The Business Case for a Common Language: Not "If," but "What and When?"
While most people don't think about it very often, common language is essential to day-in, day-out commerce. Companies and others employ standards to ensure that a meter is the same length world-wide, calendars ensure that everyone shows up for meetings at the same time, and everyone agrees what "payment in US dollars" means. It is trite, but no less important, to note that without some common language, commerce would be impossible.
At the same time, most language is imprecise, complicating work life in countless ways. Leaders struggle to answer basic questions like "how many customers do we have?" Managers find it tough to work across departmental silos, and technologists spend more time dealing with "systems that don't talk" than they do implementing new technologies. Most of the added effort needed to accommodate the lack of common language has become so embedded in work life that people don't even notice it.
With just a few moments reflection, most people can identify several ways their work would improve with a common language. Yet few business leaders and strategists fully appreciate the range and extent of these benefits. If nothing else, in this report we will close that gap.
The paper presents the following:
- The meaning of "common language"
- Five short case studies of successful development and implementation of common language
- Detailed illustrations of the business benefits of common language
- The "What and When?" of a common language
- Senior management responsibility for common language
Download the full paper here: http://www.brcommunity.com/a2021/c064.pdf
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