Corporate Buzzwords

and what they REALLY mean

. . .

a helpful guide written by The Russler


ballpark
a better place to be than in this meeting; see also "game plan"
ballpark figure
athelete's physique
bandwidth
musician's physique
barrier removal
road construction site activity when the lanes are reopened
benchmark
a defacing of the work area caused by a dropped tool
best-in-class
of or relating to a straight A student
best practice
being on the golf course instead of the office
the big picture
in a collection of photographs, the one that allows its owner to be promoted without actually doing anything useful; see "blackmail"
blind side
the back of one's head, unless one is a teacher or parent
bottom line
"O C P D E J F Y Q Z R U T"; see "refocus"
broad-based
having a large derriere
buildout
what desk-bound employees do to their bodies instead of building them up
business portfolio
marketing equivalent to a wallet full of "pictures of my grandkids"; in other words, stuff you like to brag about that really wasn't your doing
caveat
delicacy made from fish eggs . . . I think
client-focused
looking at one's workstation, as opposed to working on the server
co-opt
polite term meaning to fight with a business partner
co-sourcing
producing mixed signals, as in "We are co-sourcing with IBM on this project."
come to market quickly
get to Foley's before they open
commoditize
to put in the toilet
component
a part of the whole; especially, the part that doesn't work well with the rest
core business
the apple industry
cross-functional
angry and dysfunctional, as in "I have a meeting this afternoon with that cross-functional task force."
customer-driven
having our transportation expenses covered in the user's contract
deep dive
method of getting into more hot water, as in "On Monday, we’ll deep dive into that market discussion."
deliverables
newborn babies
deploy
to place in battle formation
done deal
subject to change
emerging technologies
things understood only by engineers
emergency
anything requested by a user
empower
to tell employees that they matter
enabling
letting an alcoholic relative keep on drinking
environment
the complex of climatic, edaphic, and biotic factors that act upon an organism or an ecological community and ultimately determine its form and survival
facilitate
to force into being or action, as in "David will be facilitating this task."
fast track
a corporate ladder consisting of wounded or deceased bodies of coworkers
(Note: the "corporate" in "corporate ladder" is from the Latin "corpus" which means "body.")
flexible
willing to do what the management or marketing people want at the given moment and able to anticipate what they will want at the next moment
focus
the point at which rays of light converge, very important to the use of the ubiquitous overhead projector
functionality
the tendency to attend a lot of parties
game plan
a scheme to get out of here and to a better place; see "ballpark"
gap analysis
checking one's fly
global
spherical, as in "Everyone on the global team likes donuts."
go the extra mile
means of getting around some traffic jams
hardball
a popular office toy at one time; replaced by the koosh ball after several fatalities
heads-up
alert, resourceful, or unusually tall
high-level
vague, as in "Let me give you a high-level description of the requirements."
high-profile
important to a good friend of someone in upper-level management
in the loop
ready to be hanged on a gallows, as in "It is important to keep your manager in the loop."
incent
to anger, similar to "incense" but not as strong, as in "That should incent the customer."
industry-specific
resembling a smokestack
information-based
filled with useless data--well, okay some of it is useful, but the rest is just there to provide more columns or pages to reports that are generated, printed, glanced at (optional), and thrown away
infrastructure
the permanent installations required for military operations
integrated
accessible to people of all races
interim
inside rim of a coffee cup, as in "Things are starting to grow inside my mug. I need to soak it in an interim solution!"
knowledge base
the sum total of one's prejudices
lessons learned
excuses for embarrassing mistakes
leverage
abuse, as in "We need to leverage our team members."; comes from the notion of beating someone with a crowbar
market-based
founded upon the ideas of salesmen
market-facing
standing in front of the grocery store
mindset
a collections of brains; see "Dr. Frankenstein"
mission-critical
early pilot of a TV show that later became "Mission: Impossible"
movers and shakers
a religion popular in the 1800s that emphasized the Holy Spirit
the next level
often, the location of housewares, toys, or lingerie
on the same page
the relationship between "teamwork" and "tea party"
opportunity
activity forced upon an unwilling employee, as in "Sam will be leaving the team and pursuing a new opportunity."
out of the loop
in the suburbs
paradigm shift
reaction caused by driving around a corner with twenty cents on the dashboard
peel back the onion
make those around you cry
pipeline
a tobacconist's array of smoking apparatuses
player
someone who pretends to be something he is not, as in "Here is the org chart. Let me introduce you to some of the players."
premier
earliest, that which has been around the longest, as in "We are offering a premier software package to our customer."
prioritize
to assign random numbers to
proactive
the situation of a career athlete who is too valuable to society to be punished for any criminal activity; current examples include Dallas Cowboys; for future examples watch the Nebraska Cornhuskers
productivity
another name for the 80-hour work week
push the envelope
"Get this junk mail offa my desk!"
put that one to bed
to place in one's flower garden
ramp-up
the process of gradually getting farther from reality; the higher you get, the more spectacular the fall
realignment
mass firing of employees
refocus
the action of the eyes after reading the big E and before reading the line that says "O C P D E J F Y Q Z R U T"
reorganization
a weekly activity engaged in by management personnel with too little to do
repeatable
semi-automatic
repository
after-hours book drop (for those who don't read: after-hours video drop)
resource
dehumanizing term for person, sometimes confused with "racehorse"
result-driven (also results-driven)
unmotivated by ethics
revisit
periodic event by a mother-in-law
rightsizing
perpetual reorganization
rollout
the public introduction of a new aircraft; a football play in which the quarterback rolls to his left or right
segue
a transition from one musical number to the next
service offerings
the collections taken up during church assemblies
single point of contact
anode or cathode
solutions
homogeneous mixtures formed by the dissolving of solids or liquids in another liquid
standards . . . procedures . . . documentation
a set of business entities outside the scope of knowledge of a computer programmer
strategic
a characteristic of any plan whose due date is too far away to make it possible to determine whether the end result will bear any resemblance to the original desired result
straw man
scarecrow
synergy
contraction for "synthetic energy"; not to be confused with "artifice", a contraction for "artificial intelligence"
tactical
relating to speech which is uttered only after choosing words carefully so as to avoid hurt feelings
take it off-line
shut up
team
a group of people who share breakfast on Friday mornings
team player
anyone good at hackysack
think outside the box
come up with something logical for a change
touch base
a feature of certain table lamps that allows them to be turned on and off without a conventional switch
value-added
more expensive
vision statement
report from the optometrist
win-win
relating to a situation that is very beneficial to the person using the term, regardless of the benefit to others
world-class
a geography course
yellow-pad study
the debris left behind after a brain storm

THE RUSSLER
Word Wild Web
Dumb Things People Say
Lien À Trois
Elmwood Court
E-mail