Consultants, perhaps more than any other profession, pride themselves on a language of metaphors, allegories and acronyms used to help convey complex ideas and activities. We’ve identified our top five consulting phrases which you’re certain to come across in the world of management consultancy.
1. CoB (pronounced 'see oh bee')
Close of Business, also known as the end of the day (EoD). Usually used when discussing timelines - for example, “can you get the analysis to me by COB?”.
A consultant’s deliverable or set of deliverables is the final output of a project – usually a report, piece of analysis or excel model. We know it sounds a bit silly - try saying ‘draft deliverable’ ten times and see how you hold up after that.
3. Low hanging fruit
The low hanging fruit are the easy, more obvious wins and opportunities - they are physically easier to see and to obtain as they are lower on the metaphorical tree of opportunities.
4. MECE (pronounced ‘messy’)
Mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive refers to a list of options, solutions or data which do not overlap in anyway and in which each item is completely independent of all the other items on the list. For example, in a race of three coming first, second or last are the MECE options which cover all possible outcomes. However, coming first, trying the hardest and being the best dressed are not MECE as one or more could be true at the same time and there are numerous other options too.
I know, you’re imagining the thing used by farmers to keep fields free from crows and actually, that’s not a million miles off the mark. A strawman is the outline of a document which sets out the structure and key messaging of a report, before it is populated with data and content. Quite literally a report without its stuffing – a strawman.
Now you know the lingo
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