How do you build a business glossary?

A business glossary is a collaborative tool for codifying the business jargon that is used in your office and in your industry. By creating a business glossary, you will improve communication between teams and reduce inefficiencies that are being caused by confusing codes.
 
This document will facilitate a common technical language for your company. As such, it should be an open document available for input from as many people as possible. Consult both senior and junior staff members. This is important as senior staff will want to have the final say as the authoritative presence in the office. However, junior staff members often have the most day to day interactions with these terms and have valuable insight into how they are used with other departments and clients.
 
Begin by identifying an area of the company that has been suffering from communication issues that stem from confused language. Identify some problematic terms and start by creating a modest list. Work out clear definitions for these terms with the people in the office who have the most invested in seeing them used the right way.
 
Creating a business glossary is an exercise in iteration. Once the first set of terms is defined, send it out for review and request feedback before moving on to the next set. Doing this will help avoid the biggest mistake that can be made when building a business glossary – a document that adds more confusion than it remedies.
 
Find the right tools to build the glossary. Excel may work to start, but there are more efficient ways to gather and share the data being created.

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