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Welcome to the Bersin Lexicon

Our lexicon is the most comprehensive source of definitions and associated knowledge for learning and HR professionals. Based on our research, you can use the lexicon to give you clarity and consistency on key terms in our industry.


360-Degree Assessment

A "360-degree assessment" refers to feedback from the worker, and his / her manager, peers, superiors, subordinates, and customers. It is called a "360" because it does not solely refer to assessment by the manager or leader.

As organizations become flatter, and people work in cross-functional or project teams, it has become increasingly important to use 360-degree feedback as a way to evaluate performance, coach leaders and professionals, and obtain a complete assessment of both a person's contributions and areas for improvement.


70-20-10 Model of Development

In the "70-20-10 Model of Development," 70 percent of learning is through practice and on-the-job experiences; 20 percent is through other people by exposure to coaching, feedback, and networking; and, 10 percent is through formal education-based learning interventions.


Action Learning

“Action learning” is a process in which groups of learners collaborate to solve actual workplace problems. In this way, organizations benefit from gaining solutions to critical challenges and participants benefit by learning from their experiences.

Actionable Information

“Actionable information” provides data that can be used to make specific business decisions. Actionable information is specific, consistent, and credible.

For example, a report which shows trends in "employee retention" is important and interesting, but not necessarily actionable. However, a dashboard or simple red / yellow / green report which shows managers the turnover rate by department, accompanied by the "top three reasons for leaving the company," is far more actionable. In any HR or L&D data and reporting program, it is always important to drive toward giving managers data which is not only interesting, but actionable.
Active Directory
Active directory (or "AD") is a technology created by Microsoft that provides a variety of network services (including LDAP-like directory services, Kerberos-based authentication, DNS-based naming, and other network information) utilizing the same database, for use primarily in Windows environments.
Activity Stream

 An "activity stream" is a stream of updates, changes, and comments from people in an internal network (e.g., team, workgroup, organization, special interest group, etc.) all on a single page.


“ADDIE” is a standard instructional design model that stands for analyze, design, develop, implement, and evaluate. A generally accepted approach to developing instructional (traditional) programs, the ADDIE model was developed in 1975 by Florida State University. 


In today's informal learning programs, designers must add on-demand, social, and embedded learning into their learning environments. It is also very important to do detailed audience analysis, which often involves building "personas" which describe various learner types.


These other approaches to learning (described in our Enterprise Learning Framework) go beyond the traditional approach to instructional design. We have also published a model for the development of e-learning, the Four Stages of E-Learning,  which allow the instructional designer to consider the goal for an e-learning course from among four categories:   

  • Information DistributionInforming people about a topic or change (i.e., notifying salespeople of a new price list)
  • Critical Information DistributionInforming people about a topic or change, and checking that they have read and understand the information (i.e., notifying people of the price change and asking them questions to validate that they understand it)
  • Skills DevelopmentDeveloping specific skills and capabilities (i.e., giving learners a simulation or assignment with pricing to help them in understanding how to apply the new price list)
  • Certified Skills DevelopmentDeveloping skills, and certifying that the learning has reached competency or mastery; this is done typically by giving the learner a set of certification tests and validations, as well as delivering information and skills-development exercises (i.e., certifying, through various tests, that an individual is now empowered to change prices)


Balanced Scorecard

“Balanced scorecard” is a process for establishing a “strategy-focused organization,” which sets measurable targets for each operational process and support unit. It breaks business strategy into four levels of goalsfinancial, customer, process, and people. The Bersin Talent Management Framework fits into this process. 

(For more information on balanced scorecard, consult

Behavioral Anchor
“Behavioral anchor” (or “defined behavior”) is a specific example of a competency level used to help managers and employees to understand how to use a competency model. For example, if you want to define a high level of proficiency (say level 5) in “customer service” (a competency), the behavioral anchor may be “calls customers back within 1 hour, engages customers in open dialogue, resolves customer problems before hanging up, etc.” The behavioral anchors are specific, easy-to-apply examples of behaviors that demonstrate the competency and proficiency level.
A "behavior" is the way in which someone expresses general character, state of mind, or a response to a situation or other people. In other words, a behavior is an observable representation of competencies or capabilities that demonstrate what it looks like to perform the competency or capability. Typically, a number of behaviors comprise a single competency or capability.
The term “bench” (also known as the "pipeline") refers to an organization’s ongoing need to have a pool of talent that is readily available to fill positions at all levels of management (as well as other key positions) as the company grows. At each level, different competencies, knowledge, and experiences are required; to keep the bench filled, the organization must have programs that are designed to develop appropriate skills sets.
Bench Strength

“Bench strength” refers to the capabilities and readiness of potential successors to move into key professional and leadership positions. The term comes from baseball, for which it refers to a team's lineup of highly skilled players who can step in when a player is hurt or replaced.

In business, bench strength is critically important because organizations continuously go through turnover, restructuring, and changes in business strategy. Whenever a critical person leaves (whether in leadership, management, or line operations), the organization should have a "ready successor" or plan for replacement in order to avoid business interruption.


Calibration Bias

Please see "biases."

Calibration Meeting

A “calibration meeting” brings together managers (who are peers) to finalize ratings of all salaried employees within their groups. 

During these meetings, employees’ individual results are comprehensively calibrated against their peer groupand evaluated on defined criteria that include performance relative to objectives, job-scope delivery, demonstration of leadership competencies, living the company’s values, and personal development.
Candidate Pools

"Candidate pools" are generated from the process of engaging and grouping candidates by interest level, background, skills, and experiences.

A "candidate" is the prospective person seeking or being sought for a position or role within a company.
A "capability" is a higher-level and more holistic attribute that concerns the capacity to use one’s competence in novel situations. This difference in terminology implies that competencies are static sets of knowledge and skills. Capabilities, by contrast, require that knowledge and skills be built upon through additional learning. While these distinctions may seem academic, their implications are not. Competencies are measurable today, whereas capabilities are what the individual could do in the future in a novel situation.



The term “dashboard” refers to a graphical tool that allows users to view data using charts, dials and other visual approaches to understand business data. Dashboards are often included in HR and LMS software systems, and can typically be customized to include many different potential measures. Bersin has a list of high-impact talent management measures that organizations can use to benchmark and measure their enterprise learning and talent management programs. The term also refers to the general use of such metrics without software – often used for monthly review meetings and other management processes.

A “DashRibbon” is an application that is a moving line of information, similar to a realtime moving stock quote, that shows pre-run customized reports which enables the user to view changes as they occur, sends alerts when thresholds set by the user are met / unmet, and can be stopped for a more detailed examination or to run a report.
Data Science (or Scientist)
The term Data Science refers to a new job role for the person in the organization who understands how to find, aggregate, and analyze vast amounts of data for creative new business purposes. While this sounds like a complex role, in reality this is a person who has deep skills in database design, statistics, analysis, and understands the business well.  DJ Patil, one of the original data scientists at Google (where this discipline began), describes it well here.
Datafication or Datafy

"Datafication" is a new term used to describe the process of turning an existing business into a "data business."

In HR it refers to our increasing ability to use Talent Analytics to understand more and more about our people, HR practices and processes, and external demographics.  For more information read .

Deep Specialization
Developing deep expertise within the company in the critical roles and skills which define the organization in the market and provide competitive advantage, along with providing programs and processes which develop specialist leaders.



“EBITDA” stands for earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization.

Equal Employment Opportunity.
Effectiveness Measures

Bersin's WhatWorks methodology defines High-Impact organizations as those which succeed in three ways:  effectiveness, efficiency, and alignment.

“Effectiveness” measures how well the training or HR organization is driving business impact, and achieving its business and operational goals.  Effectiveness is measured in different ways by different organizations, but typical "effectiveness" measures are defined by the business stakeholder.  

For example, if a stakeholder wants a certain course to be delivered by a certain date, the delivery on time is an effectiveness measure.  If a goal of a certain HR program is to drive higher levels of retention, then an "effectiveness" measure is the ability for that program to meet and drive that level of retention.  In all HR and L&D operations there are many effectiveness measures.

"The Training Measurement Book" defines effectiveness measures for L&D in great detail, so we recommend reading that book or High-Impact Learning Measurement for more specific examples.
Bersin's WhatWorks methodology defines High-Impact organizations as those which succeed in three ways:  effectiveness, efficiency, and alignment.

“Efficiency” refers to an HR or L&D organization's ability to continuously drive down cost.  Since nearly all HR and L&D programs are an expense (with the exception of customer training which drives revenues), it is important for the organization to continuously benchmark itself to find ways to reduce costs.

Our Factbooks contain industry by industry data on spending levels, headcount levels, and many other benchmarks which you can use to determine how efficient you are.  In training, efficiency measures include the measurement of "time to develop" as well as "time to deploy" in addition to various financial measures.

We recommend that readers consult the appropriate Factbook for the measures in your area, and then read High-Impact Learning Measurement or The Training Measurement Book for details on how to measure efficiency.
Efficiency Measures
“Efficiency” measures how well the training organization is managing its resources to reach the maximum number of learners at a minimum cost.


Factor Analysis

A “factor analysis” is a statistical method used to group variables (or, in the case of surveys, items) by the closeness of their relationships to each other. Closely related items are thought to measure the same issue or aspect of work; the factor is interpreted and named by using the items which belong in the group. Ideally, the statistics show that each item only belongs in one factor. Factors are often called “dimensions” in survey research, although not all dimensions have been determined through a factor analytic process.

FDA Section 21 CFR Part 11

For organizations whose training audiences include anyone involved in U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)-related testing, the FDA has established strict guidelines for how information in captured and stored. These guidelines are outline in a section of U.S. Federal law, entitled Section 21 CFR Part 11.

Federated Model
A "federated model" has a small core team that manages some technology and corporate programs, and empowers business and functional units to run their own training programs.
Federated Search
A “federated search” is a universal search inside and outside the LMS for all-inclusive information gathering.
Flight Risk
Flight risk” refers to the degree to which a top-performing leader or employee appears ready to leave current employment, presumably for a better opportunity elsewhere.



"Games” are abstractions that may or may not reflect reality, and which set up a construct of rules that must be followed to achieve a desired outcome. The point of a game is to master the rules. “Serious games” are those for which the purpose is to support a business or organizational objective, such as training a skill.

"Generation-X" are those individuals who were born between 1965 and 1980, and are thought to be self-reliant, willing to change rules, and tribal and community-oriented.

“Generation-Y” (also known as “Millennials”) are those individuals who were born between 1981 and 2000, and are culturally thought to be confident, impatient, socially conscious, family-centric (or “tribal-oriented”) and technology-savvy.

Global Awareness
The lack of ethnocentricity; the acknowledgement of other countries and cultures.
Global Inclusion & Diversity Services
The services that ensure a company employs a diverse workforce (both men and women, people of many generations, and people from ethnically and racially diverse backgrounds, as well as those coming with different experiences, different cultures and different capabilities) to create a better equipped workforce, which can help an organization to thrive.



HR or solution provider staff, online or on the phone, dedicated to answering employee questions about HR programs, such as benefits, wellness plans, and EAP programs.

High Performer

A “high performer” is an employee who is a key contributor, demonstrates high performance, is capable of a lateral move, may be qualified for a broader role within the same profession and has reached the potential to move “upward’ in a management capacity.


In many companies performance ratings are developed using "forced ranking" - e.g. only 10% of all employees can be rated 5 out of 5, for example.  The "high performers" are typically considered to be those with a certain rating.


In contrast, the second method for describing employee value is "potential" - which is often considered an individual's potential to grow at least two additional levels (managerially or professionally) in the organization.  In most companies performance and potential are evaluated seperately, and combined in a 3X3 matrix called a "9-box grid."

High Potential / HiPo (and maturity model)

A “high-potential employee” is an employee who has been identified as having the potential, ability, and aspiration for successive leadership positions within the company. Often, these employees are provided with focused development as part of a succession plan and are referred to as “HiPos.”


Our research shows that top-performing companies separate the evaluation of "performance" from "potential," using tools such as two-dimensional grids (nine-box, etc.) to compare high performers with high potentials. Our research also shows that there are five elements to a world-class HiPo strategy:

  1.  Plan
  2. Identify
  3. Develop
  4. Transition
  5. Manage

Fewer than 15 percent of companies have strong programs that encompass these areas; most fall short in the identification of HiPos, as well as in the transition and management of HiPos in their new roles. In fact, one of the biggest derailers of leaders is a tendency for organizations to move them into high-powered positions without enough transition support.


For more information on this topic, we recommend learning more about our High-Potential Strategy Maturity Model.

High-Impact Methodology

The Bersin by Deloitte "High-Impact Methodology" is a proprietary research process invented and used by Bersin to identify the HR, talent, and learning practices which drive consistent and verifiable business results. 

The methodology includes extensive quantitative analysis (surveys using specially designed questions), correlation and causal analysis, case studies, and extensive vendor and solution provider analysis. The methodology produces a variety of actionable findings, including maturity models, leading practice descriptions, frameworks, and case studies.

The philosophy behind this methodology is that people-related practices do, predictably, drive certain business outcomes under certain conditions. Unlike disciplines like accounting, there is never a "perfect solution" to any people practice, but research does show that many practices do result in certain results, and our methodology identifies these practices and most importantly, shows when and where they apply.  We use the marketing term "WhatWorks" to describe this process, showing that the focus is based on continuously studying what is driving results under real-world business conditions. 

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).


Idea Storm

An “idea storm” is a web-based suggestion system that allows customers or clients to input ideas, and then vote on them. The system automatically aggregates all votes, and moves those suggestions or ideas with the most “votes” to the top. Dell’s IdeaStorm and Starbucks’s MyStarbucksIdea are examples. These are now easy to develop and many platform providers can enable such functionality.

“IEEE” is the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, an international professional society that issues its own standards, and is a member of ANSI and ISO.
Instructor-led training.
Impact Measures
“Impact measures” are designed to help companies understand the overall business impact of a process or organization. Bersin uses proprietary assessments and analyses to determine impact measures.
Incentive Compensation
“Incentive compensation” is comprised of many elements, including performance-based bonuses, stock options, perks (e.g., auto allowances, upgraded travel privileges, upgraded healthcare, even country club memberships), long-term incentive compensation programs, executive education and many other non-cash privileges.


Job Fit

“Job fit” refers to the assessment of current knowledge, skills, competencies and other key qualifications of an individual against the requirements of a specific role, current or future.

Job Profiles

Job profiles define the required skills, competencies, certifications, work experiences and other attributes required for success in a particular job or role. 


Job profiles are a fundamental building block for any strategic talent strategy: they establish the ground-rules and criteria for hiring, they establish standards for evaluation of performance, and they are used by managers to make sure teams are organized in an efficient manner.  Most companies have job profiles defined in job families (e.g. a database programmer fits into the family of database professionals, which fits into the family of IT professionals).  These families can be purchased off-the-shelf from many providers but are often custom developed as part of HR and organization design.

Job Rotation

Job rotation involves moving a leader through a series of jobs or assignments that are designed to broaden his / her knowledge of business operations and prepare for career advancement.

Job Shadowing
“Job shadowing” is an activity in which an individual spends time with a professional on the job, observing actual workplace tasks in order to explore best-practice performance in the work environment.
Just-in-Time Learning
"Just-in-time learning” refers to making learning available when needed by the learner, and at the time that the learner needs the information, knowledge or skill.


Key Performance Indicator

A “key performance indicator” is a quantifiable measure of success, agreed to beforehand, that reflect the critical success factors of a company, department or project.

Key Skills
Specific required competencies, abilities, knowledge and experience for success in a job.
Kirkpatrick Model

Donald Kirkpatrick’s four-level Measurement Model has been widely published in many articles and its terminology is well-known to most training professionals. The original model was published in Training and Development Handbook, R. L. Craig, McGraw-Hill, 1976.

The Kirkpatrick measurement model was developed to help measure instructor led training.  The four levels it uses include:

* Learner satisfaction or Level 1 (how well did the course attendee like the course, instructor, materials, etc?  This is usually measured through an end-of-course questionnaire or online survey. )
* Learning outcome or Level 2(how well did the course attendee actually learn?  How well did they gain the desired learning objectives?  This is usually measured through a test or other form of evaluation)
* Job Impact or Level 3(how well did the course help the learner improve their on-the-job performance?  The Kirkpatrick model does not describe just how one would measure this, but the idea is to look at job-specific problems which are addressed by the training.  Here organizations look at job-level issues like sales revenue attainment, customer service, product quality)
* Organizational Impact or Level 4 (how well did the course impact the performance of the business or organization.  Again Kirkpatrick does not specifically talk about how to measure this, but there are many ways to accomplish this.  Organizational level impacts include lowered turnover, productivity, and engagement.)

The Kirkpatrick model is a first generation "thought model" for the measurement of training.  While it is widely understood, training managers typically want more detailed tools and solutions.  Josh Bersin's "The Training Measurement Book" describes the Bersin Impact Measurement Model and gives detail on how to measure training in great detail.
Knowledge Management
“Knowledge management” is a term that refers to the cataloging, storage, searching and indexing of job-related information to enable employees to quickly locate information to improve work performance. This differs from “learning on-demand” and training in that knowledge management tries to focus on delivering information and processes, not skills.
Knowledge Object
A “knowledge object” can be a paragraph of text, a chart or diagram, or any individual piece of content that can be linked with other objects to create any number of training courses.



Learning and development.

Labor Unions
A “shop-floor” organization representing workers, which functions as a local / firm-level complement to national labor negotiations.
Learning content management system.
Please see "leadership development."
Leaders Teaching Leaders

Organizations typically initiate a “leaders-teaching-leaders” model by having executives kick off a leadership initiative. Mature companies go much further by having leaders involved in the program design, delivery, and interacting in many stages throughout the initiative. Leaders may play a number of roles in a development initiative, such as:

  1. Strategist – Imparting knowledge of the organization’s strategy and business imperatives; 
  2. Change Agent – Encouraging leaders to move the organization forward or demonstrating a breakthrough effort; 
  3. Relationship Builder – Showing leaders how to leverage partnerships or networks; and, 
  4. Talent Developer – Helping leaders to develop their own talent and that of their teams. 



Any positions within your organization that have managerial or oversight responsibilities for at least one or more internal audiences.

Manager Assessments
Manager assessments refer to the manager’s specific assessment of the employee’s performance against their goals and objectives. These assessments typically take the form of a numeric rating (1-5) with comments attached. Again, a performance management system enables the organization to establish standard assessment standards
Market Segments
An identifiable group of individuals or organizations with one or more similar characteristics or needs.
In technology, a "mashup" is a web application that combines data from more than one source into a single integrated tool, thereby creating a new and distinct web service that was not originally provided by either source. Content used in mashups is typically sourced from a third party via a public interface or API; other methods of sourcing content for mashups include web feeds (e.g., RSS / really simple syndication), web services and screen-scraping.
Please see “Myers-Briggs.”


Natural Language Processing / NLP

“Natural Language Processing” (NLP) is a related field of computer science that focuses on the use of computers to process written and spoken language for some practical, useful purpose.

Net Promoter / Net Promoter Score

“Net Promoter” is a simple survey sent to a customer at any point in the support process that asks the customer to rate the vendor on a scale of one to 10 in terms of how well the customer would recommend this vendor to others.

Nine-Box Grid

A “nine-box grid” is a matrix tool that is used to evaluate and plot a company’s talent pool, based on two factors, which most commonly are performance and potential.  Typically on the horizontal axis is "performance" - measured by performance reviews.  On the vertical axis is typically "potential" - referring to an individual's potential to grow one or more levels in a managerial or professional capacity.

Nine-box grids are actively used during the talent review process.  During this process a group of managers works together to place individuals on the X-Y axis to help identify who are the highest potential individuals, who needs development, and who needs coaching on performance improvement.  It is also a very valuable tool to help calibrate compensation decisions.

Each of the nine boxes has a different set of actions associated with it.  People who are very high-performers in their current role, but not "high-potential" yet, are possibly experts in their functional area who may or may not want to move into leadership.  Our research and assessments have many examples of these tools and how to manage the talent review process.
Non-Core Roles
A role not required for the primary activities, focus and objectives of a company.



Organizational development.

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.
OLAP (online analytic processing)

OLAP (online analytic processing) is a term used in analytics to describe tools or technology that arranges data into what are called "information cubes."

An OLAP "cube" is a set of information which includes one or more dimensions (rows and columns) and then data elements (called measures).

For example, historically OLAP was used for financial data - ie. revenue is a measure in dollars.  But we may want to look at revenue by product,
and each product is part of a product family, and the product family might be part of another grouping or hierarchy (like color). Another dimensions may be time - this week, this month, last month, last quarter, etc.  Each of these dimensions has a hierarchy of some kind (second, minute, hour, day, week, month, quarter, year). 

Then the data itself (revenue) is called a "measure."  

The technology dynamically computes all the little intersections of dimensions very quickly.

So what OLAP tools do is let you load data into this "cube" or database, and then quickly analyze it by traversing around the hierarchy.  So one may say "let's look at product revenue for the red versions of product X by quarter."  Then we may say let's look at this by month, and compare with blue products.  The OLAP technology dynamically drills and aggregates data to make this very fast and easy.

Software tools which use OLAP technology include Excel Pivot Tables, MicroStrategy, BusinessObjects, Hyperion, Tableau, and many others.

“Onboarding” refers to the process of hiring, orienting and immersing new employees into their roles and into the organization’s culture.
Onboarding Fundamental Services
Services provided that manage the legal paperwork and minimal business requirements for bringing a new employee into the organization.


Package Exchange Notification Services / PENS

“Package Exchange Notification Services” (PENS) is an interoperability specification that makes it easier for learning content management system (LCMS) and learning management system (LMS) products to cooperate on the staging, transfer and submission of "LMS-ready" packages. The specification simplifies deployment of content for key e-learning standards, supporting content packages in either AICC or SCORM content package formats.

The word “parsing” refers to the process of electronically identifying specific phases or words within a document, and then assigning meaning to them. For example, applicant tracking software parses résumés and looks for the employee’s college degree, prior employer and skills by scanning the document and searching for certain words that are arranged in a certain way. This is a software-searching process and is often error-prone.
Partnering up
“Partnering up” is creating relationships with key business stakeholders who can be counted on to provide executive support.
Pay for Contribution
“Pay for contribution” is a practice organizations use to reward employees who have contributed value to the organization beyond their performance objectives. For example, an organization might reward an employee who landed a big account, implemented a cost-saving measure, prevented a potential loss of business or developed intellectual property.
Pay for Performance
“Pay for performance” is both an organizational mindset and a management process that compensates and rewards employees for achieving objectives aligned to the goals and strategy of the organization.


Rapid Development

“Rapid development” seeks to increase the speed by which content is developed and delivered to the learner.

Recency Bias
“Recency bias” is the propensity to assess people based on recent activities and behaviors, failing to adequately consider activities and behavior that are several months or more in the past. Recency bias is especially a problem with annual performance appraisals (versus more frequent appraisals).

The tactical component of attracting and identifying job candidates.

Recruiting Culture

 “Recruiting culture” refers to the processes, systems, behaviors, and performance of an organization—not just the recruiting team—as it relates to the sourcing, selecting, and hiring of talent.

Reiterative Customization
“Reiterative customizations” are software systems that need to be rebuilt with each new revision or upgrade of the underlying software.


SaaS Delivery Model

In the “SaaS delivery model,” the vendor hosts and operates the technology platform at its facility. The application is offered in a multitenant architecture with all of the vendor’s customers accessing a single code base.

Safe Harbor
“Safe harbor” is a provision of a statute or a regulation that reduces or eliminates a party’s liability under the law, on the condition that the party performed its actions in good faith. Safe-harbor provisions are written into laws to protect legitimate or excusable violations. Corporations publish safe-harbor statements to demonstrate that they are performing whatever due diligence is required in order to take advantage of applicable legal safe harbors. Safe harbor provides a framework for U.S. companies with E.U. subsidiaries to meet privacy standards pertaining to the exchange of personal information. The right to data privacy is heavily regulated and rigidly enforced in Europe.
“Sandboxing” allows organizations to view the functionality of the systems by different use-case scenarios, and allows customers to test out and use the system.  The "sandbox" is a system which is used for testing, similar to a physical sandbox which is used for play.
Scenario Planning
“Scenario planning” is a strategic approach for making long-term flexible decisions or plans. In succession management, the creation or expansion of a role and then assessing potential candidates against this role is an example of scenario planning. It answers the question, do we have the existing talent capabilities to fill a potential future requirement?
A "scorecard" is a graphical representation of information, often in bar and pie charts, which shows how well a certain business process is proceeding.  Please see “Balanced Scorecard” for more information on a particular type of scorecarding.


Tag Cloud

A "tag cloud" is a graphical representation of tags that shows (typically by font size) the frequency of tags or frequency of documents containing a tag, making it easy for people to navigate large amounts of tagged information.

“Tagging” refers to an individual’s ability to “tag” a note onto any object, blog posting or article, so that others can find the resource more easily; the system can then categorize tags into groups or what is commonly called, “tag clouds.” Tagging enables users to dynamically categorize content, showing its popularity, frequency of use and topic area.
Tailored Benefits Packages
Customized benefits packages that are specifically designed for various talent segments based on needs, motivating factors and available benefit options. Packages are often customized to critical talent roles, organizational levels and organizational diversity groups, all within the context of supporting a talent strategy and business goals.
For some companies, “talent” includes everyone within the organization; for other companies, “talent” is limited to critical roles, segments and positions within the organization that create the most impact on the business goals.
Talent Acquisition
“Talent acquisition” is a strategic approach to identifying, attracting, and onboarding talent to efficiently and effectively meet dynamic business needs.



“Usability” simply refers to the ease of use for both end-users and administrators.

Use Case
A “use case” provides a description of a sequence of interactions between actors, and the system necessary to complete a specific goal or function. Use cases are often co-authored by systems analysts and end-users, and are presented as a sequence of simple steps.
Utility Analysis
“Utility analysis” is a quantitative method that estimates the dollar value of benefits generated by an intervention based on the improvement it produces in worker productivity. Utility analysis provides managers with information they can use to evaluate the financial impact of an intervention, including computing a return on investment in implementing it.



A position or perspective that is intrinsically important to someone.

Value-Stream Mapping
“Value-stream mapping” is a technique for identifying potential process improvements by drawing an end-to-end map of the process and examining each step to determine which efficiently adds value to the final product.
Versioning / Version Control
Versioning and "version control" represent a process by which documents are checked in to or out of a document management system, allowing users to retrieve previous versions and to continue work from a selected point. Versioning is useful for documents that change over time and require updating, but it may be necessary to go back to a previous copy.
Virtual instructor-led training.
Virtual Classroom
The “virtual classroom” is a tool for delivering live e-learning. It is often called “synchronous e-learning.” The interface mimics the face-to-face classroom in many ways with a roster, hand-raising icon and an instructor leading the group. The primary difference between the face-to-face classroom training and virtual classroom training is that the latter is used to deliver content live, over the Internet to people who are geographically dispersed.


Web 2.0

“Web 2.0” refers to a second generation of web-based communities and hosted services (such as social-networking sites, wikis, folksonomies, weblogs / blogs, social bookmarking, podcasts, RSS feeds, social software, web application programming interfaces / APIs, and online web services), that aim to facilitate creativity, collaboration and sharing between users. Although the term suggests a new version of the World Wide Web, it does not refer to an update to any technical specifications, but to changes in the ways in which software developers and end-users use the web.

Web Feeds / Web Syndication (RSS / ATOM)
“Web feeds” (or “web syndication”) are XML-based technologies that enable web content providers to broadcast content, summaries of content or notices of changes to content over the Internet. These technologies define common standards for data formatting and transmission. Interested users choose to subscribe to syndication feeds, adding themselves to the content provider’s audience. The two most common syndication formats are RSS and ATOM.
Web-based training (WBT)
“Web-based training” (WBT) is an older term often used interchangeably with the more popular term, “e-learning.” Put simply, WBT and e-learning, used here, mean using the web to deliver instruction and training.
Web-based distributed authoring and versioning (or "WebDAV") is a set of extensions to the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) that allows users to collaboratively edit and manage files on remote World Wide Web servers. It allows users to create, change and move documents on a remote server (typically a web server or "web share"). This is useful for authoring the documents that a web server serves, but it can also be used for storing files on the web, so that the files can be accessed from anywhere. With a fast network and the right client, it is almost as easy to use files on a WebDAV server as those stored in local directories.
A “wiki” is a collaborative website to which any registered user can easily add content or make changes to existing content. Wikis feature a loosely structured set of pages linked in multiple ways to each other and to Internet resources, and employ an open-editing system. The primary goal of wiki sites is to act as a shared (albeit growing) repository of knowledge. Further, wiki content is expected to have some degree of seriousness and permanence.



“XML” is extensible markup language, which improves the functionality of the web by allowing users to identify information in a more accurate, flexible and adaptable way. It is “extensible” because it is not a fixed format like HTML (which is a single, predefined markup language). Instead, XML is actually a meta-language – a language for describing other languages – that lets users design markup languages for limitless different types of documents.



“Y2K” literally stands for “year 2000.” This abbreviation was used prior to the year 2000 and especially with regard to the forecasted coding limitations in software programs, which did not take into consideration the millennium change (from 1900 to 2000) when originally developed.