Definition

1 Definition

A word or phrase expressing the essential nature of a person or thing or class of persons or of things : an answer to the question "what is x?" or "what is an x?"

Notes: Good business definitions are front-and-center for business models, structured business vocabularies (fact models), and business rules. A great many things in today's business world and its know-how are intangible (e.g., insurance coverages, financial products, reservations, assignments, etc.). Often there's nothing in the real world you can point to (like a bird or a tree or a building) and say, "There, that's what I mean!" You have only the definitions to go by.

We say definitions are for people and for human communication (not semantic computation). We focus on the core meaning of a concept to the business, its very essence. Why? That core essence will remain relatively constant. Stability is crucial in facilitating over-time and at-a-distance communication, maintaining continuity of know-how, training newcomers, and talking with outsiders. To take a highly publicized example, consider the celestial body Pluto. Why should our ability to talk about planets be impacted because a majority of astronomers no longer considers Pluto a planet?! If definitions are a bit fuzzy around the edges, so be it. (But read on! There's more to a concept than just its definition.)