Information Architecture for SharePoint

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Earley & Associates, Inc. | Classification: PUBLIC USE

Copyright ©
2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Information Architecture for
SharePoint
:
What You Need to
Know

January 24
th
, 2012

Seth Earley, CEO, Earley & Associates

2



Copyright ©
2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Co
-
author of Practical Knowledge Management from IBM Press


17
years experience building content and knowledge

management systems, 20+ years experience in technology


Former Co
-
Chair, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,


Science
and Technology Council Metadata Project Committee


Founder of the Boston Knowledge Management Forum


Former adjunct professor at Northeastern
University


Editor Information Professional Magazine from the IEEE


Guest speaker for US Strategic Command briefing on knowledge networks


Currently working with enterprises to develop knowledge and digital asset
management systems, taxonomy and metadata governance strategies


Founder of Taxonomy Community of Practice


host monthly conference
calls of case studies on taxonomy derivation and application.
http://
finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/TaxoCoP 100
+ calls since 2005


Co
-
founder Search Community of Practice:


http://
tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/SearchCoP


Seth Earley, Founder & CEO, Earley & Associates

3



Copyright ©
2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Knowledge processes and the content lifecycle


Developing
a user
-
centric information
architecture


Defining business
-
critical
content
types


Using metadata
to optimize
search



Appendix: Term
-
management
governance
processes for SharePoint


Agenda

4



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2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Application Construct

Less Structure

More Structure

Nature of Process

Chaotic Processes

Controlled

Processes

Knowledge
Management

Knowledge Creation

Knowledge Reuse

Purpose/Application

Problem Solving/Collaboration

Accessing Information/Answering

Questions

SharePoint Span

of
Control

My Sites

Enterprise

Publishing

Class of Tool

Collaboration/Communication

Workflow/Document Management

The Content Continuum

Information
Construct

Unfiltered

Filtered

Cost

Lower

Cost

Higher Cost

Value

Lower Value

Higher Value

Editing/Vetting

Informal

Formal

Value

Lower

Higher

Tagging


Folksonomy

Taxonomy

Ease of Access

Low

High

Type of Content

News/Messaging/Interim Deliverables

Best Practices/Approved

Methods/Reference Materials

5



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LESS STRUCTURE

MORE STRUCTURE

Chaotic Processes

Controlled Processes

Problem solving

Collaboration

Accessing information

Answering questions

Knowledge Creation

Knowledge Reuse

E
NTERPRISE

K
NOWLEDGE

M
ANAGEMENT

Spans Structured and Unstructured Processes

CLASS of TOOL

Blogs

Records
Management

Document
Management

Process
Management

Wikis

Collaborative
Spaces

Instant
Messaging

Email
Management

Web Content
Management

Learning
Management

Digital Asset
Management

My Sites

Centralized
Publishing

The Content Continuum

SharePoint Span of Control

6



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2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Unfiltered

Reviewed/Vetted/Approved

Lower Value

Higher Value

Lower Cost

Higher Cost

R
ELATIVE

V
ALUE

OF

C
ONTENT

Not all content is of equal value

TYPE OF CONTENT

(More difficult to access)

(Easier to access)

Formal Tagging/Organizing Processes

Message
text

External News

Example
deliverables

Discussion
postings

Interim
deliverables

Content
Repositories

Success
Stories

Benchmarks

Approved
Methods

Best Practices

Social tagging
(“folksonomy”)

Structured tagging
(taxonomy)

The Content Continuum



Earley & Associates, Inc. | Classification: PUBLIC USE

Copyright ©
2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

User Centric Information
Architecture Design

8



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2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Information Architecture Design Process

Content

Analysis

Audience

Analysis

Requirements

Definition


Requirements

& Analysis

Findings

RESEARCH

& DISCOVER

Content Types

& Site Column

Design

Term Store

& Taxonomy

Development

Site Maps

& Wireframe

Design

Use Cases,

Workflow &

Authoring

Solution

Design

Documents

DESIGN

& DEVELOP

Taxonomy

User

Interface

Tagging

Processes

Auto

Categorization

Test Plan

& Execution

TEST

& VALIDATE

Governance

Strategy

& Guidelines

Socialization

Communication

& Adoption

Migration

Strategy

& Approach

Metrics

Development

Governance /

Maintenance

Processes

MAINTAIN

& ENHANCE

Current State

Assessment

Future

State Vision

Gap

Analysis

Heuristic

Evaluation


Strategy,

Roadmap &

Recommendations

STRATEGY

& VISIONN

Task

Analysis

9



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2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The IA Design Process


This is a conceptual representation of the IA approach roughly broken into five
work streams:

-
Strategy and Vision

-
Research and Discovery

-
Design and Development

-
Testing and Validation

-
Maintenance and Enhancement



These are not necessarily discrete sets of activities, there is overlap



Each document icon (last column) represents a deliverable which summarizes
activities in that work stream. These may be combined into a single document.



Chevrons represent tasks and activities. Not all need to be addressed or they
may be addressed as parts of other tasks.



Steps are not necessarily sequential. For example, Governance and
Socialization happen at all levels



Some deliverables are required as inputs for other processes. For example,
Use Cases and User Scenarios are required for testing

10



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2012 Earley
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Translating Concepts into Design Elements


Challenge lies in going from an abstraction to something concrete.



Many organizations are trying to “make the information easier to use” which
is a broad ambiguous abstraction



Need to answer:

-
What information?

-
For whom?

-
Accomplishing what task?

-
With what information?



Many information management projects fail because they are too broad,
scope is ambiguous, and outcome is not measurable.



SharePoint IA needs to start with a focus on problems and processes



May be broadened from this starting point, but cannot solve ambiguous
problems

11



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2012 Earley
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Problems => Solutions


Problems are identified through interviews, surveys, working sessions



In each forum, we are making observations about the current state: how people
accomplish tasks, bottlenecks in processes, problems with information access and
findability, challenges around inaccurate and incomplete information



Need to translate observations about the information environment into a vision of how
those issues can be resolved.



User centric IA requires that we understand the mental model of the user: the tasks
they need to execute and how they go about accomplishing their work



Steps to the process:

-
Observe and gather data points

-
Summarize into themes

-
Translate themes into conceptual solutions

-
Develop scenarios that comprise solutions

-
Identify audiences who are impacted by scenarios

-
Articulate tasks that audiences execute in scenarios

-
Build detailed use cases around tasks and audiences

-
Identify content needed by audiences in specific use cases

-
Develop organizing principles for content


12



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2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

From Problems to Solution


Steps to the Process

Process Ste
p

Answer the following

Example

Observe and gather data
(pain) points

What are the specific problems
and challenges that users are
identifying?


We can’t locate information about

policies for specialty coverage


We need to look in multiple systems to find prior experience
data when underwriting new policies in high risk areas


Different terminology is used in different systems making
queries difficult

Summarize into themes

What

are the
common elements
to observations, how

can
symptoms and pains be
classified
according to overarching themes?

Inability to locate policy

and underwriting information using
common terminology

Translate themes into
conceptual solutions

Wouldn’t it be great if

we
could…?


We could

access all policy and prior experience data across
multiple systems using a single search query and return consistent
results?

Develop scenarios that
comprise solutions

What would a day in the life o a
user look like if this solution were
in place?

At

a high level, d
escribe

how underwriters go about their work in
writing policies for specialty and high risk clients. Describe each
potential
situation and how they would go about their

work

Identify audiences who are
impacted by scenarios

Who are the users that

are
impacted?

Risk managers, underwriters, sales personnel

Articulate tasks that
audiences execute in
scenarios

What are the
tasks that need to
be executed in each scenario?

For a given scenario, articulate

tasks (research options, review loss
history, locate supporting research, etc.)

Build detailed use cases
around tasks and audiences

What are the specific steps to
accomplish

tasks?

For a single

task, list the steps to execute (this level of detail is not
needed in all cases). Step 1


log on to claim system Step 2


search for history on the coverage type in geography, Step 3


etc.

Identify content needed by
audiences in specific use
cases

What content

and information
is
needed at each

step in the
process?

Claims

data, policy information, underwriting standards, actuarial
tables, fraud reports, etc.

Develop organizing principles
for content

Arrange the things they need
according to process, task or
other organizing principle

Begin with “is
-
ness”. What is the nature of the information? Then
determine

“about
-
ness”, the additional characteristics of the
information. How would you tell 100 documents of that type apart?


13



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Start with content


Develop the taxonomy


Create metadata fields


Assemble into content types


Align personas with use cases


Create site map based on use cases


Develop wireframes from site maps


Create document libraries and navigation based on site maps and wireframes

Content
Audit

Taxonomy

Metadata

Content
Types

Personas/
Use
Cases

Site Maps

Wireframes

Document
Libraries

Task based view of SharePoint IA
Development



Earley & Associates, Inc. | Classification: PUBLIC USE

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2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Defining Business Critical
Content Types

15



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2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Content Type Definition


Content type definition follows from content analysis and detailed use
cases



Need to understand the nature of the information consumed by users



What is the “is
-
ness” and “about
-
ness” that describes content?



Content types are the single most important IA construct in SharePoint. All
other organizing principles are leveraged through content types.

16



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2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Content Types In SharePoint 2010


A Content Type is an information management construct that
defines a common set of attributes used to consistently manage
content that has the same or similar properties. Includes things like:

-
Metadata Schemas/Attributes

-
Information Management Policies

-
Standardized Templates

-
Workflow Settings



Provide a consistent approach to content management and
establish the foundation for navigability and findability.



Do not create content types at an overly granular level. Create
content types that require differentiation according structure,
workflow process, lifecycle or template


17



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2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Base content models on core content types


Build structures for extending content types by considering access and lifecycle


Developing Content Types

18



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2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Create different content types when you can distinguish between content
based on structure, audience, process, lifecycle


Determine
elements that require controlled
vocabulary


Create metadata schemas to ensure consistency across sites and collections

Developing Content Types



Earley & Associates, Inc. | Classification: PUBLIC USE

Copyright ©
2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Optimizing Search with
Metadata

20



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2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Taxonomy and Metadata for Search


Need to base metadata on access scenarios driven by use cases


Consider metadata specific to content models


Knowledgebase Article metadata will be different than Policy
metadata


each can be leveraged in search scopes


Facets will vary depending on content object structure.

21



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2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Improve findability by leveraging consistently tagged metadata surfaced
via facets in a variety of ways…


Leveraging Taxonomy and Metadata to Drive Search

Faceted

Search Design


22



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2012 Earley
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Display of facets defined as part of the taxonomy for a specific content
type (Forms)

Leveraging Taxonomy and Metadata with Search Scopes

Faceted Search
restricted to

Content Type = Form


23



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2012 Earley
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Display of topics defined as part of the taxonomy that execute scoped
search when


Leveraging Taxonomy as Stored Search Queries

A
-
Z Index

Term Set = Topic


Topic = Cost of Work

24



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2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Content lies along a continuum of structure and value.


Effective content management takes into consideration value of
content in the context of business processes


Information architecture needs to focus on specific user needs and
processes


Content types are core constructs for managing the information life
cycle


Search precision and recall is improved by leveraging content
metadata

Summary



Earley & Associates, Inc. | Classification: PUBLIC USE

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2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Wrap up and Questions

26



Copyright ©
2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Founded
-

1994


Headquarters
-

Boston, MA


What we do


Design and deliver content management and search solutions for
companies and their customers


Our core team


35 information and system architects, library scientists, process
improvement consultants, project managers and other information management
specialists


Our
unique offering


Content Choreography™



Retail

High Tech & Manufacturing

Pharmaceuticals & Life Sciences

Financial Services & Insurance

Media & Entertainment

Our clients include


Global 2000, major non
-
profits and government
entities

Earley & Associates Overview

27



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2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

clients

Partial Client List

28



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2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Communities of Practice


SharePoint IA Group:
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/SharePointIACoP/



Taxonomy Group:
http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/TaxoCoP


Search Group:
http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/SearchCoP


Upcoming Webinar Events



February 1, 2012


Business Value of Taxonomy


More to come soon…



Events and Communities

29



Copyright ©
2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Training Opportunities

City

Dates

Early Reg.
Discount before

Houston, TX

January 25
-
27, 2012

January 11, 2012

Arlington, VA

February

8
-
10, 2012

January 18, 2012

Chicago,

IL

March 14
-
16, 2012

February

22, 2012

Anaheim,

CA

April 11
-
13, 2012

March 21, 2012

SharePoint Information Architecture (3 days) $1995 ($1795, early reg)

AIIM IOA Master Certificate Course (4 days) $2995

City

Dates

Stamford, CT

February 28
-
March

2, 2012

Boston, MA

March 27
-
30, 2012

30



Copyright ©
2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


The Information Architecture Process

-
User Research & Requirements Gathering

-
Audience and Process Analysis

-
Roles, Responsibilities, Use cases, Personas and scenario development

-
Content Modeling and Content Type Definitions

-
Metadata Schemas and Taxonomy Development

-
Search Integration


Term Store Management

-
Creating and Managing Groups


Creating and Managing Content Types

-
Properties (Site Columns, Workflow, IM Policies)

-
Overview of Content Hubs

-
Adding Content Types to Document Libraries


Creating Metadata for Content Enrichment

-
Core Metadata Schemas

-
Leveraging Managed Metadata and the Term Store


Governance

-
Governance planning

-
Operational zing governance using platform capability


SharePoint Information Architecture 3 Day Hands
-
on Course

31



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2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


What you will learn

-
Enterprise search

-
Content inventory and classification

-
Categorization and clustering

-
Fact and entity extraction

-
Taxonomy creation and management

-
Information presentation

-
Information governance



Who should attend?

-
Anyone with a stake in the success of
your organization’s IOA initiatives



Certificate options

-
Practitioner (days 1&2)

-
Practitioner + Specialist (days 3&4) =
Master


Information Organization and Access (IOA)


4 days

32



Copyright ©
2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Contact

Seth Earley

CEO

Earley & Associates


Phone:
781
-
820
-
8080

Email:
seth@earley.com


Follow me on twitter: sethearley

Connect with me on


LinkedIn:
www.linkedin.com/in/sethearley










Earley & Associates, Inc. | Classification: PUBLIC USE

Copyright ©
2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Appendix: Architecting Effective
Governance Processes

34



Copyright ©
2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Short term:


Select owner for the overall taxonomy


Continue collecting feedback on taxonomy, funnelled through
owner


Identify one representative per product area to own segments of
taxonomy (per branch, or section of a branch)

-
E.g. who will own doc types?


Taxonomy will continue to evolve over time, but aim for a solid
baseline to use in initial launch


Governance considerations

35



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2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Medium term:


Create a taxonomy governance team

-
Determine roles & responsibilities

-
Identify executive sponsorship

-
Identify members

-
Develop initial documentation


charter, guidelines

-
Determine group operation (meeting frequency, etc.)



Develop policies for taxonomy maintenance

-
Determine level of control desired

-
Develop standard operating procedures
for changes, etc.


Governance considerations

36



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2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Publish &

classify

Test &

assess

Create &

modify

People

&

Tools

Taxonomy maintenance cycle

37



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2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Standards process


change control

-
Taxonomy is ever evolving, but evolution has to be
predictable/controllable

User suggestions, requirements (e.g. product launch)

Changes in business (e.g. acquisitions)

Changes in vocabulary, error

Standards (ISO, NAICS, etc.)

-
Formal review process important for quality assurance, consistency

-
Evaluating costs & benefits of change

Impact on existing systems, retagging, retraining, etc.



Multi
-
disciplinary

-
Terminology decisions

-
Technology decisions

-
Promotion & oversight

Taxonomy governance


38



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2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Centralized or decentralized?

-
Centralized


dedicated team to oversee all changes, policies, etc.

-
Decentralized


each business unit governs own portion


Best of both worlds:

-
Editorial board to provide leadership, manage overall taxonomy and
resolve issues

-
Local groups manage their own local term sets (translations)


Consistency with flexibility

Standardized interoperability


Governance model


39



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2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Requires participation from a multi
-
disciplinary team

-
Business areas, Skill sets and Functional areas



Roles & Responsibilities

Executive Sponsor


Overall project owner and
advocate

Site Owners


Responsible for guiding use
of taxonomy on site


System Owners


IT representatives guiding
implementation of
taxonomy

Taxonomist


Responsible for guiding use
of taxonomy on site


Information Architect


Wire frames, site map, user
experience


Vocabulary Owners


Responsible for specific
taxonomy branches


SMEs


Stakeholders providing
input on vocabulary


40



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2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Start with champions

-
Involve people who are directly affected by taxonomy issues



Decide on level, locus of control

-
Do offer oversight but don’t be a bottleneck



Assign accountability

-
Overall taxonomy & individual branches



Integrate with existing work processes



Identify your organization’s velocity

Best practices / tips for success

41



Copyright ©
2012 Earley
& Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Measure
-
and
-
Improve Mindset

-
Query logs and click trails are prime example


Integrated handling of Taxonomy, Metadata, UI, and Search

-
To be most effective, these must work together

-
Governance structure must help that happen


Recommendations &
Best
Practices



42

Copyright © 2011 Earley & Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Thank you