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Management and training glossary

This glossary was current when this site was first developed, from 1999 – 2003.

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accelerated learning Techniques for learning which allow the learner to learn more quickly. Makes use of colour, sound, movement, emotional connections to do this.
ACN Australian Company Number. Only companies have a company number. If you incorporate (ie buy a Pty Ltd company), you will have an ACN for your business. You need to quote this number on all official documents for your business, including cheques and letterhead. Banks will ask for the number when you open an account.
agent Anyone who finds you work, for a cut of the money charged to the client. Synonymous, it would seem, with broker.
ARBN Australian Registered Business Number. If you register a business name, you get an ARBN. Banks will ask for this number when opening an account (as well as some other documentation).
 
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benchmarking 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.For example, you may sell $3000 worth of business for every ten hours of marketing you do. Then you go out and do a marketing course, and increase this to $10 000 worth of business for every ten hours of marketing. You improved on your benchmark.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.
Big 4 (Big 6) A term referring to the ‘big’ multi-national accounting firms. The accounting firms include Arthur Andersen and Co (AA), Price Waterhouse Coopers, Ernst and Young, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, KPMG. The number of accounting firms reduces, through merger every few years (I can remember the Big 9).All of these firms have a consulting presence as well as an accounting presence (often accounting clients become consulting clients and vice versa). Although some have created a separation from their account practices after some legal issues (see Dangerous Company in the recommended reading list). The separated arms are companies like Cap Gemini Ernst and Young, no longer part of Ernst and Young, or Accenture who separated long ago from Arthur Andersen and Co.
BPR See Business Process Reengineering.
broker Anyone who finds you work, for a cut of the money charged to the client. Synonymous, it would seem, with agent.
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.
 
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client site Where the client works. Used to distinguish working from your own office, and working where the client works.
consultant I use the term consultant to describe anyone who offers their services to a client. See also the definition of contractor.There are many definitions of consultant. Peter Block, in Flawless Consulting, defines consultants as people who have influence but no direct power to change organisations.In Australian Public Service organisations, consultants seem to be synonymous with people working for Big Accounting firms. This is different to ‘contractors’ who are independent consultants, or who work through contracting agencies. The important difference here is that consulting and contracting are different line items in the public service budget, and contractors can pass less noticed than consultants.
contractor A word often said with distaste by many public service organisations (‘you’re just a contractor’), but one that allows the smaller consultancy firms to get more work from public service organisations. This is because contractors are a different line item on the budget to consultants (usually seen as big accounting firm).Contractors are people who work within an organisation who are not employed there. Legally, their work is not controlled by the organisation, only the outcomes. Contractors work for their own organisation, which is not the client organisation.Ian Benjamin, in How to be a successful consultant, defines contractors as people who do work defined within set parameters (by the client or by consultants). Consultants, by his definition, give advice, solve problems, and set parameters.
crewing schedule A schedule which shows who works where, when. Often used in industrial environments.
 
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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. See The Australian Consultant’s Guide for a daily rate calculator. You can also download the magic chargeout formula spreadsheet on this site.Some brokers use the terms ‘wholesale’ rate (what the broker pays you), and ‘retail’ rate (what the client pays).
definition The phase of a project where you find out what the client wants and needs.
 
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empowerment Popularised by Stephen Covey, but championed by many others before and after him. The idea is one of making people accountable for decisions within their sphere of influence – so empowered customer service officers at Optus have the authority to make decisions about giving customers freebies or promising to rectify problems, rather then referring problems to a supervisor or another department.
 
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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. There is a sample Gantt chart in Chapter 11 of the Australian Consultant’s Guide , as part of how to write a proposal.
 
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implementation 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’.
 
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master-servant relationship The type of relationship that exists in an employer/employee relationship. In this type of relationship, the employer (the master) is responsible for paying Pay as you go (PAYG) tax for the employee, as well as Workers Compensation, and Superannuation contributions. When you are a consultant/ contractor, your client will want to avoid this relationship since it is one of the advantages of outsourcing the work to contractors.
 
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NLP Neuro-Linguistic Programming. A methodology which allows you to track how people are thinking, what they value, and how they make decisions, and how this helps or hinders their processes. Used to model the behaviours of ‘successful’ individuals, NLP has looked at processes as diverse as how the best trainers train, how good spellers spell, how good divers dive, and even how jugglers juggle.
OCR See Optical Character Recognition.
‘on the beach’ Used by some brands of management consultants to talk about periods where they have no clients.
Optical Character Recognition A method by which computers can read hard copy documents and convert them to documents or databsed you can edit and search. Used for some intelligent resume reading computers in employment agencies.
 
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per diems Latin for ‘per day’, I believe. The tax office calls this an away-from-home allowance. Consultancy firms seem to prefer the Latin term! Ultimately, when you are away from home for work, you are entitled to an allowance, which does not attract tax of any sort, as long as it is within tax office guidelines. Check with your accountant for the current maximum allowances within Australia.
proactive In common parlance, thinking about what’s going to happen in advance of its happening, and doing something about it. Also called heading problems off at the pass. Stephen Covey (The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) defines it as working within your sphere of influence (what you can do), rather than worrying about what you can’t do.
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.
 
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re-engineering See Business Process Reengineering.
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.
 
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scope creep After a consultant defines what a project will do, who will be involved, and where, the client changes the definition, to include a few more people, an extra report, another geographical area. This is called scope creep, because the scope of the project increases, ever so slowly.
 
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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.
TLA TLA is a useless three-letter acronym, standing for Three-Letter Acronym. You will hear consultants joke about TLAs. Now you know what it means.
TNA 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.
TQM Total Quality Management. Where everybody is responsible for the quality of the final output. No one passes on sub-standard work. Famous for quality circles, which came straight from Japan to Australia in the 80’s. It comes mostly from work by W. Edwards Deming. The term is quite old, but still used by some clients and consultants.
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wholesale rate What the broker or agent pays you. This is different to the retail rate, which is what the client pays for your services.
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. If it doesn’t work well, then that’s where the re-engineering comes into the picture.
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Cindy Tonkin can help you improve your business. Coaching by phone, email or in person. Corporate training for your consulting team.