Glossary

A

Added value – The value added to the production cost of a product in terms of either price or worth. For example, a one-year warranty on an electronic device is a value-added feature that conveys the quality of the product.

AOB – Acronym for Any Other Business, a phrase referring to topics not listed in the meeting agenda but that attendees would like to discuss after the main concerns have been covered.

Assignment – A project a consultant undertakes for a professional fee, which usually consists of analyzing a business situation and coming up with recommendations for a solution.

At the end of the day – A phrase used to introduce a summary or an important point of concern  after everything else has been discussed and considered.

B

Bandwidth – The resources required to finish a task or project including the amount of energy and level of skill needed to do things efficiently.

Benchmarking – A method of comparing a company’s set of policies, strategies, or systems in relation to the best practices within or outside the industry. This allows the company to develop plans for improving the business.

Best of breed – The top product in a given industry. It receives the most investment because of its superior quality as evaluated against competitors’ offerings.

Best practice – An organizational technique, method, or procedure that consistently produces the most effective or superior results. It is used as a benchmark by companies that want to improve their systems and processes.

Big Four – Refers to Deloitte, PwC, Ernst & Young, and KPMG, the four largest international companies offering accounting and professional services.

Big Three – Refer to MBB

Bird’s eye view – Looking at a situation from a wider perspective.

Blue-sky thinking – A business phrase for thinking outside the box. It means being open-minded, ingenious, and innovative during meetings, brainstorming sessions, or problem analyses.

Boilerplate – A standard text or graphic that can be easily modified for future use. For instance, an employment contract may serve as a boilerplate if it is used every time a new consultant is hired. The recruiter can simply edit the personal information of the new hire and retain the terms of the contract.

Boil the ocean – Jargon that describes efforts to resolve a task that is too complicated to complete regardless of the person or group’s time and resources.

Bottoms-up – A problem solving approach that begins with an analysis of the details (or with low-level employees) and ends with an examination of the highest conceptual value (or top management). Compare to top-down.

Boutique firm – A consulting firm that offers a limited number of specialized consulting services to specific types of businesses. Examples of boutique firms include LEK and Marakon.

Bring to the table – To provide something (e.g., ideas, plans, skills, knowledge, etc.) that will create value or benefit a company.

Business model  – Description of how a business creates and delivers value to its target market. It includes strategies, organizational structure, processes, and policies.

Business-to-business – See B2B

Business-to-consumer – See B2C

Buttoned-down – See Buttoned-up

Buttoned-up – Thoroughly planned, accurate, and supervised. Also called Buttoned-down.

B2B – Abbreviation for business-to-business, an online transaction between two organizations or businesses.

B2C – Abbreviation for business-to-consumer, an online transaction between a company and consumers or end users.

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