This is the conclusion of my three part series on governing taxonomies. This post will wrap up the series with some next steps for you to take to let your taxonomy flourish.


In my last post I presented Part 2 of this series, focusing on the maintenance of a taxonomy: how to update, edit and maintain the taxonomy once it’s being used in your company. This was the largest of the three posts, and contained the most “how to” information for keeping your taxonomy up to date and relevant.

As I’ve pointed out in the past two posts, taxonomy governance is organized into three main areas:

  • Taxonomy Development (the first post)
  • Taxonomy Maintenance (the last post)
  • Taxonomy Growth (this post)

I realize that these posts ask a lot more questions than they answer, but I think that’s the point. I’ve got “answers” for all these questions, but they do vary from company to company. When I consult with clients, it’s about answering these important questions to make sure we’re covering all aspects of taxonomy governance.

As I said in previous posts, this will eventually become a white paper that I will make available to you. In the meantime, here’s the third of three sections on taxonomy governance: Taxonomy Growth.

Exploring Your Taxonomy's Potential

Technology (how to grow your taxonomy using technology)

  • Features -- what features of the taxonomy management tool or the enterprise systems can be optimized to improve the capabilities of the taxonomy?
  • Capabilities -- what can the taxonomy do to improve the overall capabilities of the systems it integrates into?
  • Growth -- how can the taxonomy grow to be more effective and cover more of the enterprise?
  • Upgrades -- what kinds of upgrades are needed to the technologies that either manage or integrate with the taxonomy?

Cross channel (using taxonomies across multiple business areas of your company)

  • Online -- what can a taxonomy do to integrate multiple online business channels?
  • Offline -- how does the taxonomy get used to integrate offline resources with online business channels?
  • Sales -- how can a taxonomy be used by sales personnel to increase sales?
  • Efficiencies -- what can the taxonomy do to increase business process efficiencies?

Relationships (ways that your taxonomy can be politically tied to other groups in your company)

  • Promotion -- how can the taxonomy be used to promote products and ideas to internal and external customers?
  • Business groups -- how can taxonomies be used by different business groups to enhance capabilities?
  • Evangelism -- how does evangelizing the taxonomy increase its value in the enterprise?
  • Opportunities -- what kinds of new opportunities can the taxonomy enable within the enterprise?

Ontology (the next logical step to use your taxonomy in new and profitable ways)

  • Definition -- how can taxonomies enhanced by creating semantic relationships between terms?
  • Utilizing taxonomies -- how can taxonomies evolve into ontologies that can be used across the enterprise?
  • Development -- why is it necessary to create a series of defined conceptual relationships?
  • Technology -- how is the ontology managed and extended?

Editor's Note: To read the first in Mike Doane's Taxonomy Governance series:

--  Taxonomy Governance: Why You Need It, How It's Done