Announcing the management consultant’s dictionary – from “bandwidth” to “wordsmith”


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“A consultant is someone who takes a subject you understand and makes it sound confusing.”

It’s a common perception of management consultants. From “bucket” to “scope”, from “sniff test” to “circle back”, to excel in the industry is to master a new and often entirely job-specific vocabulary.

I received a lot of feedback when I published my first post on consulting lingo.

Now I’m happy to announce the most comprehensive, yet still-useful dictionary of consulting terms on the internet. I want to give a quick shout to bnjammin’s Blog, which covered a lot of these terms in previous posts.

I’m hoping this database of words will grow with time – through reader feedback and my own research

So here it is!

5,000 mile view: a phrase used to describe a high-level, summary view of the situation. 5,000 can be replaced by any large number to indicate the same thing

80/20 rule: belief that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes; in consulting, this term is used to imply that 80% of an assignment can be finished in 20% of the time

adding value: quite simply, that value is being added. See also “value-add”

at the end of the day: a phrase used to attempt summarization, introduce an air of finality and perhaps close off certain avenues of discussion; since most consultants