enterprise content management, taxonomy maintenance

Taxonomy Governance Planning – Quickstart Tips


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Taxonomy Planning

Want a copy of the full taxonomy governance planning diagram featured above? Email us for details.

Building a taxonomy is fun and exciting! Right? Well, actually it takes a lot of hard work and coordination between many different people within an organization. And once it’s “done” (which it never is) someone’s got to step up and maintain the beast, especially if it’s immediately put into action within a system like SharePoint or a DAM platform.

But how to start? Follow the tips below and you’ll be on your way to managing and maintaining a taxonomy plan long term:

  • Get one or two people really excited about it within the organization: It will probably not be their job, but someone’s got to take charge of the taxonomy and write some initial set of rules to govern it. Think about Heather Hedden’s book and find “the accidental taxonomist” on your staff.
  • Write a mission statement for the taxonomy. Everyone needs to know why the taxonomy exists and what its purpose is for being used within the organization. Publish this on a SharePointTeam Site or local project site and make sure you’re able to point to it when others, like grumpy executives or accounting people, try to understand why they’re spending money on a taxonomy.
  • Set up a super simple new term approval process. We all love workflow processes (!) but keep your term approval process simple at first. You want to get people contributing new terms to your taxonomy, and they won’t do it if there’s a 30-step approval process.
  • Hire a PT taxonomist. Seriously, you’re not going to be able to maintain your taxonomy long term without someone who knows what they’re doing. There are a few freelance taxonomists out there who can do the work.
  • Always use a taxonomy maintenance tool. Keeping your taxonomy in an Excel spreadsheet is going to last about a week. Then you realize you need a proper tool to maintain and grow the taxonomy across the org. It’s not that expensive to get a taxonomy maintenance tool in place. The bigger cost would be not having a tool in place and wasting time on building out a taxonomy governance model in the first place.

If you’re interested in taxonomy governance models, contact us and we’ll send you a copy of the taxonomy governance model diagram we’re working on.

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