50 Most Dangerous Words for Business Analysts | Adaptive US

2 min read
Jun 15, 2022 5:41:19 AM

As business analysts, it's our primary responsibility to bring clarity to requirements communication. Unfortunately, many words spoken by our stakeholders can be ambiguous. Not understanding these words in their proper context or without adequate information can lead to situations where different stakeholders can have a different understanding of the same word.

One of my very favorite words is Manage. Manage can mean anything under the sun to anyone. For example, managing a schedule to me means creating a schedule, viewing schedule, updating schedule, deleting schedule, importing schedule, exporting schedule, reporting on schedule, and alerting schedule delays. For the developer in my team, managing a schedule could simply mean creating a schedule, viewing the schedule, updating the schedule, and deleting the schedule (The four fundamental operations on data).

Discussing the ambiguous terms with stakeholders will give them the idea that something is also missing from their end. They can do some more research to find how exactly they want the system to behave rather than giving information that is at a higher level. In this blog, I am writing down the top 50 ambiguous words I came across as a business analyst. I want all my business analyst friends to contribute to this list so that we can comprehensively list the ambiguous words.

Any time any of our stakeholders use these words, we would know that there is some ambiguity involved. It's not that the ambiguity is always bad, but it must be clarified before something goes for designing and development. So till the time we are far away from that, it's ok, but as we come closer to the design and development phase, we must find the real concrete information so that the development team can design the solution as per the stakeholder requirements.

 

Rank

The word

What makes it dangerous

50

Most appropriate

Who decides what's most appropriate?

49

As soon as possible

In the next 5 seconds?

48

In future

By EoD Tomorrow?

47

ETC

Missing details

46

TBD

When?

45

Usually

Where is the unusual stuff?

44

Generally

Non-precise

43

Normally

Non-precise

42

To the greatest extent

Who decides the extent?

41

Properly

Non-precise

40

Where practicable

Conditions not specified

39

Supported

Passive voice, Actor unknown

38

Handled

Passive voice, Actor unknown

37

Processed

Passive voice, Actor unknown

36

Rejected

Passive voice, Actor unknown

35

Always

Assumed certainty which does not exist

34

Never

Assumed certainty which does not exist

33

All

Assumed certainty which does not exist

32

None

Assumed certainty which does not exist

31

Every

Assumed certainty which does not exist

30

Earliest

Non-precise

29

Latest

Non-precise

28

Highest

Non-precise

27

Fastest

Non-precise

26

Flexible

Non-precise

25

Modular

Non-precise

24

Efficient

Non-precise

23

Adequate

Non-precise

22

Minimum required

Minimum shall be achieved

21

Minimum acceptable

Minimum shall be achieved

20

Better

Non-precise

19

Higher

Non-precise

18

Faster

Non-precise

17

Less

Non-precise

16

Slower

Non-precise

15

Infrequent

Non-precise

14

To the extent specified

Non-precise

13

To the extent required

Non-precise

12

Very high

Non-precise

11

Very low

Non-precise

10

Fantastic

What is Fantastic?

9

Multiple currencies

Which currencies?

8

Multiple languages

Which languages?

7

Multiple browsers

Which browsers? Even for the same browser, which versions?

6

Robust

Non-precise

5

Sturdy

Non-precise

4

User-friendly

Non-precise

3

Great performance

How do you determine that?

2

User

All users or specific types of users?

1

Manage

Possibly the most dangerous verb - Can mean anything under the sun

 

What other words would you like to add to the above list?

 

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