SharePoint 2010 (newssite) has come a long way towards providing better information management via taxonomy and metadata capabilities. But it's important to remember that the technology is only the enabler.

The Work That Comes Before The Technical Solution

Our enterprise systems themselves are only able to take us so far, and it’s crucial to be cognizant of the fact that there’s still a lot of outside work that needs to be done. The underlying foundation required to leverage our technological capability is derived from the establishment of strong publishing models, standard workflow processes, corporate governance, continuous taxonomy management and well trained users that have been included as key stakeholders throughout the design process.

SharePoint Has Improved, Still Room To Grow

The many great features and functionality offered as part of the SharePoint 2010 platform are sure to provide the foundation for better management of information in the organization. Even with the introduction of the Term Store Management Tool and many of the other areas discussed in this series, it’s important to return to the beginning and remind ourselves that SharePoint itself, at least at this point in time, is not intended nor should it be perceived as an enterprise-wide taxonomy management tool.

SharePoint 2010 still lacks functionality in a number of key areas, such as the ability to perform auto-categorization and the management of complex relationships between terms.

Developing an Enterprise Taxonomy

SharePoint is one of many enterprise solutions we employ, and to make it effective we must ensure that we take the steps necessary to fully understand our domains of knowledge. Doing so provides us with the ability to design appropriate solutions that best describe in detail the world in which we operate.

To fully leverage our technical capability, we must strive to implement solid processes around information architecture and ensure we understand conceptually how they need to be represented within our technological environments.

The development of enterprise taxonomy, as a concept in and of itself, is a technologically agnostic exercise. Its application to technology as an enrichment activity is where the rubber meets the road and the benefits are realized. Without a solid foundation, chaos in terms of findability and a good user experience are inevitable. With it, we stand an increased chance at success.

Taxonomy and Metadata in SharePoint 2010

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