This U.S.-based member-driven professional organization needed to create an enterprise taxonomy to consolidate their information resources and make better use of their limited financial resources. As the lead taxonomist and project manager, I worked with the client and a junior taxonomist to run card sorting, create a taxonomy framework, build out the taxonomy, and test the taxonomy. Here’s a more in-depth look at the project.

Process

Here’s an overview of how we ran the project:

  • Project tasks and schedule: With a limited budget, this member-driven organization needed to be targeted with the tasks we helped them with. Within the budget, I created a schedule and tasks that would happen on the project. Each week I provided the client with a schedule and budget update.
  • Taxonomy review: We reviewed the different taxonomies within the organization. Different departments and teams used different taxonomies and each was slightly different.
  • Taxonomy framework: As with most of my taxonomy projects, we created a taxonomy framework to outline how the taxonomy would be structured and developed. This helped the client agree to the scope of work and to understand the work we would be doing.
  • Card sorting: Before digging into taxonomy development, we ran online card sorting with approximately 40 terms to see how members would organize these different terms. Because the topics were relatively focused, we were able to glean a lot of good terms and groupings from this card sorting.
  • Taxonomy development: For the taxonomy development, I oversaw a junior taxonomist while she worked with the client to build out the taxonomy. I was able to coach her through the development, answer any questions, and keep her focused on creating a taxonomy that met the client’s needs.
  • Task testing: For this portion of the work, I oversaw the junior taxonomist as she developed the test plan, configured the online task testing in Treejack, ran the test, and analyzed the results.
Related: The Basics of Taxonomy Use and Maintenance

Outcome

At the end of the project, the client had a solid enterprise taxonomy they could use across their organization. They had consolidated the different taxonomies used by the different groups, strategically planned the taxonomy, developed it consistently, and validated it through testing. At the end of the project, I was happy to hear that the client was very pleased with the process and the work!