Why a business glossary

One of the questions I got is why we need a business glossary. 

I would start to identifying a business need as a first step and the try to find out what is good enough business glossary for the purpose

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We did a business model canvas for the media company startup in November last year and two of the boxes are Revenue stream and Key partners. One of the revenues for film production in Sweden and EU is via grants. In Sweden, they are mainly given by Svenska Filminstitutet (SFI). 

The business need is to be able to get grants as part of the revenue from SFI who is a key partner. 

We went to SFI and looked for their requirements. In order to apply for grants, you need to produce more than thirty different documents with information about your film project before starting, during filming and after the film is ready for viewing. 

After reading the requirements for documentation from SFI, we concluded that we needed a production process, with tollgates, that describes how we should work when producing films. Otherwise, we can’t be sure that we comply with requirements and that we can produce features and TV-series within budget, time and quality.

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On a high level, the film process is pretty straight forward, but the complexity of making a feature for cinema or a TV-series is much higher than making a short film with your friends.  The process requirements for film production using grants are more comparable of running €1M business and IT-projects than a small agile project delivering a feature in an IT-system. 

Different documents should be delivered to SFI at different stages in the process and this works very well with toll-gates and thus we add the to our process.

The fourth step was to break down the five process steps in the film production process into one lower level. There is not one ”best practices” on this lower level, but the differences between examples of processes on line are not that big for features. 

Next step is to create an information model / business glossary based on the requirements and with some additions we were up to 35 terms in the model.

Then back to classic architecture work. Create a cross-reference table with level 3 process (e.g. Story Development and Screenwriting ) with Information objects as Manuscript and Shooting plan and define in which process each information is created the first time and if it’s used later on.    

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We got some gaps in the matrix (i.e. processes without information and vice versa) and therefore added roughly twenty information objects to the list.

The result is now is that we have a first draft of a film production process that covers the business need to get some revenue from key partners as described in the business model canvas. This process is nowhere near to be ready yet, but applying more business needs from the canvas will make it better and better. 

One answer to the question is that a business glossary helps us to improve the processes so we can fulfil our business needs.