Ruven Gotz
Practical SharePoint
Information Architecture
Thanks to our sponsors!
Join our local users groups
Toronto SharePoint Users Group
http://www.meetup.com/TorontoSPUG/
Toronto SharePoint Business ...
© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Ruven Gotz
@ruveng
spinsiders.com/ruveng
ruven.gotz@avanade.com
About me
Buy the Book (or Kindle):
http://amzn.to/JnxlcC
© 2012 Ruven Gotz
SharePoint can be dangerous to
your career!
© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Expectations are set very high
Reality: The waters can be rougher than expected…
…but the results can make it worthwhile
© 2012 Ruven Gotz
What is an Information Architect?
http://www.flickr.com/photos/racingmix/274777460/
© 2012 Ruven Gotz
What is a Business Analyst?
© 2012 Ruven Gotz
In the SharePoint world, it’s a bit of a hybrid
© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Dealing with humans in tough circumstances
© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Soft skills
You have got to get everyone onto the same page
© 2012 Ruven Gotz
The key to shared
commitment is
Shared Understanding
© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Visual tools are a great
way to get to shared
understanding
© 2012 Ruven Gotz
We will cover visual tools that assist with SharePoint
© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Let’s start with Mind Mapping
© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Building a simple mind map
© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Using a mind map for navigation
© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Using a mind map for prioritization
© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Discovery workshops
© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Using a mind map for taxonomy
What is
Metadata?
The BIG
Question
Data about data
Ruven Gotz
@ruveng
spinsiders.com/ruveng
ruven.gotz@avanade.com
What is
Metadata?
I think
I get it
Oh!
Now I see
(Mostly)
What is Metadata?
I think I get it
The BIG
Question
What is
Let’s use a
What does a cow say?
What does a chicken say?
What does a duck
say?
The sounds these animals make are
attributes that distinguish them
Example from Yoav Lurie
• Prince
• Pop/Rock
• 1984
Adapted from the “pea
soup” story by Serge
Tremblay
What is our Base Metaphor
for files?
What if we saw this?
Better…
Solve with folders
Hire an intern
What is metadata?
This is metadata!
Not this!
or this…
What is Taxonomy?
Carl Linnaeus
(1751)
Animal
Kingdom
Invertebrates Vertebrates
Mammals
Predators Primates Whales Rodents
Squirrels Mice
Mice & Rats
Hamsters and...
Animal
Kingdom
Invertebrates Vertebrates
Mammals
Predators Primates Whales Rodents
Squirrels Mice
Mice & Rats
Hamsters and...
Animal
Kingdom
Invertebrates Vertebrates
Mammals
Predators Primates Whales Rodents
Squirrels Mice
Mice & Rats
Hamsters and...
Animal
Kingdom
Invertebrates Vertebrates
Mammals
Predators Primates Whales Rodents
Squirrels Mice
Mice & Rats
Hamsters and...
Animal
Kingdom
Invertebrates Vertebrates
Mammals
Predators Primates Whales Rodents
Squirrels Mice
Mice & Rats
Hamsters and...
Animal
Kingdom
Invertebrates Vertebrates
Mammals
Predators Primates Whales Rodents
Squirrels Mice
Mice & Rats
Hamsters and...
Animal
Kingdom
Invertebrates Vertebrates
Mammals
Predators Primates Whales Rodents
Squirrels Mice
Mice & Rats
Hamsters and...
Animal
Kingdom
Invertebrates Vertebrates
Mammals
Predators Primates Whales Rodents
Squirrels Mice
Mice & Rats
Hamsters and...
Animal
Kingdom
Invertebrates Vertebrates
Mammals
Predators Primates Whales Rodents
Squirrels Mice
Mice & Rats
Hamsters and...
Shared Drive Zoo X:
Production
Sales &
Marketing
Marketing
Commercial Industrial Government Healthcare
Labs Hospitals
Priv...
As we’ve already seen: This always works out great
Findability vs. Putability: a basic asymmetry
Shared Drive Zoo X:
Production
Sales &
Marketing
Marketing
Major
Hospitals
Commercial Industrial Government Healthcare
Lab...
Moving this mess to SharePoint
makes it worse
SharePoint Sux
The #1 rule of SharePoint?
Never use
folders
Except when it makes
sense
ever
Folders for Security
Permissions assigned
per folder
A SharePoint Taxonomy (Navigation)
Customer Type
• Lab
• Hospital
• Clinic
• Mobile
Sector
• Private
• Public
Size
• Large
• Medium
• Small
Location
• Urban
...
Adding Metadata (when uploading)
A SharePoint Simulation
Document Type Inventory
Worksheet
© 2012 Ruven Gotz
What is metadata?
What is Taxonomy?
What are content types?
Name _________
Emp. # _________
Date _________
Dates Requested:
From __________
To: __________
Manager ________
Approved Y...
Both Content Types in One Library
Content Types
for:
Workflo
w,
Policy,Security
Back to the Inventory Worksheet
© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Build Mind Map (based on inventory worksheet)
Dealing with Wicked Problems
© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Dialogue Mapping
Facilitation
& Mapping
Shared
Display
Notation
(IBIS)
Dialogue Mapping
http://cognexus....
© 2012 Ruven Gotz
A very simple example IBIS map
© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Real example
© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Wireframing with Balsamiq
© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Process mapping
© 2012 Ruven Gotz
This stuff is hard
© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Social complexity makes every problem ‘wicked’
© 2012 Ruven Gotz
Getting to shared
understanding is
crucial
Visual tools with shared displays can help
Slideshare.org/ruveng
Ruven Gotz
@ruveng
spinsiders.com/ruveng
ruven.gotz@avanade.com
Tools Mentioned:
- Mindjet MindManag...
Thanks to our sponsors!
Join our local users groups
Toronto SharePoint Users Group
http://www.meetup.com/TorontoSPUG/
Toronto SharePoint Business ...
SharePoint Saturday Toronto - Practical SharePoint IA - July 20 2013
SharePoint Saturday Toronto - Practical SharePoint IA - July 20 2013
SharePoint Saturday Toronto - Practical SharePoint IA - July 20 2013
SharePoint Saturday Toronto - Practical SharePoint IA - July 20 2013
SharePoint Saturday Toronto - Practical SharePoint IA - July 20 2013
SharePoint Saturday Toronto - Practical SharePoint IA - July 20 2013
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SharePoint Saturday Toronto - Practical SharePoint IA - July 20 2013

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  • This answer helps exactly no-one.
  • …and you’ll have to fight hard for the win
  • Afixie riding hipster who does user interface design (UX?)Information Architecture Institute (iainstitute.org), who defines information architecture as:1. The structural design of shared information environments.2. The art and science of organizing and labeling web sites, intranets, onlinecommunities, and software to support usability and findability.3. An emerging community of practice focused on bringing principles of designand architecture to the digital landscape.
  • Or, more of a business analyst, working with stakeholders to establish requirements?International Institute of Business Analysis (www.iiba.org) :A business analyst works as a liaison among stakeholders to elicit, analyze, communicate and validate requirements for changes to business processes, policies and information systems. The business analyst understands business problems and opportunities in the context of the requirements, and recommends solutions that enable the organization to achieve its goals.
  • I feel like I have to cover both of those as a consultant who works to understand the goals of my stakeholders, and then architect the solution
  • A lot of doing this job well comes down to soft skills: - Listening - Honesty - Humour
  • If you have three main stakeholders, and they have different mental models for what success looks like, then you have zero chance of real success. Only when you have shared commitment to the same goal, do you have any chance at success.
  • This is the most important message of this talk: You MUST achieve a shared understanding to have a chance at success.
  • Mind mapping – wireframing – process flow diagramming
  • Everyone knows…
  • It’s “Data about Data” as Einstein proved all those years ago
  • This answer helps exactly no-one.
  • I won’t tell you yet but…It is an iterative process – you won’t understand it right away, but you will circle in towards understanding over time[ANIMATED]
  • Metadata is a new concept for manyUse of metaphors to explain the concepts
  • Metadata is a new concept for manyUse of metaphors to explain the concepts
  • If you were to ask a child: What does a cow say? How would they answer?
  • Ok, so that was goofing around – now let’s get serious.
  • The music is the contentYou can know a lot of facts about the album:PrincePop/Rock1984You can know all the facts, but it doesn’t substitute for the content (the music)(Purple Rain example originally suggested by Yoav Lurie)
  • How do you sort CD’sArtist?Title?Year?Genre?Colour?You have to decide up-front – and stick to it –because the objects are physical
  • What if the store was full of unlabeled tin cans?You would need to open every can to see if had what you wanted(Tin can example originally suggested by Serge Tremblay)
  • Now we don’t need to open each can, but they are all in a jumble and you have to pick up each can to check if has what you want.
  • Items are grouped by area (canned fruit, canned sauce, canned vegetables)Signs point you to the correct area so that you can quickly find what you need.BUT: Because the objects are physical, you need to pick a method and stick to it
  • This uses the base metaphor that we live with every day.The concept of a “file” and a “file folder” as a way of storing digital data is a metaphor taken from the world of paper managementIt has become so ingrained, that we think of it as natural, but it’s not: It was invented in 1983 by Apple (wikipedia)
  • Old apple interface from the 80’s
  • All your files are stored in one folder and their names are completely meaninglessThis is like the unlabeled cans: You have to open each file to see what it contains
  • You have a bit of a better situationThe naming convention lets you find the file you need (but there’s no way to sort by year)Rely on users to follow the naming convention (religiously)
  • A ha!Now we’re in great shape. We’re like the supermarketStructured and LabelledBUT...
  • ... then, you hire a summer internWho doesn’t know the folder hierarchy and makes up their own
  • Findability is challengingPutability is the real problemThis is Bill English’s word for knowing where to save a documentWhat if we could make putability easier while also improving findability?This is the promise of metadata
  • Data about dataYes, but not enough info Seth Maislin of Earley & Assoc. says it's the "Is-ness" of something:This 'is' a contract. That 'is' a pop album.For us it enables findability, policy and processFindability for locating the right documentsPolicy – records managementProcess – Status of a business process (e.g. Not started, In process, Complete, Approved, Archived)
  • So, let’s create an alternative structure that is logically equivalent, but that makes putability much easier while preserving findabilityBy the way: One way to start to figure out an organization’s metadata is to look at the folder names.You will probably not want to simply copy this, but it can be a good guide/starting point
  • It’s not this… (visual joke)[ANIMATED]
  • It’s not this… (visual joke)[ANIMATED]
  • It’s this…Not really this, but let’s use these creatures to understand.
  • Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of binomial nomenclature. He is known as the father of modern taxonomy
  • This works because it’s really about governance – this is a stable structure that can’t be changed by just anybody:Changing this structure requires a world-wide meeting of the top scientists in the field, usually involving name-calling and fist-fights (or so I’ve heard)[ANIMATED]
  • Did you catch the subtle change here.The taxonomy is now of your ‘X’ drive.
  • And this is a common result
  • The asymmetry is that you’ll spend less time looking for a place to save something then you will looking for something after the fact.
  • Problem here is lack of governance – anyone can add any folder anywhere anytimeThis boils down to the ‘putability’ problem – I’ll search for a long time to find a doc, but not for long to see where to put it.[ANIMATED]
  • Once you’ve migrated your x drive to SharePoint, and all the promised benefits fail to emerge, The reaction is: (next slide)
  • Never, ever, use folders!Except when it makes sense to do so.[ANIMATED]
  • Never, ever, use folders!Except when it makes sense to do so.[ANIMATED]
  • [ANIMATED] Here is one reason to use folders: Application of security and then simplifying it for the user by using the ‘no folders’ view.
  • I’m not Carl, but let’s talk about why this works.After all, it’s the same as a directory treeThe difference is governance
  • Is this too many to ask for?Do we force users to answer all these questions/enter all this data?
  • Instead of confusing people with the SharePoint interface, I use a familiar tool: ExcelUsing some simple macros, I am able to illustrate the power of filters and views.There’s no free lunch however: People now have to enter metadata.We can simplify this by defaulting values like “Date” to today and “Year” to current year.We can leverage content types as well
  • Explain metadata and then use this worksheet for ‘homework’
  • Think of them as different forms with slots to fill in.Two documents may have overlapping slots (or, metadata).It may make sense to store these two types of docs in the same library (HR Requests), but use content types to drive workflow, policy and prompt users only for the metadata that applies.[ANIMATED]
  • Think of them as different forms with slots to fill in.Two documents may have overlapping slots (or, metadata).It may make sense to store these two types of docs in the same library (HR Requests), but use content types to drive workflow, policy and prompt users only for the metadata that applies.[ANIMATED]
  • [ANIMATED]
  • Using mind-mapping tools to build the taxonomy from the homeworkI use MindJet MindManager – and I like and highly recommend it.There are other tools that are less expensive.
  • There are two types of problems: Tame & Wicked.Landing a person on the moon is Tame (but really, really complex)Solving poverty is wickedYou don’t understand the problem until you’ve developed the solutionYou don’t really know when you’ve accomplished the goalSolutions are not right or wrong, they are just better or worseEvery wicked problem is uniqueEvery solution is a one-shot operationYou are dealing with social complexity
  • All the mapping that I’ve shown so far, uses facilitation and a shared display.The new thing is IBIS: Issue Based Information System
  • IBIS grammar has only four elements: Question, Idea, Pro, and ConIdeas respond to questions (and ONLY questions)Pro’s support ideas (and ONLY ideas)Con’s challenge ideas (and ONLY ideas)Questions can respond to anything
  • SharePoint Saturday Toronto - Practical SharePoint IA - July 20 2013

    1. 1. Ruven Gotz Practical SharePoint Information Architecture
    2. 2. Thanks to our sponsors!
    3. 3. Join our local users groups Toronto SharePoint Users Group http://www.meetup.com/TorontoSPUG/ Toronto SharePoint Business Users Group http://www.meetup.com/TSPBUG/
    4. 4. © 2012 Ruven Gotz Ruven Gotz @ruveng spinsiders.com/ruveng ruven.gotz@avanade.com About me
    5. 5. Buy the Book (or Kindle): http://amzn.to/JnxlcC
    6. 6. © 2012 Ruven Gotz SharePoint can be dangerous to your career!
    7. 7. © 2012 Ruven Gotz Expectations are set very high
    8. 8. Reality: The waters can be rougher than expected…
    9. 9. …but the results can make it worthwhile
    10. 10. © 2012 Ruven Gotz What is an Information Architect? http://www.flickr.com/photos/racingmix/274777460/
    11. 11. © 2012 Ruven Gotz What is a Business Analyst?
    12. 12. © 2012 Ruven Gotz In the SharePoint world, it’s a bit of a hybrid
    13. 13. © 2012 Ruven Gotz Dealing with humans in tough circumstances
    14. 14. © 2012 Ruven Gotz Soft skills
    15. 15. You have got to get everyone onto the same page
    16. 16. © 2012 Ruven Gotz The key to shared commitment is Shared Understanding
    17. 17. © 2012 Ruven Gotz Visual tools are a great way to get to shared understanding
    18. 18. © 2012 Ruven Gotz We will cover visual tools that assist with SharePoint
    19. 19. © 2012 Ruven Gotz Let’s start with Mind Mapping
    20. 20. © 2012 Ruven Gotz Building a simple mind map
    21. 21. © 2012 Ruven Gotz Using a mind map for navigation
    22. 22. © 2012 Ruven Gotz Using a mind map for prioritization
    23. 23. © 2012 Ruven Gotz Discovery workshops
    24. 24. © 2012 Ruven Gotz Using a mind map for taxonomy
    25. 25. What is Metadata? The BIG Question
    26. 26. Data about data
    27. 27. Ruven Gotz @ruveng spinsiders.com/ruveng ruven.gotz@avanade.com
    28. 28. What is Metadata? I think I get it Oh! Now I see (Mostly) What is Metadata? I think I get it The BIG Question
    29. 29. What is
    30. 30. Let’s use a
    31. 31. What does a cow say?
    32. 32. What does a chicken say?
    33. 33. What does a duck say?
    34. 34. The sounds these animals make are attributes that distinguish them
    35. 35. Example from Yoav Lurie • Prince • Pop/Rock • 1984
    36. 36. Adapted from the “pea soup” story by Serge Tremblay
    37. 37. What is our Base Metaphor for files?
    38. 38. What if we saw this?
    39. 39. Better…
    40. 40. Solve with folders
    41. 41. Hire an intern
    42. 42. What is metadata?
    43. 43. This is metadata!
    44. 44. Not this! or this… What is Taxonomy?
    45. 45. Carl Linnaeus (1751)
    46. 46. Animal Kingdom Invertebrates Vertebrates Mammals Predators Primates Whales Rodents Squirrels Mice Mice & Rats Hamsters and Voles Real Hamsters Short-tailed dwarf hamsters Djungarian dwarf hampsters Roborovski Hamster Long-tailed dwarf hamsters Voles Gerbils Porcupines Guinea Pigs Fish Amphibians Reptiles Birds Taxonomy
    47. 47. Animal Kingdom Invertebrates Vertebrates Mammals Predators Primates Whales Rodents Squirrels Mice Mice & Rats Hamsters and Voles Real Hamsters Short-tailed dwarf hamsters Djungarian dwarf hampsters Roborovski Hamster Long-tailed dwarf hamsters Voles Gerbils Porcupines Guinea Pigs Fish Amphibians Reptiles Birds Taxonomy Superclass
    48. 48. Animal Kingdom Invertebrates Vertebrates Mammals Predators Primates Whales Rodents Squirrels Mice Mice & Rats Hamsters and Voles Real Hamsters Short-tailed dwarf hamsters Djungarian dwarf hampsters Roborovski Hamster Long-tailed dwarf hamsters Voles Gerbils Porcupines Guinea Pigs Fish Amphibians Reptiles Birds Taxonomy Class
    49. 49. Animal Kingdom Invertebrates Vertebrates Mammals Predators Primates Whales Rodents Squirrels Mice Mice & Rats Hamsters and Voles Real Hamsters Short-tailed dwarf hamsters Djungarian dwarf hampsters Roborovski Hamster Long-tailed dwarf hamsters Voles Gerbils Porcupines Guinea Pigs Fish Amphibians Reptiles Birds Taxonomy Order
    50. 50. Animal Kingdom Invertebrates Vertebrates Mammals Predators Primates Whales Rodents Squirrels Mice Mice & Rats Hamsters and Voles Real Hamsters Short-tailed dwarf hamsters Djungarian dwarf hampsters Roborovski Hamster Long-tailed dwarf hamsters Voles Gerbils Porcupines Guinea Pigs Fish Amphibians Reptiles Birds Taxonomy Suborder
    51. 51. Animal Kingdom Invertebrates Vertebrates Mammals Predators Primates Whales Rodents Squirrels Mice Mice & Rats Hamsters and Voles Real Hamsters Short-tailed dwarf hamsters Djungarian dwarf hampsters Roborovski Hamster Long-tailed dwarf hamsters Voles Gerbils Porcupines Guinea Pigs Fish Amphibians Reptiles Birds Taxonomy Family
    52. 52. Animal Kingdom Invertebrates Vertebrates Mammals Predators Primates Whales Rodents Squirrels Mice Mice & Rats Hamsters and Voles Real Hamsters Short-tailed dwarf hamsters Djungarian dwarf hampsters Roborovski Hamster Long-tailed dwarf hamsters Voles Gerbils Porcupines Guinea Pigs Fish Amphibians Reptiles Birds Taxonomy Subfamily
    53. 53. Animal Kingdom Invertebrates Vertebrates Mammals Predators Primates Whales Rodents Squirrels Mice Mice & Rats Hamsters and Voles Real Hamsters Short-tailed dwarf hamsters Djungarian dwarf hampsters Roborovski Hamster Long-tailed dwarf hamsters Voles Gerbils Porcupines Guinea Pigs Fish Amphibians Reptiles Birds Taxonomy Genus
    54. 54. Animal Kingdom Invertebrates Vertebrates Mammals Predators Primates Whales Rodents Squirrels Mice Mice & Rats Hamsters and Voles Real Hamsters Short-tailed dwarf hamsters Djungarian dwarf hampsters Roborovski Hamster Long-tailed dwarf hamsters Voles Gerbils Porcupines Guinea Pigs Fish Amphibians Reptiles Birds Taxonomy Species
    55. 55. Shared Drive Zoo X: Production Sales & Marketing Marketing Commercial Industrial Government Healthcare Labs Hospitals Private Public Large Urban Not Associated University Rural Medium Small Clinics Mobile Sales Web Design Newsletter Social Taxonomy
    56. 56. As we’ve already seen: This always works out great
    57. 57. Findability vs. Putability: a basic asymmetry
    58. 58. Shared Drive Zoo X: Production Sales & Marketing Marketing Major Hospitals Commercial Industrial Government Healthcare Labs Hospitals Private Public Large Urban Not Associated University Rural Medium Small Clinics Mobile Colleges Big Small Sales Web Design Newsletter Social
    59. 59. Moving this mess to SharePoint makes it worse
    60. 60. SharePoint Sux
    61. 61. The #1 rule of SharePoint? Never use folders Except when it makes sense ever
    62. 62. Folders for Security Permissions assigned per folder
    63. 63. A SharePoint Taxonomy (Navigation)
    64. 64. Customer Type • Lab • Hospital • Clinic • Mobile Sector • Private • Public Size • Large • Medium • Small Location • Urban • Rural University • Yes • No A SharePoint Taxonomy (Metadata)
    65. 65. Adding Metadata (when uploading)
    66. 66. A SharePoint Simulation
    67. 67. Document Type Inventory Worksheet
    68. 68. © 2012 Ruven Gotz What is metadata?
    69. 69. What is Taxonomy?
    70. 70. What are content types?
    71. 71. Name _________ Emp. # _________ Date _________ Dates Requested: From __________ To: __________ Manager ________ Approved Y/N Name _________ Emp. # _________ Date _________ Drug Used: Name __________ Cost: $ _________ Manager ________ Approved Y/N Vacation Request Drug Reimbursement
    72. 72. Both Content Types in One Library
    73. 73. Content Types for: Workflo w, Policy,Security
    74. 74. Back to the Inventory Worksheet
    75. 75. © 2012 Ruven Gotz Build Mind Map (based on inventory worksheet)
    76. 76. Dealing with Wicked Problems
    77. 77. © 2012 Ruven Gotz Dialogue Mapping Facilitation & Mapping Shared Display Notation (IBIS) Dialogue Mapping http://cognexus.org/
    78. 78. © 2012 Ruven Gotz A very simple example IBIS map
    79. 79. © 2012 Ruven Gotz Real example
    80. 80. © 2012 Ruven Gotz Wireframing with Balsamiq
    81. 81. © 2012 Ruven Gotz Process mapping
    82. 82. © 2012 Ruven Gotz This stuff is hard
    83. 83. © 2012 Ruven Gotz Social complexity makes every problem ‘wicked’
    84. 84. © 2012 Ruven Gotz Getting to shared understanding is crucial
    85. 85. Visual tools with shared displays can help
    86. 86. Slideshare.org/ruveng Ruven Gotz @ruveng spinsiders.com/ruveng ruven.gotz@avanade.com Tools Mentioned: - Mindjet MindManager - Balsamiq Mockups - BizAgi Entry Level - Microsoft Visio
    87. 87. Thanks to our sponsors!
    88. 88. Join our local users groups Toronto SharePoint Users Group http://www.meetup.com/TorontoSPUG/ Toronto SharePoint Business Users Group http://www.meetup.com/TSPBUG/
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