enterprise content management, taxonomy construction, taxonomy maintenance

Taxonomy Governance: The Maintenance Process


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Last time I presented Part 1 of this three part series on governing taxonomies, focusing on the initial steps in taxonomy development (e.g. taking the initial steps to building out a taxonomy, project planning, etc.). For this post, I want to talk about the Maintenance Processes, or what to do with a taxonomy once it’s built.

A Little Recap

Basically, taxonomy governance is organized into three main areas:

  • Taxonomy Development (the last post)
  • Taxonomy Maintenance (this post)
  • Taxonomy Growth (future post)

I realize that these posts ask a lot more questions than they answer, but I think that’s the point. I’ve got “answers” for all these questions, but they do vary from company to company. When I consult with clients, it’s about answering these important questions to make sure we’re covering all aspects of taxonomy governance.

For this post, I want to talk about the Maintenance processes, or what to do with a taxonomy once it’s built (but not necessarily fully implemented across your organization). As I said last post, this will eventually become a white paper that I will make available to you. In the meantime, here’s the second of three sections on taxonomy governance: Taxonomy Maintenance.

  • Teams
    1. Taxonomy – what kinds of roles and people are included in a taxonomy team?
    2. End users – how does a taxonomy benefit an end user? How are end users involved in the development of a taxonomy?
    3. Advisors – what kinds of roles or stakeholders are involved in the development and maintenance of a taxonomy?
    4. Technology – what kinds of technologies are necessary for the creation and maintenance of a taxonomy?
    5. Governance – how is a taxonomy governed for the short and long term?
  • Technology
    1. Manual integration – how is a taxonomy manually integrated or used within a system?
    2. Automated integration – how is a taxonomy automatically integrated into a system?
    3. Autoclassification – what role does a taxonomy play in autoclassifying content?
    4. Systems – what kinds of systems does a taxonomy work with?
    5. Integration – how does a taxonomy integrate into one or more systems?
  • Building
    1. User interviews – how are user interviews used to determine what terms are included in a taxonomy?
    2. Content audit – what is a content audit and what kinds of content should be audited to inform a taxonomy build out?
    3. Primary build – what needs to go into the first build of the taxonomy?
    4. Revisions – how are revisions made and tracked during construction?
    5. Technical implementation – how is a taxonomy implemented into a technical system?
    6. Standards integration – what kinds of standards should be considered as the taxonomy is being built?
    7. Editorial development – how does the terminology used in the enterprise get harvested and used in the taxonomy?
    8. Testing – what kinds of tests need to be performed to validate the taxonomy?
  • Stabilizing
    1. Testing – how is the taxonomy tested inside the multiple systems that it integrates into?
    2. Analysis – what kinds of analytics are needed to measure and track the effectiveness of the taxonomy within the enterprise?
  • Maintaining
    1. Terms – how to add, edit, delete, deprecate and maintain overall relevance of terms in a taxonomy.
    2. Technology – what has to happen in the technology to maintain the taxonomy?
    3. Committee – what does a committee do to provide governance to a taxonomy?

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