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Language – is that really needed?

10 February, 2017

– Hey, how's LP going at your KA’s?

When you communicate with your colleagues or customers, you often use terms that are specific to your business to understand each other easily and quickly. Some terms are generally accepted, or even standardized, whereas others are more or less unknown outside the group that created them.
As a new or temporary employee, it can be difficult to keep up. As a customer, it may also be impossible to understand the quotes or invoices you received, as the terms and concepts may differ between the company’s various divisions and communication channels. Some who worked long in the company, claims that the concepts are ingrained and cannot possibly be changed.

All companies need to create groupings and hierarchies of various kinds to communicate, control and measure what is done. Oftentimes, groupings are created locally, which leads to similar names and structures in different places, but for different purposes. As a result, accumulations are not compiled correctly, since different parts of the company have created hierarchies with different structures.
Many concepts have their origins from technology; it could be the name of the field in a system or a technical term from the development department, established without reflection.

When we communicate changes, be it in terms of organization, activities, processes or IT, it helps considerably if we have a common language in which the company’s key concepts are defined and communicated. Otherwise time and money will be unnecessarily wasted.

By structuring and documenting a company’s concepts and hierarchies in transversely related areas, e.g. “offering”, “customer relations”, “delivery”, a common language for the company is created, which can be used when working with analysis, process development, system requirements or master data.

When different parts of the organization are using the same concepts and structures, it is suddenly possible to connect systems and streamline processes without the need to perform extensive analyses each time change is needed.

The more people who speak the same language, the easier it is to make the right decisions and get the job done.