A working definition is an explanation of a term that is used for a particular purpose. It is common for terms to have multiple definitions or for definitions to be contentious. Working definitions serve as a practical reference in the context of a program, project, decision making process or problem solving initiative. The following are illustrative examples.
ConsensusWorking definitions are useful for building consensus. It is often difficult to get people to agree on definitions. Working definitions need not be polished and are easier for groups to develop. For example, if an organization is developing a project management standard it may begin with working definitions for "project" and "project management."Working definitions can be used to guide decision making. For example, a city's strategy defines its goals in terms of "quality of life", "sustainability" and "economic progress." Working definitions of these terms are helpful in guiding decisions.
Working definitions can be used to simplify problem solving. For example, a data center support team may clearly define terms such as "hot spot" or "data breach" so that everyone is speaking the same language when working on an incident.Working definitions can be developed by organizations and teams as part of their culture to improve communication. For example, a human resources team defines terms such as "professional conduct" and "professional attire" that are commonly used in policy and internal communications.
This is the complete list of articles we have written about communication.
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The definition of decision fatigue with examples.
Taking a position that you do not necessarily agree with for the purposes of argument.
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