It has been weeks since I blogged, or even Tweeted on a regular basis. Where have I been? Dan and I are on the road, consulting on a very complex, grand and most interesting ECM project. A Fortune 100 company that remains successful and growing in spite of the economy, has managed to achieve such greatness without benefit of a formal Information Architecture and ECM strategy. This project has been the focus of our time and attention of late. The challenge is great and the potential opportunity huge.
We are dealing with a large and diverse collection of content in various stages of maturity, quality, accuracy and accessibility. The organization readily realizes that years of ad hoc, manual and individual approaches to content management have resulted in a nearly chaotic collection of content and processes. Many issues exist, from a need for enterprise search and a centralized taxonomy, to strategies for content distribution. But a fundamental issue is the state of the collection of content itself.
Among the many repositories, valuable content resides amongst dated, ambiguous, unapproved and at times contradictory content. A critical decision has been made to clean up the content repositories before addressing findability. The merit of beginning with the establishment of search and taxonomy, under a series of UIs, and using these to expedite the discovery of dated and inaccurate content and subsequently deleting it was debated, but a fundamental decision was made not to expose users to the “garbage”, but rather, first authenticate and clean up the content and subsequently use the findability tools to expose an “official body of quality content.”