Enterprise Acronyms in a Team Site

Acronyms2The nightmare of every new employee…what do all those acronyms mean? AOP, PMP, CER…three-letter-words are everywhere and everyone seems to know what they mean, except me! 😉
This must sound familiar to all Intranet and Digital Workplace Managers. And yes, we too have received the question often enough: where is the list and the explanation? And while the explanations are not the problem, making the list is the largest hurdle because generally, nobody feels responsible.

So, could we solve this by using a Wiki and asking everyone to contribute their own acronyms? Wiki’s are meant to collaborate on content, so that seems perfect, right?

Well, I dare to disagree with you! I know I am a Sharepoint List addict, so yes, I am biased, but I will prove that a Custom List is better! Read on!

While collecting the list of acronyms is a collective effort, the description of the acronym is generally static. It is generally defined very concisely, and the description will not be changed very often. In fact, I do not think you would want all your employees to be changing your well-defined texts describing the required content and usage of your Annual Operating Plan, or the job description and responsibilities of your CEO!

Therefore, I think you can collect this better in a Custom List. All employees can submit their acronyms and the description, and you can ask for additional metadata such as functional area, is this essential information for new hires, etc. This will allow you to group, sort and filter the list items in many different ways. You will find some screenshots attached. You may set approval to make sure that information is relevant and unique. That would mean there needs to be one person responsible, but his or her duties will be limited to checking, not creating and collecting.
People will still be able to modify a description, but it will be less encouraging as with a Wiki, you can hide the edit options from the main view, and if you set an Alert, you will be able to quickly spot and solve any issue.
You can also expand the information much better in a Custom List than with one Wiki page per acronym. And we are not even talking about all acronyms on one page – that would be a mess! ;-))

Not convinced? Let me know and add your comments!


Acronym entry page with metadata
The information required for a new entry.


Acronym List
This is what the list could look like.


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