A learning to take away from the go-live

John Rentoul

roadshow 300x177 A learning to take away from the go liveHamish, a correspondent of mine, writes from a far shore of the corporate world bearing a sombre warning of some of the appalling usages that are seeping from the business world into normal English:

  • learning, noun.”I’m going to give you all a learning to take away from this meeting“. Means lesson.
  • vertical, noun. Corporate departments: Manufacturing, R&D, Sales, Marketing, etc. “The Marketing vertical“. Used to be called silos.
  • horizontal, noun. Industries: healthcare, weapons manufacturing, etc. “The healthcare horizontal shares commonalities with the weapons manufacturing horizontal in the post-sales vertical“.
  • acrossbe. adjective. “We need to be across these issues so we can take learnings from them”. Means to understand.
  • roadshow, noun or verb. “We’re going to roadshow our upcoming strategies at the next roadshow (pictured).
  • workaround, noun (also, incredibly, sometimes spelled work-a-round). “We’ll use this method as a workaround until the go-live“.
  • go-live, noun or verb. “We’ll go live with the new software on the go-live“. A software development term that means to promote a system (usually IT) to a “live” (production) environment, but is also used to refer to the day such a promotion occurs; “the go-live“. The term appeared in the early 2000s. It is often used in reference to any planned change in a “live” environment and is therefore too vague to be useful.
  • end-to-end, adjective. “An end-to-end insurance policy”. Means comprehensive.
  • align-(ed)-(ment), verb. Used as filler in presentations and to state the obvious. “Our strategies are aligned to synergise our strengths”. Should be avoided outside of scientific context.
  • turnaround, noun. “What is our turnaround for the project?”. Means end-to-end time estimated or elapsed.
  • navigate, adjective. “…will help our users navigate the web portal”. Should be avoided outside of a nautical or aviation context. Means ‘use’.

He has also applied to the Committee to have the ban on “weasel words” lifted. He suggests that it is “one of the few accurate phrases we have in English to describe the rest of the items on the Banned List”. We would have to roadshow that before the go-live.

The Banned List blog is here. The book is available Waterstones or as a download here.

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  • Pacificweather

    I know I’m going to regret asking, but why have you included a picture of a Radio 1 Roadshow?

  • John Rentoul

    Bullet point 5.

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