advice, best practice

Don’t Hire a Taxonomist


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Most companies needing a taxonomist for a big project–like setting up a new company portal in SharePoint 2010–should be careful not to hire a taxonomist to solve a short-term need. Many consultants will gladly take a fee for a 4-6 week engagement and have a taxonomist set up an initial vocabulary/taxonomy and get it running.

Big mistake.

It takes a while, sometimes 9-12 months, to really get a taxonomy going within a company and get the right people to review it and provide input. It simply cannot be done effectively in a such a short period as would typically be allotted for in a larger portal project.

It’s better to divide the taxonomy budget/work up like this:

  • 10% for discovery and initial implementation
  • 90% spread out over the next 9-12 months

That way, time and money are saved up and spread out, giving the taxonomy–and the team–time to “breath” and understand how to really use it for things like tagging and better search.

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