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Business Analysis and the TLA


Mary Lincoln - Business AnalysisStarting at a new client always brings some predictable voyages of discovery; personalities, management structure, politics, business language, processes, history, the list goes on. However, I have been blown away by the reliance on TLAs at my current client, there is never a day that goes by where I don’t hear a new TLA (three letter acronym).

I’ve worked in technical environments before, and have been known to understand some fairly complex geek speak. It really IS another language here, so at every opportunity I stop and ask my colleagues to explain what the TLA is, and am building up my vocabulary. I held a workshop recently and one of the participants used the term “MBO”, and as per usual, the conversation just carried on and went around the room. When the conversation stopped, I asked him what he meant by “MBO because to me it means management buy out”. He looked at me with a blank face and thought for a moment, laughed and said: “ You know what – I don’t know!! It’s a mobile thing”. So, we have started a glossary, some definitions are obvious, some not so: CHAP - Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol, CK - Ciphering Key, ECT - Explicit Call Transfer.

All very easily misunderstood. I’m learning to navigate the language but I still haven’t found out what an MBO is…..