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RE: [TaxoCoP] Taxonomy Executive Summary for Executives / Senior Managers

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  • Sharon L. Foley
    I was about to cobble together a three or four slide executive summary explaining taxonomies and the associated value proposition. It occurred to me why
    Message 1 of 15 , Jan 31, 2012
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      I was about to cobble together a three or four slide executive summary explaining taxonomies and the associated value proposition. It occurred to me why reinvent the wheel? Someone may know of a good resource or be willing to share such work they may have done (with attribution if used).

      So my question ...

      Anyone know of a good executive level summary of what taxonomies are and what they offer that they are willing to share with me / the group?

      Hi,

      Earley & Associates is doing a webinar, Wed (Feb 1) at 1PM Eastern, on the Business Value of Taxonomy which could be of interest.  Free with registration:

      http://www.earley.com/webinars/business-value-taxonomy-feb-2012

      Best wishes,

      Sharon

    • Mary Garcia
      David, Margie Hlava s Taxomony Bootcamp presentation is available at http://www.accessinn.com/library/presentation.html along with others, including slides for
      Message 2 of 15 , Feb 1, 2012
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        David,
        Margie Hlava's Taxomony Bootcamp presentation is available at
        http://www.accessinn.com/library/presentation.html
        along with others, including slides for a presentation by Jay ven Eman
        "Presenting a Business Case for Taxonomies". You may find these helpful.
        Mary

        --
        Mary Garcia
        Data Harmony Support
        support@...
        1-800-926-8328
        Access Innovations, Inc.
        www.accessinn.com
      • John O'Gorman
        I was looking for information related to David s request and came away from the presentations listed on Mary s link (below) with a few questions. I could start
        Message 3 of 15 , Feb 1, 2012
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          I was looking for information related to David's request and came away from the presentations listed on Mary's link (below) with a few questions. I could start another thread but allow me to begin the questions here:
           
          1. The presentations I looked at inferred that a controlled vocabulary is a requisite part of a taxonomy...is that true?
          2. Is it possible to have more than one 'Enterprise' taxonomy?
          3. If you have multiple taxonomies coming out of a single controlled vocabulary, how does that affect search?
          4. On the flipside of question #1, can you have multiple controlled vocabularies contributing to a single taxonomy?
           
          I found the connection between taxonomies and 'search' kind of confusing. I can see using a taxonomy for navigation and a controlled vocabulary for limiting search results, but a taxonomy by itself (unless the answer to question # 1 is always "Yes") seems a stretch.
           
          Thanks.
           
          John O'
           
           
          -----Original Message-----
          From: Mary Garcia [mailto:mary_garcia@...]
          Sent: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 07:29 AM
          To: TaxoCoP@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [TaxoCoP] Re: Taxonomy Executive Summary for Executives / Senior Managers

           

          David,
          Margie Hlava's Taxomony Bootcamp presentation is available at
          http://www.accessinn.com/library/presentation.html
          along with others, including slides for a presentation by Jay ven Eman
          "Presenting a Business Case for Taxonomies". You may find these helpful.
          Mary

          --
          Mary Garcia
          Data Harmony Support
          mailto:support%40dataharmony.com
          1-800-926-8328
          Access Innovations, Inc.
          www.accessinn.com

        • Gary Carlson
          This might merit a new thread, but here is my take on your questions. Independent of the definitions of both Enterprise and Taxonomy I rarely work on
          Message 4 of 15 , Feb 1, 2012
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            This might merit a new thread, but here is my take on your questions.

            Independent of the definitions of both "Enterprise" and "Taxonomy" I rarely work on projects that are limited to one taxonomy (or thesaurus, controlled vocabulary, ontology, etc).  Due to conceptual domains, governance requirements, system integration requirements, or politics it is quite common for organizations to require multiples of these semantic structures.  From what I have seen, once you have a project that spans multiple business units, backend systems, or use cases, the project requirements will call for more than one semantic structure

            Whether a controlled vocabulary is contributing to a single taxonomy or a taxonomy is contributing to controlled vocabulary really is going to depend on the business needs and the technical realities of the situation.  There is no reason that one well formed structure of terms and relationships can't be used for multiple purposes.  Suppose you had a rich thesaurus with preferred terms, synonyms, and associative relationships.  There is no reason that the preferred terms could not be "exported" to drive navigation on a portal while the set of terms and their synonyms were also exported as synonym rings to a search engine.  Thus the one structure could very well support multiple use cases.  Whether this structure is a taxonomy made of of controlled vocabularies or not is really a matter of definition.  The most important thing is that it support the business goals of the project or organization.



            On Feb 1, 2012, at 9:08 AM, John O'Gorman wrote:

             

            I was looking for information related to David's request and came away from the presentations listed on Mary's link (below) with a few questions. I could start another thread but allow me to begin the questions here:
             
            1. The presentations I looked at inferred that a controlled vocabulary is a requisite part of a taxonomy...is that true?
            2. Is it possible to have more than one 'Enterprise' taxonomy?
            3. If you have multiple taxonomies coming out of a single controlled vocabulary, how does that affect search?
            4. On the flipside of question #1, can you have multiple controlled vocabularies contributing to a single taxonomy?
             
            I found the connection between taxonomies and 'search' kind of confusing. I can see using a taxonomy for navigation and a controlled vocabulary for limiting search results, but a taxonomy by itself (unless the answer to question # 1 is always "Yes") seems a stretch.
             
            Thanks.
             
            John O'
             
             
            -----Original Message-----
            From: Mary Garcia [mailto:mary_garcia@...]
            Sent: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 07:29 AM
            To: TaxoCoP@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [TaxoCoP] Re: Taxonomy Executive Summary for Executives / Senior Managers

             

            David,
            Margie Hlava's Taxomony Bootcamp presentation is available at
            http://www.accessinn.com/library/presentation.html
            along with others, including slides for a presentation by Jay ven Eman
            "Presenting a Business Case for Taxonomies". You may find these helpful.
            Mary

            --
            Mary Garcia
            Data Harmony Support
            mailto:support%40dataharmony.com
            1-800-926-8328
            Access Innovations, Inc.
            www.accessinn.com



          • Bob DuCharme
            ... a requisite part of a taxonomy...is that true? I consider a controlled vocabulary to be just a set of terms that you have to pick from. Yes and No is a
            Message 5 of 15 , Feb 1, 2012
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              I'll take a crack at these:

              >1. The presentations I looked at inferred that a controlled vocabulary is a requisite part of a taxonomy...is that true?

              I consider a controlled vocabulary to be just a set of terms that you have to pick from. "Yes" and "No" is a controlled vocabulary, and so is the set of U.S. state abbrevation codes, and so is "Cat, Dog, Mammal, Collie, Manx." A taxonomy is a controlled vocabulary with extra metadata, especially about relationships between the terms: Mammal is a broader term for both Cat and Dog, Dog is a broader term for Collie, etc.. A taxonomy is often displayed as a tree showing the "broader than" relationships. 

              >2. Is it possible to have more than one 'Enterprise' taxonomy?

              Taxonomies can serve several purposes, so a given enterprise can easily have more than one. 

              >3. If you have multiple taxonomies coming out of a single controlled vocabulary, how does that affect search?

              I think that's a question for whoever designed the search engine in question. 

              >4. On the flipside of question #1, can you have multiple controlled vocabularies contributing to a single taxonomy?

              Sure: I can have an animal vocabulary and a plant vocabulary that contribute to a combined taxonomy. A good taxonomy tool will let you configure something that looks like a single taxonomy to certain users but behind the scenes (out of those users' view, at least) is actually a combination of several, separately mantained taxonomies that may have extra metadata added as part of the combined view. 

              Bob DuCharme
              TopQuadrant

              On Wed, Feb 1, 2012 at 12:08 PM, John O'Gorman <jogorman@...> wrote:
               

              I was looking for information related to David's request and came away from the presentations listed on Mary's link (below) with a few questions. I could start another thread but allow me to begin the questions here:
               
              1. The presentations I looked at inferred that a controlled vocabulary is a requisite part of a taxonomy...is that true?
              2. Is it possible to have more than one 'Enterprise' taxonomy?
              3. If you have multiple taxonomies coming out of a single controlled vocabulary, how does that affect search?
              4. On the flipside of question #1, can you have multiple controlled vocabularies contributing to a single taxonomy?
               
              I found the connection between taxonomies and 'search' kind of confusing. I can see using a taxonomy for navigation and a controlled vocabulary for limiting search results, but a taxonomy by itself (unless the answer to question # 1 is always "Yes") seems a stretch.
               
              Thanks.
               
              John O'
               
               
              -----Original Message-----
              From: Mary Garcia [mailto:mary_garcia@...]
              Sent: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 07:29 AM
              To: TaxoCoP@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [TaxoCoP] Re: Taxonomy Executive Summary for Executives / Senior Managers

               

              David,
              Margie Hlava's Taxomony Bootcamp presentation is available at
              http://www.accessinn.com/library/presentation.html
              along with others, including slides for a presentation by Jay ven Eman
              "Presenting a Business Case for Taxonomies". You may find these helpful.
              Mary

              --
              Mary Garcia
              Data Harmony Support
              mailto:support%40dataharmony.com
              1-800-926-8328
              Access Innovations, Inc.
              www.accessinn.com


            • Heather Hedden
              Hi all, Good comments, Bob. I ve given a number of taxonomy presentations. I don t have one with the purposes/business cases available online, but I do have
              Message 6 of 15 , Feb 1, 2012
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                Hi all,

                Good comments, Bob.

                I've given a number of taxonomy presentations. I don't have one with the purposes/business cases available online, but I do have one available that gets into the definitions of taxonomy, controlled vocabulary, and enterprise taxonomy in great detail:

                "An Introduction to Enterprise Taxonomies"
                SLA (Special Libraries Association) Annual Conference
                June 14, 2011, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
                http://www.ppc.com/Documents/Enterprise%20Taxonomies%2006152011.pdf

                All right, when I have some free time, I'll start uploading my presentations (those which are not workshops) to SlideShare.

                Heather

                -- 
                Heather Hedden
                heather@...
                www.hedden-information.com
                
                Senior Taxonomy Analyst
                Project Performance Corporation
                heather.hedden@...
                www.ppc.com




                On 2/1/2012 4:07 PM, Bob DuCharme wrote:
                I'll take a crack at these:

                >1. The presentations I looked at inferred that a controlled vocabulary is a requisite part of a taxonomy...is that true?

                I consider a controlled vocabulary to be just a set of terms that you have to pick from. "Yes" and "No" is a controlled vocabulary, and so is the set of U.S. state abbrevation codes, and so is "Cat, Dog, Mammal, Collie, Manx." A taxonomy is a controlled vocabulary with extra metadata, especially about relationships between the terms: Mammal is a broader term for both Cat and Dog, Dog is a broader term for Collie, etc.. A taxonomy is often displayed as a tree showing the "broader than" relationships. 

                >2. Is it possible to have more than one 'Enterprise' taxonomy?

                Taxonomies can serve several purposes, so a given enterprise can easily have more than one. 

                >3. If you have multiple taxonomies coming out of a single controlled vocabulary, how does that affect search?

                I think that's a question for whoever designed the search engine in question. 

                >4. On the flipside of question #1, can you have multiple controlled vocabularies contributing to a single taxonomy?

                Sure: I can have an animal vocabulary and a plant vocabulary that contribute to a combined taxonomy. A good taxonomy tool will let you configure something that looks like a single taxonomy to certain users but behind the scenes (out of those users' view, at least) is actually a combination of several, separately mantained taxonomies that may have extra metadata added as part of the combined view. 

                Bob DuCharme
                TopQuadrant

                On Wed, Feb 1, 2012 at 12:08 PM, John O'Gorman <jogorman@...> wrote:
                 
                I was looking for information related to David's request and came away from the presentations listed on Mary's link (below) with a few questions. I could start another thread but allow me to begin the questions here:
                 
                1. The presentations I looked at inferred that a controlled vocabulary is a requisite part of a taxonomy...is that true?
                2. Is it possible to have more than one 'Enterprise' taxonomy?
                3. If you have multiple taxonomies coming out of a single controlled vocabulary, how does that affect search?
                4. On the flipside of question #1, can you have multiple controlled vocabularies contributing to a single taxonomy?
                 
                I found the connection between taxonomies and 'search' kind of confusing. I can see using a taxonomy for navigation and a controlled vocabulary for limiting search results, but a taxonomy by itself (unless the answer to question # 1 is always "Yes") seems a stretch.
                 
                Thanks.
                 
                John O'
                 
                 
                -----Original Message-----
                From: Mary Garcia [mailto:mary_garcia@...]
                Sent: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 07:29 AM
                To: TaxoCoP@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [TaxoCoP] Re: Taxonomy Executive Summary for Executives / Senior Managers

                 

                David,
                Margie Hlava's Taxomony Bootcamp presentation is available at
                http://www.accessinn.com/library/presentation.html
                along with others, including slides for a presentation by Jay ven Eman
                "Presenting a Business Case for Taxonomies". You may find these helpful.
                Mary

                --
                Mary Garcia
                Data Harmony Support
                mailto:support%40dataharmony.com
                1-800-926-8328
                Access Innovations, Inc.
                www.accessinn.com



              • Patrick Lambe
                John - I think Bob s reply is a good statement. I define controlled vocabulary as a list of terms (vocabulary) for which there are principles, rules, roles and
                Message 7 of 15 , Feb 1, 2012
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                  John - 

                  I think Bob's reply is a good statement.

                  I define controlled vocabulary as a list of terms (vocabulary) for which there are principles, rules, roles and responsibilities governing structure, inclusion and exclusion of terms (control). People generally only think about constraint when they talk about controlled vocabularies, but the concept also implies active governance.

                  All taxonomies are controlled vocabularies (or should be, the "control" portion is often neglected in practice). Not all controlled vocabularies are taxonomies because not all controlled vocabularies express relationships between the terms - Bob gives some nice examples. Controlled vocabularies simply supply selection values to metadata elements, some of which are taxonomy elements, many of which are not. A staff directory listing can be a controlled vocabulary supplying values to the "author" metadata element.

                  There is some fuzziness about the term "enterprise taxonomy", especially when you are working with facets. I think when people talk about an enterprise taxonomy singular, they are often referring to multiple taxonomy structures making up (hopefully) a coherent and helpful taxonomy system. I think the term "enterprise knowledge organisation system" would be a more precise term to use because it accommodates the possibility of multiple contributing structures that interact with each other, but am not optimistic about swaying common usage on this.

                  I like the question about multiple taxonomies coming out of one controlled vocabulary. Normally, you would have a set of controlled vocabularies, each vocabulary supporting a different metadata element. However there can be cases where a single vocabulary can project different taxonomy structures. For example, in an Army context, we have a facet for "Battalion Activities". This is a single (large) controlled vocabulary, but each Army formation (Infantry, Signals, Armour etc) will only see the activity terms that are relevant  to them. In complex environments, the "background" taxonomy is not necessarily the same as the "presentation" taxonomy. This phenomenon of course becomes more common when you are working with ontologies.

                  As Bob says the impact on search depends on your search engine - but more importantly what you can tell your search engine to do, and whether it can be configured to recognise meaningful relationships between concepts - assuming that you have got them defined.

                  It is actually more common to have multiple controlled vocabularies contributing to a single enterprise taxonomy, if by that you mean "taxonomy system" using facets.

                  P

                  Patrick Lambe
                  Partner
                  Tel: +65 62210383





                  On Feb 2, 2012, at 1:08 AM, John O'Gorman wrote:

                   

                  I was looking for information related to David's request and came away from the presentations listed on Mary's link (below) with a few questions. I could start another thread but allow me to begin the questions here:
                   
                  1. The presentations I looked at inferred that a controlled vocabulary is a requisite part of a taxonomy...is that true?
                  2. Is it possible to have more than one 'Enterprise' taxonomy?
                  3. If you have multiple taxonomies coming out of a single controlled vocabulary, how does that affect search?
                  4. On the flipside of question #1, can you have multiple controlled vocabularies contributing to a single taxonomy?
                   
                  I found the connection between taxonomies and 'search' kind of confusing. I can see using a taxonomy for navigation and a controlled vocabulary for limiting search results, but a taxonomy by itself (unless the answer to question # 1 is always "Yes") seems a stretch.
                   
                  Thanks.
                   
                  John O'
                   
                   
                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: Mary Garcia [mailto:mary_garcia@...]
                  Sent: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 07:29 AM
                  To: TaxoCoP@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [TaxoCoP] Re: Taxonomy Executive Summary for Executives / Senior Managers

                   

                  David,
                  Margie Hlava's Taxomony Bootcamp presentation is available at
                  http://www.accessinn.com/library/presentation.html
                  along with others, including slides for a presentation by Jay ven Eman
                  "Presenting a Business Case for Taxonomies". You may find these helpful.
                  Mary

                  --
                  Mary Garcia
                  Data Harmony Support
                  mailto:support%40dataharmony.com
                  1-800-926-8328
                  Access Innovations, Inc.
                  www.accessinn.com



                • Claude
                  ... I don t claim to be nearly as knowledgeable as Patrick, but I have found it useful to follow the definitions in Z39.19, in which a controlled vocabulary
                  Message 8 of 15 , Feb 5, 2012
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                    > On Feb 2, 2012, at 1:08 AM, John O'Gorman wrote:
                    > 1. The presentations I looked at inferred that a controlled
                    > vocabulary is a requisite part of a taxonomy... is that true?

                    I don't claim to be nearly as knowledgeable as Patrick, but I have found it useful to follow the definitions in Z39.19, in which a "controlled vocabulary" is the more generic term that can designate anyone of four successively more sophisticated structures:
                    - a (flat) list of terms
                    - a "synonym ring" (weird term, but basically it just adds the
                    notion of synonyms to a list)
                    - a taxonomy (same as previous, PLUS hierarchy)
                    - a thesaurus (same as previous, PLUS other semantic relationships)

                    > 2. Is it possible to have more than one 'Enterprise' taxonomy?

                    Contrary to other respondents, I tend to think that there should be only one enterprise taxonomy, but it contains multiple facets. Any particular application or system that consumes the taxonomy may expose to the user all facets, or just one facet, or even just a branch of one facet, and moreover may present just one level of decomposition of a term (e.g., for a pulldown selection menu) or multiple levels (e.g., for a "marching menu").

                    This may be an oversimplification, but when I say this to various stakeholders (CMS managers, community leaders, MarCom people, etc.) they seem to understand this, and can then contribute valuable information in return about what their domain of discourse is.

                    Claude Baudoin
                  • Matt Moore
                    Claude, ... The question asked whether it was possible to have more than one enterprise taxonomy. And the answer is yes . Whether its desirable is another
                    Message 9 of 15 , Feb 5, 2012
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                      Claude,

                      "2. Is it possible to have more than one 'Enterprise' taxonomy? Contrary to other respondents, I tend to think that there should be only one enterprise taxonomy, but it contains multiple facets."

                      The question asked whether it was possible to have more than one enterprise taxonomy. And the answer is "yes". Whether its desirable is another matter.

                      An enterprise taxonomy should map the terms and semantic structures used in a business. So if the business is a completely integrated whole with no operational differences or political conflicts then creating a single enterprise taxonomy should be a cinch. The issue the working taxonomist has is that this is rarely the case. Yes, we can use synonym structures. Yes, we can use facets. But what we cannot (& therefore should not) do is attempt to impose a unity that isn't there.

                      N.B. Broadly I agree with you. People have more in common than they think and a common enterprise taxonomy can be a very powerful thing.

                      Cheers,

                      Matt Moore
                      +61 423 784 504
                      Sent from my iPhone
                    • John O'Gorman
                      Thanks everyone for the very informative responses to my questions. Claude, I especially like your answer to the Enterprise Taxonomy question. John O ...
                      Message 10 of 15 , Feb 6, 2012
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                        Thanks everyone for the very informative responses to my questions.
                         
                        Claude, I especially like your answer to the Enterprise Taxonomy question.
                         
                        John O'
                         
                         
                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: Claude [mailto:cbaudoin@...]
                        Sent: Sunday, February 5, 2012 11:14 AM
                        To: TaxoCoP@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: [TaxoCoP] Re: Taxonomy Executive Summary for Executives / Senior Managers

                         

                        > On Feb 2, 2012, at 1:08 AM, John O'Gorman wrote:
                        > 1. The presentations I looked at inferred that a controlled
                        > vocabulary is a requisite part of a taxonomy... is that true?

                        I don't claim to be nearly as knowledgeable as Patrick, but I have found it useful to follow the definitions in Z39.19, in which a "controlled vocabulary" is the more generic term that can designate anyone of four successively more sophisticated structures:
                        - a (flat) list of terms
                        - a "synonym ring" (weird term, but basically it just adds the
                        notion of synonyms to a list)
                        - a taxonomy (same as previous, PLUS hierarchy)
                        - a thesaurus (same as previous, PLUS other semantic relationships)

                        > 2. Is it possible to have more than one 'Enterprise' taxonomy?

                        Contrary to other respondents, I tend to think that there should be only one enterprise taxonomy, but it contains multiple facets. Any particular application or system that consumes the taxonomy may expose to the user all facets, or just one facet, or even just a branch of one facet, and moreover may present just one level of decomposition of a term (e.g., for a pulldown selection menu) or multiple levels (e.g., for a "marching menu").

                        This may be an oversimplification, but when I say this to various stakeholders (CMS managers, community leaders, MarCom people, etc.) they seem to understand this, and can then contribute valuable information in return about what their domain of discourse is.

                        Claude Baudoin

                      • John O'Gorman
                        Maybe we should move this off to another tread, but before we do I would like to respond to Matt... Part of the reason I asked the question is to get a sense
                        Message 11 of 15 , Feb 7, 2012
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                           Maybe we should move this off to another tread, but before we do I would like to respond to Matt...
                           
                          Part of the reason I asked the question is to get a sense of the word 'Enterprise'. We are all pretty much aware, I think, of the difference between accuracy (I have a broken arm) and precision (I have a compound comminuted fracture near the proximal end of my left ulna). If the domain of discourse is defined as The Enterprise, and we can define The Enterprise as all of the people, places and activities, etc currently relevant to and in future anticipation of that concept then should we not use Enterprise to mean 'only one'?  It is accurate to say 'an enterprise taxonomy' but more precise (to me anyway) to say 'The Enterprise Taxonomy'.
                           
                          That doesn't mean that we need limit ourselves to any other taxonomies subsumed by The One, but I was hoping more for Claude's monotheistic answer than Matt's.
                           
                          BTW: I believe that the unity is not only there (and that one could build a 'lesser gods' model of the infospace) and as Matt says that it is very powerful but that it is also acheivable without breaking the bank or any noses.
                           
                          Thanks.
                           
                          John O'
                           
                           
                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: Matt Moore [mailto:innotecture@...]
                          Sent: Sunday, February 5, 2012 02:08 PM
                          To: TaxoCoP@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: [TaxoCoP] Re: Taxonomy Executive Summary for Executives / Senior Managers

                           
                          Claude,

                          "2. Is it possible to have more than one 'Enterprise' taxonomy? Contrary to other respondents, I tend to think that there should be only one enterprise taxonomy, but it contains multiple facets."

                          The question asked whether it was possible to have more than one enterprise taxonomy. And the answer is "yes". Whether its desirable is another matter.

                          An enterprise taxonomy should map the terms and semantic structures used in a business. So if the business is a completely integrated whole with no operational differences or political conflicts then creating a single enterprise taxonomy should be a cinch. The issue the working taxonomist has is that this is rarely the case. Yes, we can use synonym structures. Yes, we can use facets. But what we cannot (& therefore should not) do is attempt to impose a unity that isn't there.

                          N.B. Broadly I agree with you. People have more in common than they think and a common enterprise taxonomy can be a very powerful thing.

                          Cheers,

                          Matt Moore
                          +61 423 784 504
                          Sent from my iPhone

                           

                        • John O'Gorman
                          I didn t see this come up as a post as it usually does so right away...apologies in advance if it ends up a double. Maybe we should move this off to another
                          Message 12 of 15 , Feb 7, 2012
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                            I didn't see this come up as a post as it usually does so right away...apologies in advance if it ends up a double.
                             
                            Maybe we should move this off to another tread, but before we do I would like to respond to Matt...
                             
                            Part of the reason I asked the question is to get a sense of the word 'Enterprise'. We are all pretty much aware, I think, of the difference between accuracy (I have a broken arm) and precision (I have a compound comminuted fracture near the proximal end of my left ulna). If the domain of discourse is defined as The Enterprise, and we can define The Enterprise as all of the people, places and activities, etc currently relevant to and in future anticipation of that concept then should we not use Enterprise to mean 'only one'?  It is accurate to say 'an enterprise taxonomy' but more precise (to me anyway) to say 'The Enterprise Taxonomy'.
                             
                            That doesn't mean that we need limit ourselves to any other taxonomies subsumed by The One, but I was hoping more for Claude's monotheistic answer than Matt's.
                             
                            BTW: I believe that the unity is not only there (and that one could build a 'lesser gods' model of the infospace) and as Matt says that it is very powerful but that it is also acheivable without breaking the bank or any noses.
                             
                            Thanks.
                             
                            John O'
                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: Matt Moore [mailto:innotecture@...]
                            Sent: Sunday, February 5, 2012 02:08 PM
                            To: TaxoCoP@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: Re: [TaxoCoP] Re: Taxonomy Executive Summary for Executives / Senior Managers

                             
                            Claude,

                            "2. Is it possible to have more than one 'Enterprise' taxonomy? Contrary to other respondents, I tend to think that there should be only one enterprise taxonomy, but it contains multiple facets."

                            The question asked whether it was possible to have more than one enterprise taxonomy. And the answer is "yes". Whether its desirable is another matter.

                            An enterprise taxonomy should map the terms and semantic structures used in a business. So if the business is a completely integrated whole with no operational differences or political conflicts then creating a single enterprise taxonomy should be a cinch. The issue the working taxonomist has is that this is rarely the case. Yes, we can use synonym structures. Yes, we can use facets. But what we cannot (& therefore should not) do is attempt to impose a unity that isn't there.

                            N.B. Broadly I agree with you. People have more in common than they think and a common enterprise taxonomy can be a very powerful thing.

                            Cheers,

                            Matt Moore
                            +61 423 784 504
                            Sent from my iPhone

                             

                          • Matt Moore
                            John,   I m not really interested in this discussion if: - It turns into you extolling your Q6 framework as the answer to every taxonomy issue. For the
                            Message 13 of 15 , Feb 7, 2012
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                              John,
                               
                              I'm not really interested in this discussion if:
                              - It turns into you extolling your Q6 framework as the answer to every taxonomy issue. For the record, your work seems interesting & useful but I ain't drinking the kool aid just yet.
                              - It deals mostly with abstract discussions of "the enterprise". BTW If there is more than one taxonomy in use in an enterprise then calling one of them "the enterprise taxonomy" is inaccurate (regardless of precision) or, at the very least, presumptuous.
                               
                              Let me give a concrete example. A few years back, I was working with an organisation (lets call them ACME) that decided it wanted an enterprise taxonomy as part of their corporate drive to establish "the ACME way". They assumed that all their subsidaries (most of which had been standalone business they had bought in an aggressive aquisitions spree) ran their businesses in the same way that their HQ did. Now we built a taxonomy around their HQ processes but when they went to test it out in the field, they discovered - to their surprise - that their subsidiaries operated in fundamentally different ways. They didn't just give process elements different names (e.g. "procure" vs "purchase") - which is a classic opportunity for synonyms - the actual processes and entities were radically different across their businesses.
                               
                              "we can define The Enterprise as all of the people, places and activities, etc currently relevant to and in future anticipation of that concept"
                               
                              Perhaps, but I have yet to work with an organisation that can exhaustively list all the people all the people, places and activities relevant to itself - let alone form them into a coherent taxonomy. With our current tools, such an effort strikes me as Quixotic (or Borgesian). Generally we have to define what we choose to manage, what we don't and who we make responsible for managing it. Your religious terminology is revealing but I actually think that political analogies are perhaps more helpful. The chapter on information politics in Tom Davenport's "Information Ecology" provides a nice framework IMHO.

                              Cheers,
                               
                              Matt
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