Developing a Taxonomy

As part of the information management group, you were assigned to develop a taxonomy for your organization. You will start wondering how to start and what is your base. As per written in my last article (What is Taxonomy?), most of people will start with the organizational structure, which is not wrong. At the same time few other aspects need to consider. Will your taxonomy support growth? Can your taxonomy be generalize and be replicate to other departments? How to manage focus group taxonomy? And most important will your taxonomy manageable and can be govern?

Looking from above questions there are few ways to do it. Let look it one by one.

1. Organizational Structure Taxonomy
Using this approach is achievable when you are residing in a small organization. Each department having focus group. There are no overlapping functions. Enough said you and your colleague only do what you are supposed to do.

Organization Chart Taxonomy

2. Generic Taxonomy
Living in a big organization, there are often similar functions between departments. These departments will have their own admin staff, procurement, and so on. Their processes and activities were the same and govern from central unit. Thus, when developing the toxonomy all information from these groups need to capture and analyze. The output will be a generic template that can be apply to across departments.

Generic Taxonomy

3. Inherited Taxonomy
This taxonomy is an expansion of the above Generic Taxonomy. Let say there are a parent class named ”Administrative” developed for admin’s function. Then there is a need to expand this class for “Engineering Administrative” needs. What can be done is to inherit the main class to the new class with the parent class still governing the main class information.

Inherited Taxonomy

4. Specific Focus Group Taxonomy
There are certain functions that are niche in a department. There are
little possibility for it to be have in other department. Thus for this class it can stands by it’s own without depending with other classes.

Specific Taxonomy

Above methods were not the ultimate approach for developing a taxonomy. Situational analysis is vital before deciding which approach that should be taken. It will be wasted if it is too methodological by leaving business needs behind.

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