I haven’t complained about business jargon for a while, so here we go.
centers of excellence (n.)
Poke around the Internet, and you’ll see that this term is very popular, but no one knows what it means. It seems to refer to any division or group within a company that’s doing a good job. To me, it seems strangely formal — why not a Coterie of Virtue or a Paragon of Professionals?
long-pole item (n.)
The single most important part of a business plan; it’s what’s holding up the metaphorical “tent.” This metaphor is (1) too obscure and (2) inappropriately sexual, especially to employees still stuck in the 9th grade. Fortunately, standard English already has a word for this: linchpin.
performance management (n.)
A highfalutin term for “assessing progress toward achieving predetermined goals.” In other words, what managers are supposed to be always doing anyway. If you had to to attend a performance management seminar at the Days Inn Flamingo Room in order to know this, you should not be a manager.
Wow, this is terrible — on the same level as “irregardless.” It has something to do with replacing human workers by automating their work on a computer. What, did “computerized” get thrown out of the dictionary?
special sauce (n.)
This is supposed to refer to proprietary or unique properties. “Our competitor’s product works, but it doesn’t have our special sauce.” And in the back of the room, Beavis & Butthead can’t stop giggling.More Heinous Business Jargon by Erik Even