Friday, December 17, 2010

An Approach to Classification Change

Ease Change to Assure Adoption
Approach using the new classification on the homepage of the portal or ECM system an option rather than a mandate, that is, provide the old homepage in parallel with the new look and let the Users decide which is better. Users will either adopt it or not. Either way you’ve reduce the risks of a wholesale change. Chances are good that the new classification will be faster and more amenable to the way User’s think about the company’s information.

Align Classification Schemes and Labels
Research all of the classification schemes in your company and attempt to conform them to a matrix where comparisons can be made. Look at common values. Look at classification labels which repeat themselves. Weigh the priority of following the lead of initiatives that have momentum, for example, if SharePoint is being adopted as a platform, look at how the tabs are labeled and try to conform to those. The goal is to work together for a common label structure for many reasons beyond the portal or ECM system. The goal is to create a reference for integration of search, records management, security, etc. This is one way to slowly achieve continuity of classification.

Mapped Metadata to Metadata Repository
In large organizations there are many reports, spreadsheets, databases, websites, etc., which proliferate different ways of describing content and information. These cause confusion and turf wars among groups responsible for applications. The integration groups are caught in-between trying to map one value to another in attempts to patch and process content flows. Mapping metadata is a stop gap approach, but does not deal with the larger issues of working toward a central metadata repository.

Taking the Long-Term Approach
  • Design and develop an enterprise metadata and classification model based on industry standards and integration requirements.
  • Pick the project that has the most traction and momentum and make sure they are classifying and describing their data according to the enterprise model.
  • Work in the adoption and changes to other applications as the latest "killer app" is maturing.
  • Integrate all applications at the metadata and classification levels, assuring bi-directional change interfaces.


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