We have heard it from nearly every company that we have come into contact with over the past 20 years – “the entire office was recently consumed by the search for the Pensky file”. Most likely 15 to 20 years ago they were absolutely referring to a paper file. Now this reference is to a digital file, which in some cases makes it even harder.
If finding documents in your document system (SharePoint, network folders, Box, etc.) is painful and time consuming, you could call Sherlock Holmes or try to reorganize the files with the help of Martha Stewart. Reorganizing is of course the better approach and therefore, you should take some time to learn about Taxonomy.
According to Webster’s, the definition of Taxonomy is “classification; especially: orderly classification of plants and animals according to their presumed natural relationships”. This has been adapted by the document management community to refer to the orderly classification of documents according to their presumed functional relationships
As an example, think about a customer order file for a manufacturer. In the order file might be the parts drawing, the initial quote, the actual signed order and maybe some miscellaneous correspondence. The parts drawing was done in the engineering department. The quote was done by sales. The order will go to accounting and eventually to production.
Taxonomy is finding out what descriptions will allow each individual document to work well in the initiating department and also permit the collection of documents to move through the process in an efficient manner? The bottom line is that better classification of documents will make your organization function at a higher level and good Taxonomy is a great place to start.
The topic of Taxonomy is complicated and impossible to cover in a single blog post. You can use the Association for Image and Information Management website www.aiim.org to learn more about Taxonomy. There are also records management consultants available and possibly records managers within your own organization.
Use the knowledge of these professionals to help devise a Taxonomy or classification and filing scheme that will help your company make better decisions from sales to production. Documents, especially digital documents, still contain much of the information that your employees rely on to make decisions. The easier it is for those employees to find the right information, when they need it, the better off your company will be.
If you need help finding a document management professional, please contact us. www.mgdocs.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or (630) 279-0577 x122.