Balanced scorecard (BSC)

It is a performance management tool which began as a concept for measuring whether the smaller-scale operational activities of a company are aligned with its larger-scale objectives in terms of vision and strategy.

Measuring where you are now. Where you are now is your benchmark - the line in the sand that marks where you are. As you change, you continue to measure where you are, and the difference between where you are and where you were initially is your progress. The same concept can be applied across industries. Many consultants have made their fortunes from doing 'benchmarking studies' across an industry (for example in insurance), comparing different organisations using the same measurements. This gives people within industries and idea of how they stand in comparison to others, and if the study is done over a few years, how they and others have improved.

Business intelligence (BI):
It refers to skills, technologies, applications and practices used to help a business acquire a better understanding of its commercial context. Business intelligence may also refer to the collected information itself and it provides historical, current, and predictive views of business operations.

Business process management:
Also called BPM. It is a field of management focused on aligning organizations with the wants and needs of clients.

Business process reengineering:
Also called BPR. A term coined by Michael Hammer and James Champy in Reengineering the Corporation. A fancy word for process redesign, process improvement or even streamlining workflow. The major idea is to look at what you do, what needs to happen, and how to get there using less money and time, and satisfying your customers even more.

Client site:
Where the client works. Used to distinguish working from your own office, and working where the client works.

A term to describe anyone who offers their services to a client. See also the definition of contractor.

Corporate governance:
It is the set of processes, customs, policies, laws, and institutions affecting the way a corporation is directed, administered or controlled.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR):
It is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. Ideally, CSR policy would function as a built-in, self-regulating mechanism whereby business would monitor and ensure their adherence to law, ethical standards, and international norms.

Coso (Committee of Sponsoring Organizations):
It is a voluntary private-sector organization dedicated to providing guidance to executive management and governance entities on critical aspects of organizational governance, business ethics, internal control, enterprise risk management, fraud, and financial reporting. COSO has established a common internal control model against which companies and organizations may assess their control systems.

Daily rate:
How much you charge per day. Includes factors for the cost of doing business, including overheads, such as Workers Compensation, Superannuation, holidays and sick days. Some brokers use the terms 'wholesale' rate (what the broker pays you), and 'retail' rate (what the client pays).

The phase of a project where you find out what the client wants and needs.

The idea is one of making people accountable for decisions within their sphere of influence.

Gantt chart:
A project management chart, which shows which activities will occur when. Invented by a man called Gantt. Can also be called a Key events schedule, or a project schedule.

The phase of a project where you do what you promised the client you would do. Comes after the 'definition' phase, and before 'Follow up'.

Information technology (IT):
It is "the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware.".

Internal auditing:
It is a profession and activity involved in helping organisations achieve their stated objectives. It does this by utilizing a systematic methodology for analyzing business processes, procedures and activities with the goal of highlighting organizational problems and recommending solutions.

Internal control:
It is defined as a process effected by an organization's structure, work and authority flows, people and management information systems, designed to help the organization accomplish specific goals or objectives. It is a means by which an organization's resources are directed, monitored, and measured.

Management Consulting:
It is a term that refers to both the industry of, and the practice of, helping organizations improve their performance, primarily through the analysis of existing business problems and development of plans for improvement.<

Multidimensional database:
Also MDB. It is a type of database that is optimized for data warehouse and online analytical processing (OLAP) applications.

Process mapping:
A series of symbols put together to show how a process happens. It relies on a minimum of two symbols. A rectangle representing an action, and a diamond for a decision. Process mapping is fundamental to understand work flow into and out of an area, and is a component of many different styles of analysis, including Quality projects, and business process reengineering. Process mapping is also called workflow, flowcharting, process charting, and sometimes a sequence of operations.

Retail rate:
What the client pays for your services. It is different to your wholesale rate, which is what you get once an agent or broker's fee has been paid.

Risk Assessment:
It is a step in a risk management process. Risk assessment is the determination of quantitative or qualitative value of risk related to a concrete situation and a recognized threat (also called hazard).

Risk Management:
It is the identification, assessment, and prioritization of risks followed by coordinated and economical application of resources to minimize, monitor, and control the probability and/or impact of unfortunate events.

Acronym for Securities and Exchange Commission It is an independent agency of the United States government which holds primary responsibility for enforcing the federal securities laws and regulating the securities industry, the nation's stock and options exchanges, and other electronic securities markets.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (Pub.L. 107-204, 116 Stat. 745, enacted July 30, 2002), also known as the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act of 2002 is a United States federal law enacted on July 30, 2002, as a reaction to a number of major corporate and accounting scandals. The legislation set new or enhanced standards for all U.S. public company boards, management and public accounting firms. It does not apply to privately held companies. The act contains 11 reports ranging from additional corporate board responsibilities to criminal penalties.

Team building:
A process where a team does something together. Sometimes a complete waste of time, if not properly managed and yet often the major difference that makes the difference between a good team and an ordinary team. Occasionally synonymous with conflict resolution.

Training Needs Analysis, when you go and find out what the client wants to know and needs to know, and compare this to what they do know.

Total Quality Management, where everybody is responsible for the quality of the final output. No one passes on sub-standard work.

Work flow analysis
Similar to business process reengineering. Workflow analysis looks at the sequence of work activities (the work flow), and analyses how effective this is.