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Taxonomy Design for the Short on Time

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Taxonomy Design for the Short on Time

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Knowing your taxonomy project goals and having a detailed understanding of the process you will be using help ensure that your taxonomy program can be implemented in the smoothest way possible and in the least amount of time.

Knowing your taxonomy project goals and having a detailed understanding of the process you will be using help ensure that your taxonomy program can be implemented in the smoothest way possible and in the least amount of time.

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Taxonomy Design for the Short on Time

  1. 1. Taxonomy Design for the Short on Time Presented by Fred Leise SLA 2012 July 16 © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 1
  2. 2. About Me Owner and principal, ContextualAnalysis, providing taxonomy and user experience consulting services since 1995. Back-of-book indexer and indexing instructor (UC Berkeley Extension Online) Past-president, American Society for Indexing Manager, taxonomy team, Sears Holdings Corporation Bio available at: www.contextualanalysis.com © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 2
  3. 3. Overview This session will not cover the details of creating the taxonomy itself, but focuses on the organizational structures and processes needed to establish a taxonomy program. © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 3
  4. 4. Overview For an optimized taxonomy design project you need to know: What your goals are What tasks you are performing Why you are doing them Who is working with you and what they are responsible for When you need to be finished © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 4
  5. 5. Overview The clearer you are on these, the faster you can work without the need to redo work you have already completed. You will also be able to delegate more work and keep the project on track. © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 5
  6. 6. Overview Planning/proof of concept/buy-in Taxonomy design process Change management Project documentation Standards and other resources Feel free to ask questions at any time © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 6
  7. 7. Overview Work smarter Do your most unpleasant task first Do your most important tasks after that Make progress on the big project every day Don’t try to multitask; it doesn’t work Plan the project; work the checklist © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 7
  8. 8. Planning/Proof of Concept/Buy-In © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 8
  9. 9. Planning/Proof of Concept/Buy-In Sponsorship Ownership Stakeholders Scope Context © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 9
  10. 10. Planning/Proof of Concept/Buy-In Cost Benefits Proof of concept Building the case Getting buy-in © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 10
  11. 11. Sponsorship An executive who will: put his or her active support behind the project actively recommend the project to other executives obtain necessary budget and other resources provide appropriate visibility for the project to executive leadership © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 11
  12. 12. Sponsorship Strong sponsorship helps you navigate the political waters and ensures success © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 12
  13. 13. Sponsorship: Action Steps Identify potential sponsors; meet with them to discuss project. Identify the single best individual to champion your project and get their agreement to be the sponsor. © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 13
  14. 14. Ownership The individual responsible for actively managing or overseeing the project. You? Helps plan project Helps manage resources Keeps project on track Supports individuals working on the project Enlists help from sponsor when necessary to remove barriers © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 14
  15. 15. Ownership: Action Steps With help of sponsor, identify the individual with the passion and the drive necessary to ensure successful completion of the project. © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 15
  16. 16. Stakeholders Anyone impacted by the project or who needs to be consulted or informed about the project Content creators Content users IT Customers/Members/Public © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 16
  17. 17. Stakeholders: Action Steps Identify all project stakeholders. Involve them as necessary/appropriate. Establish appropriate communication plan for stakeholders. © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 17
  18. 18. Scope Failure to properly determine project scope is one of the major reasons for failure Agree to scope before the project starts Beware of scope creep Do not be afraid of calling a request “out of scope for phase 1” © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 18
  19. 19. Scope Elements of scope Divisions/departments to be included (enterprise taxonomy?) Number and types of taxonomies required Use of taxonomies: across enterprise or within individual departments/units? Which departments? © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 19
  20. 20. Scope Elements of scope Content types that will be covered by taxonomy: documents? images? video? © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 20
  21. 21. Scope Elements of scope Documents: reports, white papers, research papers, product manuals, contracts, material safety data sheets, user-generated content (UGC) © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 21
  22. 22. Scope Elements of scope Images: product images, employees, museum collections Videos: educational, training, product use Extent of metadata (depends on how content will be stored/used) Phased approach © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 22
  23. 23. Scope Factors affecting scope Desired implementation date Available resources © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 23
  24. 24. Scope: Action Steps Work with sponsor, owner, and stakeholders to establish and commit to project scope © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 24
  25. 25. Context The milieu in which the project will be conducted: items outside of the project itself that will have significant impact on it. Understanding the context mitigates against surprises Purpose Project drivers/pain points Desired project outcome Technical limitations © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 25
  26. 26. Context Tools used to build and maintain the taxonomy: existing/new; internally/externally sourced Format for taxonomy: Excel? XML? Related technology and its metadata capabilities, e.g., DAM, CMS Users of the taxonomy (internal/external) © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 26
  27. 27. Context Does content exist or does it need to be created/acquired as part of the project? Sources of content: users, 3rd party content providers, internally generated Taxonomy sources: existing internal, new internal, free, purchased Existing internal taxonomy capabilities, e.g., existing, need to be expanded, or need to engage external resources? © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 27
  28. 28. Context: Action Steps Be sure you understand and document the context of your taxonomy project so there are no surprises as you move forward. Better to know things now than to have to spend time redoing parts of the project. © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 28
  29. 29. Costs Time: How long will the project take? Resources: Who will be working on the project and creating the taxonomy? What is the cost of those resources? Software: Will software development/ purchase costs be included? Don’t forget to include integration costs if purchasing new taxonomy software. © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 29
  30. 30. Benefits Who benefits and how? Find information faster = Time savings = cost savings Reduced duplication of effort = greater efficiency = cost savings Get customers to content/products faster = increased revenue Quantify benefits for building the case. © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 30
  31. 31. Costs/Benefits: Action Steps Prepare a cost/benefit analysis to help make the case for your project. © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 31
  32. 32. Proof of Concept A demonstration or smaller scope project proving the benefits of your taxonomy project Consider completing a proof of concept project to help promote buy-in if your taxonomy project is large, expensive, or involves multiple resources © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 32
  33. 33. Proof of Concept Consider using a limited set of documents, those from a single department, or within a single general subject area Perform relevant user testing to establish benefits of using the taxonomy © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 33
  34. 34. Building the Case Costs/benefits Stakeholder needs Pain points © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 34
  35. 35. Getting Buy-In With proof of concept and cost/benefit information in hand, it should be easy to get executive buy-in for the taxonomy program. Schedule a meeting with the executive sponsor. Get their buy-in and let that individual set meetings with additional decision-makers. © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 35
  36. 36. Getting Buy-In Present the facts in a logical, concise manner. Help those unfamiliar with your project understand how it can benefit their department/division/unit. © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 36
  37. 37. Taxonomy Design Process © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 37
  38. 38. Taxonomy Design Process Operational requirements Processes Parallelism Project Management Communication © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 38
  39. 39. Processes Define in detail exactly what steps you will take in what order to create your taxonomy. See “Process Documentation” later Knowing what you will be doing when helps ensure there are no surprises along the way that cause delays in development © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 39
  40. 40. Parallelism Whenever possible, use multiple teams to work parts of the taxonomy development process in parallel, shortening overall development time. © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 40
  41. 41. Project Management If available, engage a project manager to move the process forward, making sure teams stay on track. This saves your time to focus on the taxonomy development. © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 41
  42. 42. Communication Because teams will be working in parallel and no one individual will have all of the knowledge gathered, good communication among the teams is important © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 42
  43. 43. Communication: Action Steps Establish weekly meetings at which all teams report on progress, identify possible barriers, and share findings and knowledge gained. © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 43
  44. 44. Taxonomy Design Process Understand stakeholder needs Understand users Comparative analysis Build/buy Validate/Modify © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 44
  45. 45. Taxonomy Design Process Implement Maintain © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 45
  46. 46. Understand Stakeholder Needs What content areas are of primary importance? (Helps identify scope, implementation phases) Are there new content/product areas planned? Current content/product areas that will no longer be supported? © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 46
  47. 47. Understand Stakeholder Needs What are their pain points? For taxonomy revisions: what do they like/ not like about the current taxonomy? What can you change? What can you not change? © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 47
  48. 48. Understand Users Are your users heterogeneous or homogenous? (Multiple audiences or single audience) What are the different audiences? How do their information needs differ? © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 48
  49. 49. Understand Users Explore mental models: how do users understand your information space? © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 49
  50. 50. © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 50
  51. 51. Understand Users Methods: user interviews, surveys, card sorting, task analysis (in person/remote) Reflecting users’ mental models in your taxonomy means users will find information or products faster © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 51
  52. 52. Understand Users If you have multiple audiences, be sure users you interview or test represent those different audiences Challenge: identifying and scheduling users. Consider using a recruiting company with experience in your field. © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 52
  53. 53. Comparative Analysis What do other similar organizations/ competitors use for their taxonomies? Check publicly available websites, trade/professional associations What are the commonalities? What do you like about the taxonomies? What do you not like? © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 53
  54. 54. Build/Buy Do you build your own taxonomy or buy/license an existing one? Are there any existing taxonomies that would serve you needs with little or only minor modifications? For example the taxonomy the covers most of your content except for one top-level subject category. Buy that, build the missing piece. © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 54
  55. 55. Build/Buy Or, the taxonomy covers most of your subject areas, but you need a deeper vocabulary in a specific area. Again, you can modify the original to meet your needs. © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 55
  56. 56. Build/Buy Other considerations: What is the cost to buy/license? One-time fee? Annual updates? Subscription basis? © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 56
  57. 57. Build/Buy Sources Taxonomywarehouse.com Thesauri on-line (http://www.fbi.fh- koeln.de/institut/labor/Bir/thesauri_new/thesen.htm#AG) Thesauri A-Z (http://hilt.cdlr.strath.ac.uk/hilt2web/Sources/thesauri.html) Willpower Information (http://www.willpowerinfo.co.uk/thesbibl.htm#taxonomies © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 57
  58. 58. Build/Buy Does your organization have the internal expertise/resources available to create your own taxonomy? Will you need to engage a taxonomy consultant? © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 58
  59. 59. Create/Buy the Taxonomy See Jean Aitchison, Thesaurus Construction and Use: A Practical Manual © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 59
  60. 60. Create/Buy the Taxonomy Be sure your taxonomy meets relevant standards, e.g., Dublin Core. Dublin Core Metadata Element Set (dublincore3.org/documents/dces/) Are there other metadata standards for your organization that you need to meet? © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 60
  61. 61. Validate/Modify With you taxonomy in place, validate it with the appropriate stakeholders and modify as appropriate based on their input. Test with content creators: can they appropriately tag content? Test with users: can they browse to relevant content or products based on the taxonomy © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 61
  62. 62. Implement The complete, revised taxonomy is now implemented in the various systems in which it will be used. You have consulted with IT about their format needs, right? So you know if they can handle and Excel file or need XML. © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 62
  63. 63. Maintain No taxonomy is every “complete” or “final.” There will always be a need to change or update the vocabulary. Establish triggers for taxonomy review: Mergers Acquisitions Change in mission New audiences © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 63
  64. 64. Maintain Be sure you have a maintenance process in place. Who can suggest new terms? How do they do that? Who has the authority to modify the vocabulary? How are stakeholders notified of changes? © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 64
  65. 65. Change Management © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 65
  66. 66. Change Management What processes and workflows will the new taxonomy affect and how will they be affected? Who are all of the individuals impacted by the changes? © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 66
  67. 67. Change Management Communicate early and often to constituents (internal and external) Project updates What changes are coming When the changes will happen What will it mean for them © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 67
  68. 68. Change Management Provide training in new processes/ workflows/methodologies In-person or online workshops Asynchronous training materials (podcasts) Training documentation © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 68
  69. 69. Project Documentation © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 69
  70. 70. Project Documentation Creating and following two documents ensures that your project can be completed in the shortest amount of time: Process flow (what happens in what order) Work plan (who does what when) © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 70
  71. 71. Project Documentation Possible optional documentation: RACI chart © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 71
  72. 72. Process Flow Linear, sequential list of all tasks in the project May include time period/dates Names of individuals responsible for task Importance (H, M, L) © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 72
  73. 73. Process Flow Taxonomy Development Process Individual Start Item Responsible Duration Date H, M, L Notes 1. Identify potential sponsors           1.1. Contact potential sponsors and  discuss project   2 days       1.2. Review discussions and identify  project sponsor   1 day       2. Identify project owner   1 day       3. Establish project scope (meet  with sponsor/owner)   1 hr       4. Identify stakeholders   2 days       5. Identify project team   3 days       5.1. Hold project kickoff meeting   2 hrs       5.2. Establish roles/responsibilities   1 hr       6. Interview stakeholders           6.1. Create questionnaire   8 hrs       6.2. Schedule interviews   2 hrs       6.3. Perform interviews   10 hrs       6.4. Analyze interviews   10 hrs       © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 73
  74. 74. Work Plan: Swim Lane Document Graphical display of: What teams/individuals are involved What tasks each performs Order of tasks Dependencies/timing (same tasks as process flow) © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 74
  75. 75. Work Plan: Swim Lane Document Taxonomy Process © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 75
  76. 76. RACI Chart Responsible for completing that step in the process Accountable for ensuring step is completed/decision authority Consulted prior to completion of step Informed of results once step is completed © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 76
  77. 77. RACI Chart © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 77
  78. 78. Resources © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 78
  79. 79. Resources Dublin Core Metadata Element Set dublincore3.org/documents/dces/ Organising Knowledge: Taxonomies, Knowledge and Organisational Effectiveness, Patrick Lambe (organizingknowledge.com) © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 79
  80. 80. Resources Metadata for Still Images http://www.niso.org/apps/group_public/projec t/details.php?project_id=69 (ANSI/NISO standards for digital still images) © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 80
  81. 81. Resources Spencer, Donna, Card Sorting, Rosenfeld Media, 2009 Taxonomies and Other Resources www.taxonomywarehouse.com (owned by Dow Jones) © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 81
  82. 82. Resources Taxonomy Software www.willpowerinfo.co.uk/thessoft.htm (list of thesaurus software) Thesaurus Standards http://www.niso.org/apps/group_public/projec t/details.php?project_id=46 (ANSI/NISO guidelines for monolingual thesauri) © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 82
  83. 83. Resources Young, Indi, Mental Models: Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behavior, Rosenfeld Media, 2008 © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 83
  84. 84. Resources Wax, Dustin “50 Tricks to Get Things Done Faster, Better, and More Easily.” Available at: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/5 0-tricks-to-get-things-done-faster-better- and-more-easily.html © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 84
  85. 85. Contact Information Fred Leise www.contextualanalysis.com fredleise@contextualanalysis.com 773.764.2588 @ChicagoIndexer © 2012 by ContextualAnalysis 85

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