breakdown Structure.

Weaknesses (internal)

Things that the assessed group does poorly or not at all such as not having market access.


A person who is responsible for maintaining a website.


An electronic magazine which is published on the Internet.


See Website Meta Language.

Website Meta Language

It consists of a control frontend driving up to nine backends in a sequential pass-oriented filtering scheme. Each backend provides one particular core language.


Refers to employees who work in offices or business rather than manual workers.

Weighted decision matrix

A decision matrix where evaluation parameters are given weights reflecting their criticality.

Whistle blower

Escalation process.

White box

Type of testing where the code is also taken into picture.

White collar

An illegal act such as fraud, embezzlement, bribery, etc., committed by a worker in business or administrative function.

White goods

A company, individual, etc., who offers favorable terms in a takeover, usually saving the acquired company from a hostile takeover.

White paper

An explanatory document produced by a political group or government or business or other organization.


See Wide Area Networking.

Wide Area Networking

A communications network which covers a wide area of a region or country, connecting computers, phones, etc.

Wide Area Telecommunications Service

Web-based seminar. A meeting, conference, etc., which is transmitted over the Internet, with each participant using their own computer to connect to the other participants.


A small program which is run by certain computers. A small device, switch, gadget, etc., whose name is not known.


Describes a situation or arrangement in which all parties benefit or profit.


See Wireless Application Protocol.

Wireless Application Protocol

A person or organization that monitors the practices of companies to ensure they are nor acting illegally.


See Wireless Fidelity.

Wireless fidelity

A wireless technology which enables computers, mobile phones, video games, etc., to be operated by using radio frequency.


See With Respect To.

With Respect To

An common business acronym.

Word processing and presentation programs

Commonly used to develop, format, present and maintain requirements.

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

A deliverable-oriented hierarchical decomposition of the work to be executed to accomplish objectives and create the required deliverables. It organizes and defines the total scope of the project.


See Work In Progress.

Work In Progress

Also called Work In Process. Work on a product, contract, etc., that a company has invested in but is not yet completed. A piece of music, art, etc., which is unfinished but may be available for viewing or listening.

Work Permit

A legal document which gives a person a right to employment in certain foreign countries.

Work product 

A document or collection of notes or diagrams used by the business analyst during the requirements development process.

Workflow modelling

Shows sequence of operations that is performed Focuses only on human aspects.

Working time directive

Rules set by the European Union which limits the maximum number of hours in a working week, the minimum amount of annual leave and the minimum amount of rest period in a working day to which an employee is entitled.


A facilitated and focused event attended by key stakeholders for the purpose of achieving a defined goal.


See World Economic Forum.

World Economic Forum 

Based in Geneva, Switzerland, a non-profit, international organisation which brings together politicians, business and education leaders from all over the world to discuss ways to improve economic and social growth, health and environment issues, etc.


See World Wide Web.

World Wide Web

Also known as The web, a computer network system in which documents are inter-linked using hypertext computer code, and allows information to be accessed using the Internet.

Wow factor

The instant appeal of a product, property, etc., which impresses and surprises people the first time they see it.


In accounting, to reduce the book value of an asset, sometimes to zero, or cancel a debt which has not been, or is unlikely to be, paid.

Write protect

In computing, protect the data on a disk or file from being accidentally deleted or edited.

Written communication

Business analysts use written forms of communication like text, symbols, models (formal or informal) and sketches to convey ideas, concepts, facts and opinions to stakeholders It helps to convey a great deal of information provided the communicator has a good command over language.



Yellow pages 

A telephone directory, usually printed on yellow paper, which lists businesses, organizations, retailers, etc., in alphabetical order in categories according to the service they provide.

Yellow sheets

Published every day in the US by the National Quotation Bureau, a list which shows information and prices of corporate bonds.

Yourdon Notation

A notation for DFD


Derives from Young Urban Professional. Term used since the 1980s to describe a young person who has a well-paid job and an affluent lifestyle.


Zero based budgeting

A system in which a yearly budget for a department in a company starts at zero with no pre-authorized funds, and the department has to justify its budget requests.

Zero sum game

A situation in which what is lost by one person, company, etc., is matched by a gain by another/others. Used in economics and game theory to describe the relatively simple 'strictly competitive' situation whereby all the losses and gains balance each other to zero. Potential gains are finite; what is gained by one must be lost by another, and vice-versa.


In computing, compressing data to make a file smaller in order for it to be stored or sent to another computer. Also, slang for nothing.



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