Use clear language

Yesterday, I saw a poster of a cinema festival in my town called “Go short”. At first I thought it was about stock trading. But the guiding picture showed a cinema visual. So I was confused!

Confusion kills innovation

Confusion about terminology happens all the time within organizations. And the extensive use of abbreviations doesn’t help solve the confusion. As an external consultant I always ask what an abbreviation stands for. You will be surprised how often I get the reply: “Good question, I need to look that up…” All this confusion is killing for the communication between business people and also with developers and data experts. In my consulting assignments, one of the first things I try to do is stress the importance of creating an ubiquitous language that brings clarity between developers and domain experts with a common language. This is never easy when everyone else is thinking about creating new features for shiny new apps, gadgets and APIs.

Importance of solid data

Nobody really wants to talk about fundamental things like the soundness of the data. But what kind of customer experience are you trying to offer when the data is incorrect or unclear? The foundation of a solid customer experience is the soundness of the data. And what seems in practice to be the biggest cause of companies not having sound data? It is not the technology, but lacking a clear and consistent Business language.

Don’t be like everybody else: Use clear language!

At the end of the day, technology only makes a translation of what the business wants it to do. If the business doesn’t set these business concepts clearly, who will? Do you trust your developers they will define business concepts correctly for you? And yes, setting such business language is a hard, maybe even unreachable goal, because it can become very theoretical and philosophical. But there are also practical approaches and tools to setting a business language that really makes the difference. There are even no-code platforms that allow you to develop apps using your business language (e.g. So, if your organization wants to really distinguish itself from all other digital transformations taking place, focus on what they are (almost) all neglecting.