Jargon of seemingly General MBA-ish nature existing
in DOD-centric IT
BLUF: Stuff from my few years of Information Technology that's caught my ear
and eye which I figure to those on the outside, would be categorized as jargon.
It's far from all straight DOD, but some of the weirder ones are.
Last update: 30 Apr 2009
- Out Of oFfice
- (I like OOO better, but this is not the de facto)
- Usually written not spoken
- "Getting pushback from the wife about all the unpaid OT and just don't
have the available bandwidth, so I'll be OOF Tues to focus on that side of
my work life balance."
Not Enough Bandwidth / Don't have the Bandwidth
- "We don't have the bandwidth to handle that. At least until Q2."
- Technically this should be Not Enough Throughput / Don't have the Throughput
as bandwidth is the size of a pipe, which most likely is not situationally
variable, whereas throughput is the subset of that bandwidth which is dynamically
- Basically means you or that person or your group or that other group doesn't
have time to do that task
- Also Resource Constrained
- Can be used as a form of pushback to boost perception of workload
- "Well, the pushback you're gonna get is..."
- "There'll be too mush pushback against that, you've got to pick your
- Basically resistance to doing something, either because it's out of scope,
it's not something interesting to work on, or it just feels like it'll be
too much effort. Sometimes strategically valid, but then it might not be termed
It is what it is.
- "It is what it is."
- The subject referenced is a given, a non-negosiable, not something that's
- Just accept it and move on...
Work Life Balance
- On the surface it means valuing both quality of work and quality of home
/ family life
- Used by HR to get more work out of employees: dry cleaning pick up and drop
off in the office, lunch and learn, brown bag meetings, working lunches, employee
/ family picnics, on-site coffee, on-site massage
Run it up the Flagpole (and see who salutes)
- Throw something out there and see if management likes it or it somebody
takes it on as a project or part of their work duties
Last update: 10 FEB 2006
- Carry on a thread / topic / discussion, but in a different context
- (1) Something brought up in a meeting, (2) “Let’s take it off-line,”
(3) two individuals from meeting talk about it in the hallway after the meeting
- (1) an email thread is going back and forth, (2) one person tells another,
“Let’s pick it up off-line,” they talk face-to-face (f2f)
the next day
- Sort of analogous to out of band management for conversation threads - while
everybody is surfing a website, you ssh in the the server and read the straight
html - replay to all emails are flying back and forth and two people are talking
the same thread offline on the phone
- “We’re tracking” = things are moving in the correct direction
(like a vector)
- “That’s not tracking” = things are not moving in the
- Maybe related in root word to the corporate sales and marketing term “traction”
where interest in a new product or corporate entity is created and sales and
market share increase or decrease, the sales effort is said to be getting
or gaining traction, -or- not getting or losing traction, respectively.
- “We need to track that” or “we’re tracking it”
= some issue is resolved but being monitored – this is NOT an example
of this term
- After a meeting, on the way OUT, people or groups recap what they have to
do and what’s DUE of them, afterwards these are referred to as due outs.
- “Okay, what are our due-outs from the 0830 meeting?”
- "You got your due outs?"
“on the same page” or “on the same
sheet of music”
- Proactively getting everyone prepared to give the same answer to management
or a vendor
- (1) “Let’s get everybody on the same page before the meeting.”
(2) “Okay, team, now that we’re all here, let’s try to get
on the same sheet of music.”
- Overused phrase
- Occasionally a call for a consensuses
- Plan or prepare for something ahead of time
- “Let’s try to be more proactive about this in the future…”
- Overused word
keep you in the loop
- You keep a group “on the same page”; bringing somebody “up
to speed” is a way of keeping them “in the loop”
- Literally to include others on information going back and forth, used as
a preface to an informal briefing, “Hey so-and-so, just wanna keep you
in the loop.” Pause. Dump.
up to speed
- Sort of like in the loop, but specifically where a learning curve needs
to be bridged or a brain dump performed first; like a race where help is needed
to get a car back with the pack after being in the pits
- “Can you get Mr. X up to speed on this?”
out of scope
- Beyond the realm of the relevant tasking / objective / project – “Beyond
the scope of this book”
- Relates to scope creep, which is the gradual process of
something which was out of scope now being within the scope, as the scope
has crept, or expanded, to encompass it
- Scope shift is not generally distinguished from scope creep,
but while shift is like the blob, growing to encompass more features or fields,
shift is the whole specification or objective basically changing.
- Overcome By Events
- Something is no longer relevant as its been forgotten
- Pushed off the back burner into oblivion
- If somebody was to bring it up again (stir the pot), the issue is stomped
back to non-issue with a casual, “Oh, that’s OBE…”
and a quick verbal segue to something else.
- Close Of Business
- “Get that to me by COB today.”
- “We’ve got a drop dead date of COB Thursday.”
- Implicitly deals with weekends and holidays
drop dead date
- Deadline or last possible due date
- “What’s our drop dead date on that?”
double edged sword
- “It’s a double edged sword – it’ll solve the issue,
but will cost us another five man-hours a week!”
- Describing a pro and a con (wins and a lose) based from one source
- Also used to detail two cons or loses bundled together, like a front hand
and then a backhanded slap in one.
in front of the curve
- Sort of a proactive CYA, do something to get ahead of the next fire or hot
- “Yeah, that’s in the pipeline, let’s get in front of the
curve on it.”
[steep] learning curve
- A learning curve is a graph of time against quantity of material needed
to be learned
- A steep learning curve indicates a subject requiring lot to learn or not
much time to learn it
- Alternative to the subject the term can describe the learner, “She’s
got a steep learning curve ahead of her!” could mean she doesn’t
know much to start with and is a sub-optimal choice for the job.
- Scientific Wild-Assed Guess
- “Get me pricing through the next 10 fiscal years.” “It’ll
take weeks to do that!” “Just swag it, I need it by COB today."
"It's a multiple guess test; Take a SWAG at it."
- Bottom Line Up Front
- An executive summery, but more informal without the big heading, just “BLUF:”
and the condensed spoon feeding blurb
- Keep It Simple, Stupid
- Q: should I do this or this? A: "Just follow the KISS principle"
- For Your Action
- FYI is well known as For Your Information, here you forward an email and
instead of an FYI at the top as the only added text, FYA: says it's not just
for your information, but you need to DO something about it!
- "He's not in our lane anymore, there was no funding
for it so he's on another project now and inaccessible to us."
- "That's not my lane - in other words it would be inappropriate
for me to bring it up. I'd need someone to present it to me as an issue to
- "It's outside of our lane now, but I'd like you to
get proactive on it before we're put in a reactionary stance."
More DOD-ish, Nomenclature
- A small but potentially important detail
- Little left over follow things to deal with
- “It’s these little nit noid things that drag on for hours.”
down in the weeds
- Like “under the hood” or “nuts and bolts”
- More technical or in-depth detail of a subject
- “Okay, lets not get stuck down in the weeds.”
- “If you wanna get down in the weeds on that, I can point you to the
hand-jam or hand-gen
- Jam data in or manually generate
- Relevant to programming a device, entering code, or even populating a spreadsheet
- “It’s no big deal, it’ll take me a few days as I’ve
got to handjam all the names in.”
- Instantiate a new instance of a physical entity or logical object
- “Once we stand up a new domain controller there, it’ll be a
stir the pot
- Bring up to the surface something perhaps better left covered / unspoken
- Rile people up with by returning to the forefront something since neglected
- “Are you gonna go in there and stir up the pot again – nobody
cares about that!”
- “Come-on now, don’t go stirring up the pot with all that nit
noid stuff, it’s OBE.”
- Plural of CYA, as in Cover Our Asses vs. Cover Your Ass
- “Think of it as a COA – cover our asses.”
Added 4/2008, from email dated 12/2006 with subject:
acronyms and abbreviations dictionary