Functional classification for business - why and how-to

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A presentation detailing why business should use a functional classification to store documents, and a few tips about how to make it successful.

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Functional classification for business - why and how-to

  1. 1. Functional Classification Business Classification Schemes Why and How-to
  2. 2. Human beings classify, it is how our brains work taxonomies folksonomies ontologies biological classification Dewey decimal system
  3. 3. As long as we know the rules of classification it is easy to achieve  But who makes the rules?  And what rules work best for business?  Let’s consider something simple first…
  4. 4. yellow banana food fruit nutrition Which characteristic should we use?
  5. 5. What’s the rule?
  6. 6. alphabetical
  7. 7. but is it a “banana” or “Musa acuminata”
  8. 8. What’s the rule?
  9. 9. colour
  10. 10. but what happens when it isn’t that simple?
  11. 11. What’s the rule?
  12. 12. function
  13. 13. food fruit vegetables dairy meat sugar
  14. 14. Functions can still be ambiguous, but in business they have many benefits over…
  15. 15.  XYZ Company  Corporate Services Directorate  Director  Operational Services Directorate  AB Unit  BC Unit  #Services Manager  Customer Support  Mary’s stuff  Help desk procedures  Minute to Services Manager  Operational Strategy Directorate The dreaded organisational structure
  16. 16. Organisational structure issues  Restructures or re-named position/section  Work that crosses organisational groups  Relies on staff to know who did the work
  17. 17. A functional structure resolves these issues  The functions of the business stay the same  Everything for one activity is in one place  Organisations can share and find content
  18. 18.  Function  Activity  Activity  Sub-activity  Sub-activity  Grouping  Grouping  Document title  Document title For example:  Human Resources  Performance Management  Recruitment  Expressions of Interest  External advertisements  July 2010  August 2010  PN012345 – Business Analyst  PN045342 – Admin Assistant What does this look like?
  19. 19. The only problem with functional classification  Helping the organisation understand the rules
  20. 20. But let’s go back a step to the documents
  21. 21. Memo To: Director,XYZ Company From: Manager, Information & Records Date: 12 September 2010 Subject: Proposal for RIM Improvement Program Background Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah type addressee author date subject Like the banana, which characteristics do we use?
  22. 22. Characteristics provide content and context  Some go in the folder structure for context  The document title explains the content  Together they inform the document
  23. 23. Our example Memo To: Director, XYZ Agency From: Manager, Information and Records Date: 12 September 2010 Subject: Proposal for RIM Improvement Program  Information Management (function)  Policy  Projects (activity)  RIM Improvement Program (sub-activity)  Business Case  Project Initiation (grouping)  20100912_RIM Proposal to Director_v1_approved  Proposed schedule for RIM program_DRAFT
  24. 24. Training is the answer  A simple explanation of the structure  Detailed examples specific to each area of the business
  25. 25. We have to stop assuming people will be able to work out the classification rules  Document that defines top two layers  Read me file in top two layers of folders
  26. 26. And one last time… Please train your staff, they aren’t psychic and if they don’t know your rules they will make up their own!

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