The past few weeks I’ve been working on a new project for my job. It’s pretty much taking the two structures (one from production, one from operations) and creating a taxonomy / structure that avoids duplication of information. It’s not a small undertaking: seven departments with seven different needs and classifications. Yep. I have to put my thinking cap on.
Last week my boss asked me, “Aren’t you intimidated by this task?”
My response, “No.” First, it’s something that has to be done. The current structure has its flaws, and due to them many team members look at documentation as a dirty word. It’s not usable to them, so of course they’re going to go and create their own structure. So, I’m breaking it down:
- Ask each department to state their needs (must haves) and wants (wish list);
- Create a taxonomy and file structure based on this;
- Revise the structure based on input from my boss & the stakeholders;
- Approval by all involved;
- Transfer the needed files.
Small, small steps at a time as to not overwhelm the team (or myself!). In many ways, the task is like a huge Jenga puzzle, finding out what fits in the best place so that the whole structure doesn’t topple. The thing that I need to make it work is input. The structure is mainly for the team and they need to take ownership of their organization and documentation. Without that buy-in, we’ll be back where we are now. And that’s the key: make sure the end-user can easily identify the documents for which they search.
The challenge — as always — is working within the limitations of the tools and systems available. I would rather work on a solution instead of being (or listening to complaints) about a problem. It may not end up being the ultimate solution (is there ever?), but it will be the best solution for the current system.
I’ve also officially started my job search. Since my contract expires the end of September, I need to start looking now due to the length of time I’m hearing about finding a position. There are some possibilities for an extension with my current employer, but until I sign another contract I’ll continue to look. And maybe — if all else fails — I’ll head back to school for my certificate in archival studies since it seems like digital archives are the next big need in many companies.