Content Modelling - Step 6 - Create a Glossary

A part of the modeling process uncovers a series of terms that have a particular meaning within the system. It's important to capture the meaning and make sure there's agreement on the definitions of each term. The plain English definition of a word like "group" can have a specific meaning within a business context. The catch is that sometimes the client will use the same term to mean different things depending on the context. In one project, we had the following definitions:

Graduate Destination Survey (GDS) The graduate destination survey is made up of two parts:

  • Graduate Questions

  • Course Experience Questions

However, often the "Graduate Questions" part was referred to as the GDS; as it is where the actual details of the destination of the graduate was captured. So, when talking about the "GDS", it could refer to either the entire survey or just the first part of the survey. Even though we had the definition in the glossary and the client agreed to the definition, they still used the same term to mean different things depending on the context. This is an easy trap to fall into and requires diligence to check with the client when they use a term what they are referring to. It can muddy the waters greatly when trying to create a model that is accurate and reflects the actual business system being defined.