Glossary of Key Terms
Action Plans: specific actions that respond to short-term and longer-term strategic objectives. Action plans include details of resource commitments and time horizons for accomplishment.
Analysis: an examination of facts and data to provide a basis for effective decision making.
Core Competencies: your organization’s greatest areas of expertise. Core competencies are typically strategic capabilities that provide an advantage in your marketplace or service environment. Core competencies can often be a source of competitive advantage and may involve technological expertise, unique service offerings, a market niche or particular business knowledge/capability.
Customer: actual and potential users of your organization’s products, services and programs. This definition includes both the end user of your products, services and programs as well as those who might be purchasers or users of your product, services or programs. These may include agents or organizations that further process your product, service or program as a component of their products, services or programs.
Ethical Behavior: how an organization ensures that all its decisions, actions and stakeholder interactions conform to the organization’s moral and professional principles.
Goals: a future condition or performance level that one plans to attain, both shorter and longer term.
Governance: the system of management and controls exercised in the stewardship of an organization.
High-Performance Work: work processes used to systematically pursue ever-higher levels of overall organizational and individual performance.
Key: the major or most important elements or factors, those that are critical to achieving your intended outcome.
Knowledge Assets: the accumulated intellectual resources of your organization.
Learning: new knowledge or skills acquired through evaluation, study, experience and innovation.
Levels: numerical information that places or positions an organization’s results on a meaningful measurement scale.
Measures and Indicators: numerical information that quantifies input, output and performance dimensions of processes, products, projects, programs, services and overall organizational outcomes.
Mission: the overall purpose of an organization, answering the question “What is this organization attempting to accomplish?”
Organizational Performance Indicators: the key outputs and/or outcomes at the organizational level that are integral to the achievement of your mission and are obtained from processes, products and services. These indicators permit evaluation and comparison relative to goals, standards, past results, and other organizations performance. These are most often the array of indicators that are reviewed as part of senior leader and governance review of organizational performance.
Partners: those key organizations of individuals who are working in concert with your organization to achieve a common goal or to improve performance.
Performance: output results and their outcomes obtained from processes, products and services that permit evaluation and comparison relative to goals, standards, past results and other organizations.
Process: linked activities with the purpose of producing a product or service for a customer (user) within or outside the organization. Processes typically involve combinations of people, tools, techniques, machines and materials in a defined series of steps or actions.
Purpose: the fundamental reason why an organization exists.
Results: outputs and outcomes achieved by an organization.
Segment: a part of an organization’s overall customer, market, product or service line or employee base, and typically having common characteristics that can be grouped logically.
Senior Leaders: an organization’s senior management group or team – the head of the organization and her or his direct reports.
Social Responsibility: the fulfillment of an organization’s responsibilities to the public and to society.
Stakeholders: all groups that are or might be affected by an organization’s actions and performance.
Strategic Advantages: may relate to technology, products, your operations, your capabilities and/or your people that lead to the potential for a sustainable competitive advantage.
Strategic Challenges: those pressures that exert a decisive influence on an organization’s likelihood of future success.
Strategic Objectives: an organization’s articulated aims or responses to address major change or improvement, competitiveness or social issues, and business advantages.
Sustainability: an organization’s ability to address current business needs and to have the agility and strategic management to prepare successfully for its future business, market and operating environment.
Systematic: approaches that are well-ordered, repeatable, and use data/information to enable learning.
Trends: numerical information that shows the direction and rate of change for organizational results.
Value: the perceived worth of a product, service, program, process, asset, or function relative to cost and possible alternatives.
Values: the guiding principles and behaviors that embody how your organization and its people are expected to operate.
Vision: the desired future state of your organization.
Voice of the Customer: your program for capturing customer-related information. Voice of the customer processes are intended to be proactive and continuously improving to capture stated, unstated and anticipated customer requirements. Voice of the customer processes might include gathering and integrating survey data, focus group findings, web-based data, complaint data and field reports as well as information related to customer purchasing and relationships decisions.
Workforce: all people who contribute to the delivery of an organization’s products, services or programs, including compensatd employees and volunteers as appropriate.