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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 Candidates
"Active candidates" are those individuals who are searching for a new job; they may or may not be currently employed. Active candidates are a good source of hire because they are typically ready to move into a new role quickly.
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.



“Backfill” is supplying a substitute worker to fulfill the duties of the employee while that person is working on another project (e.g., a change management or implementation team) to ensure that person’s day-to-day tasks are completed.

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 goals—financial, 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.
Behavioral Economics
“Behavioral economics” (and the related subfield, behavioral finance) studies the effects of psychological, social, cognitive, and emotional factors on the economic decisions of individuals and institutions, as well as the consequences for market prices, returns, and resource allocation. Behavioral economics seeks to unite the basic principles of neoclassical economics with the realities posed by human psychology. 
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.


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.

Candidate Relationship Management / CRM

“Candidate relationship management” (CRM) is a strategy for administering the interactions of talent acquisition functions with job applicants and potential candidates. It involves using technology, not only to organize, automate, and synchronize candidate-related business processes, principally sourcing and recruiting activities—but also to promote the employer brand, and the development of talent pools or communities. CRM also includes building a positive candidate experience, managing candidate communities, and maintaining positive relationships for those candidates not selected.


Please Note: "CRM" can refer to "customer relationship management," as well as "candidate relationship management."

A "candidate" is the prospective person seeking or being sought for a position or role within a company.



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.

“Education” is the learning elements that have traditionally fallen under the umbrella of L&D (such as classroom training, e-learning, simulations, etc.). These offerings have a beginning and an end, are often seen as events, and are trackable. While L&D departments are generally comfortable with this area of learning, it is crucial to look at these elements as only one piece of a larger pie.
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.


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 outlined 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.
Fit for Purpose
By “fit for purpose,” we refer to fitting the core elements of HR models to an organization’s unique purpose though a series of strategic design choices associated with business and people strategies, market dynamics, organizational culture, and HR operations.



"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.

“Gamification” is the concept of applying game mechanics and game design techniques (e.g., achievements, badges, leaderboards, virtual currency, contests, feedback, levels, ownership, rewards, etc.) to engage and motivate learners. Companies use gamification in social learning systems, employee reward and recognition systems, and internal social networks.
"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.
Heat Chart
A “heat chart” (as it relates to change management) is a graphical illustration of data in which different colors visually represent various risk levels that are associated with a change initiative. The spectrum of such colors in a heat chart can range from blue (for cool) to red (for hot), and may use incremental colors (such as orange) to identify lesser risks.

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 about our High-Potential Strategy Maturity Model.


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 Analysis

A "job analysis" is a formal process through which an organization identifies the specific duties and activities associated with a job, as well as the requirements needed to fill that job.

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.


Key Performance Indicator / KPI

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

Key Skills
Specific required competencies, abilities, knowledge and experience for success in a job.
Key Stakeholders
“Key stakeholders” are a subset of a project’s stakeholders who, if their support were to be withdrawn (individually or collectively), would cause the proposed project to fail.

Also see "stakeholders."
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 in measuring instructor-led training. The four levels of this model are:

  • 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 in-depth details on how to measure training.

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



"M2M" stands for "machine to machine" learning.

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 / Competitive Intelligence
“Market or competitive intelligence” is the act of gathering and analyzing intelligence (e.g., company information, labor market statistics, general trends, talent data) in order to make strategic business decisions and maintain a competitive advantage. Sources of competitive intelligence include the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, salary survey data, and organizational charts.
Market Segments
An identifiable group of individuals or organizations with one or more similar characteristics or needs.


Name Generation

“Name generation” refers to the gathering of names of both passive and active job candidates that recruiters scrutinize. This activity is often performed by dedicated sourcers or outsourced to recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) firms.

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.
Needs-Supply Job Description
A “needs-supply job description" highlights the needs of the candidate that are supported and supplied by the organization.
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.

Network Perspective
In terms of business, a “network perspective” is the ability to visualize the relationships a person has within an organization, as well as outside the company—and how those relationships may group together or interconnect. People who have this network perspective understand how these connections can impact their lives, their work, and more. Further still, a network perspective can help to identify which relationships (and groups of connections) will encourage achievement of goals and ideas.



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.
Passive Candidate
A "passive candidate" is someone who is currently employed and who is not actively searching for a job.


QR Codes

“QR code” (quick response code) is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode (or two dimensional code) first designed for the automotive industry. More recently, the system has become popular outside of that industry due to its fast readability and large storage capacity, as compared with standard UPC barcodes. The QR code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be comprised of four standardized kinds (“modes”) of data (numeric, alphanumeric, byte / binary, and Kanji) or through supported extensions—virtually any kind of data.


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).
“Recruiting” is a subset of talent acquisition that includes the activities of sourcing, screening, interviewing, assessing, selecting, and hiring.
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.

Recruiting Process Outsourcing / RPO
"Recruiting process outsourcing" (or "RPO") is a form of business process outsourcing (BPO) for which a company outsources or transfers all or part of its recruitment activities to an external service provider. That provider then acts as a company's internal recruitment function for a portion or all of its jobs; in general, the service provider manages the entire recruiting / hiring process from job profiling through the onboarding of the new hire, including staff, technology, method, and reporting.



"SaaS" stands for "software as a service."

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
The Safe Harbor Agreement was replaced by the Privacy Shield accord on July 12, 2016.

“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?


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 (with maturity model and framework)

“Talent acquisition” is a strategic approach to identifying, attracting, and onboarding talent to efficiently and effectively meet dynamic business needs.


For more information on this topic, we recommend learning about our Talent Acquisition Maturity Model. (Also see "talent acquisition maturity.")


The Bersin by Deloitte Talent Acquisition Framework describes all of the elements of talent acquisition.


Upskill / Upskilling

“Upskilling” is adding to or enhancing employees’ skills sets for their current positions, most usually through some type of training. It offers individuals the opportunity to increase their knowledge and level of competency in their current positions.

Conversely, “reskilling” is the retraining of individuals to perform new jobs.

“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.
User Experience
A "user experience" is the overall ease of use in interacting with a solution, and handling issues and exceptions—both with the software and with your company’s implementation of it.
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.


Value Webs

“Value webs” are groups of networks that span and connect whole ecosystems of people and companies. Value webs are characterized by complex, connected, and interdependent relationships, in which knowledge flows, learning, and collaboration are almost as important as the more familiar product flows, controls, and coordination.


Properly activated, these value webs can be more effective on multiple levels, such as reducing costs, improving service levels, mitigating risks of disruption, and delivering feedback-fueled learning and innovation. The trend toward value webs is likely to accelerate as new technologies generate more data, provide greater transparency, and enable enhanced connectivity.


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.
Vanishing Champion
A “vanishing champion” is the executive sponsor of a change initiative who leaves the project at some point prior to its completion—creating a void with the project’s decision-making and support processes, and threatening both its conclusion and success overall. A successor champion, once identified, then steps into the executive sponsor role to promote the completion and achievement of the change initiative.
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.


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.



Please see "Experience API."

“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.