13 Replies Latest reply on Oct 25, 2010 10:08 AM by mdcrocker

    Taxonomies of your intranets? Impact of categories?

    cclabaugh

      Hi folks!

       

      I thought it would be interesting if we shared our strategies for organizing our intranets. Ours has grown a bit unwieldy and I want to simplify it (and make use of categories) - I thought a discussion of what works / what doesn't work in intranet taxonomies would be useful!

       

      Currently our taxonomy is basically team/department-based, as shown below (this isn't the full taxonomy but it gives you the idea). There were also concerns from the project sponsor about having too many top-level communities, so we grouped some of the departments (e.g. Consulting is a grouping of several different teams, as is Operations).

       

      • Operations
        • Finance
          • Finance - Private
        • Facilities
          • Facilities - Private
      • HR
        • HR Private
        • Recruiting
      • IT
        • WebOps
        • IT Private
      • Business Development
        • Biz Dev - Private
      • Consulting
        • Project Management
        • User Experience
        • Engineering
          • .NET
          • Java
          • RIA
          • ...
        • Creative
      • Water Cooler
      • Customers
        • Customer 1
          • Project 1
        • Customer 2
          • Project 1
          • Project 2

       

      Some drawbacks of this approach:

      • People are a little worried about using the "Private" spaces because they don't have any visibility into who has access to these spaces
      • The taxonomy gets pretty deep
      • Hard to know where to put things that are cross-department (e.g. an announcement about the rollout of a new project)

       

      Some things I'm thinking of

      •    Turn the Private spaces into secret groups so people can see who has access to the area, also easier for the admin to manage the area
      • Use categories in place of some of the spaces (e.g. Java / RIA / .NET)
      • Update the taxonomy to be less department-based and more resource-type based, e.g.
        • Office Resources (with categories for Buildings, Finance...)
        • Internal Tools (with categories for Intranet, Basecamp, Phones, Email, etc)
        • Marketing & Business Development (with categories for Template, Example Doc, Case Study, etc)
      • Doing card sorts with some of our existing intranet content with lots of our intranet users to see how people categorize stuff on their own

       

      Anyway, I've rambled a bit. But I'm interested to know how you've structured your intranets and your learnings from that / what you think of my ideas for updating our intranet taxonomy.

       

      Thanks!

      - Caroline

        • Re: Taxonomies of your intranets? Impact of categories?
          Jackie2.0

          We don't have a any secret groups in our internal community. We use our groups for communities that our employees gather around and create themselves - so our groups are both business and social - but do not contain any confidential information.

           

          We use our spaces for more top-down information, these take the place of the traditional intranet because we can control access firmwide by using AD Synch. So besides our different enterprise teams like Marketing, Finance etc each having a Space where they share info - we also have confidential spaces with limited access with information that is restricted to specific community members.

          1 person found this helpful
          • Re: Taxonomies of your intranets? Impact of categories?

            Hi there!

             

            You may find value in this series of blogs. It's based on Jive Strategic Consulting's work with several of our clients, especially the really big global ones (you can imagine their hesitancy in re-creating their organizational hierarchy, since they mostly work in a matrixed fashion!).

             

            http://www.giatalks.com/2009/09/jive-sbs-structure-best-practices-part-1/

            http://www.giatalks.com/2009/09/jive-sbs-structure-best-practices-part-2/

            http://www.giatalks.com/2009/09/jive-sbs-structure-best-practices-part-3/

              • Re: Taxonomies of your intranets? Impact of categories?
                cclabaugh

                Thanks Gia! I had already read the 1st and 2nd posts but I love the 3rd one - "Lobby" approach :-)

                  • Re: Taxonomies of your intranets? Impact of categories?

                    We've even developed a Lobby plugin for one large customer, that automates the association of groups to relevant spaces. It's available as part of a Professional Services engagement today, but I'm hoping it makes it into the Plugin Library at the very least someday, if not the core product.

                      • Re: Taxonomies of your intranets? Impact of categories?

                        What's the cost on that plugin today? We have that same need -- associating some key groups with spaces. We do it manually today.

                         

                        Nova

                         

                        Nova Newcomer

                        Community Manager

                        Direct  503.575.4109     Main  503.248.4636 ext. 511

                        peci.org<http://peci.org/

                        • Re: Taxonomies of your intranets? Impact of categories?
                          mbangash

                          Gia Lyons wrote:

                           

                          We've even developed a Lobby plugin for one large customer, that automates the association of groups to relevant spaces. It's available as part of a Professional Services engagement today...

                           

                          That is intriguing! I am working with one of my internal clients where it makes a lot of sense for them to use Groups that would allow them better frontend permissions control and group email feature. They would like to use Groups for some of their communities and have a main Space i.e. a Lobby. The main concerns are:

                           

                          1) How to associate Groupls to this Lobby as those groups continue to evolve. (the aforementioned plugin might be what we're looking for)

                           

                          2) In addition to showing associated Groups in a space, how to show the actual content from the associated groups aggregated in the Space/Lobby. That is, something similar to the Recent Content widget that aggregates content from sub-spaces but in this case it would aggregate contents from the associated Groups. We are currently thinking about using RSS widget in the Lobby to show contens of the Gorups but the problem is that RSS widget can only pull content from one group and not from multiple groups.

                            • Re: Taxonomies of your intranets? Impact of categories?

                              Murad,

                               

                              If you're interested in a demo and pricing for available group-to-space association widgets, be sure to get in touch with Priya (I think she's your Services Account Manager, correct?)

                               

                              Ask about Social Groups widget, which automatically displays groups based on tags you configure it with, and the Aggregated Content widget, which does the same, except shows groups, documents, blogs, discussions, etc. based on tags you configure it with.

                               

                              A no-cost, low-tech solution would be to do exactly what you describe, and use an RSS widget to display the results of a search, which displays content results, but not the containers in which they reside (i.e., no groups).

                               

                              To display the results of a "saved search" on any configurable page:

                               

                               

                              1.  Search on the word or phrase you wish to display results for

                              2.  Scroll to bottom of search results page, right-click "RSS feed of this list" and copy the link location

                              3.  Add an RSS Subscription widget to All Content, Your View, or the Overview tab of a space, group or project

                              4.  Paste the link location URL you copied in step 2

                              5.  Save and publish

                               

                              Hope this helps!

                                • Re: Taxonomies of your intranets? Impact of categories?
                                  mbangash

                                  Yes, will contact Priya.

                                   

                                  I  understand the Aggregated Content widget would show content from those  all those Groups that have tags that match the tags that you specify in  the widget. If yes, I think that would work for our usecase. Will see.

                                   

                                  Search results in an RSS widget may not work since:

                                  1) you have to put a keyword to search - we're looking to get ALL  content from certain Groups rather than results based on certain keywords and

                                  2)  you cannot search  in multiple Groups - atleast i haven't found a  way/syntax to search within multiple Groups. (somewhat relevant  discussion here)

                          • Re: Taxonomies of your intranets? Impact of categories?

                            Great blog posts -- will you be updating this for 4.0's use of "categories" as the evolution from "tag groups"?

                             

                            Nova

                             

                            Nova Newcomer

                            Community Manager

                            Direct  503.575.4109     Main  503.248.4636 ext. 511

                            peci.org<http://peci.org/

                          • Re: Taxonomies of your intranets? Impact of categories?
                            mbangash

                            While the taxomony discussion above relates to how to structure spaces/groups in a Jive internal community, what are your experiences on implementing a taxonomy at Categories/Tags level such that users select a Category or a Tag for every new content they post?  As an example, think of a use-case where user must enter a Region, Country, Industry and Sub-sector to every document, discussion or blog that they post in the internal community.

                             

                            Has anyone of you made a customization in your implementation to make Categories or Tags a required field and to give users the option to choose from a pre-defined list of taxonomies? If yes, what benefits have you realized in the long run? I guess forcing a taxonomy in this way would be inherenty at odds with "emergence" concepts but would just like to know your experiences/lessons learned or your thoughts/suggestions on this approach. Is there a good approach to get best of both worlds?