This thread on Taxonomy has been most productive [at least to me] as it has
highlighted some specific aspects of Thesauri, Controlled Vocabulary - CV,
Taxonomy, Business Classification schemes - BCS & last but not least
Enterprise Classification Scheme - ECS.
Julie Colgan wrote that she prefers Taxonomy
Greg Wilson wrote that he is into ECS's
John O'Brien wrote that he likes Ontology Systems that enable relationship
Greg Wilson wrote that he uses Level 1 and Level 2 terms
Hey! Guess what, we are all on the right track even though we may differ on
perspective and what we actually call what we do.
If I could define the process I would put it this way.
1. First, we heed a Thesaurus or Controlled Vocabulary - The basis of
the rest in an unhierarchical alpha listing but describing what we mean by
the terms used in OUR environment.
2. Second, we need to classify this stuff & thus a Taxonomy but based
on a Functional Classification approach as per the Keyword AAA thesaurus
from the State Records Office of New South Wales.
3. Third, I believe is where BCS comes into play. BCS takes the
Taxonomy and individualises it to a particular business process or
4. Forth, with our Thesaurus or Controlled Vocabulary, Taxonomy & BCS
we can then move to the next step and that is relating our business process
to the legal, legislative and other commitments the organisation has to it
stakeholders. Enter the DIRKS methodology form the National Archives of
5. With software tools we are able to set the rules as to Related
Terms, Forbidden Terms, Approved Acronyms plus numerous other factors well
before [as Greg Wilson states] we get anywhere near an EDRMS product. And so
it should be as RM or RIM is about rules and processes not Software.
6. With all of the above in place and if we are so lucky to have a well
documented [electronically produced] Disposition Schedule we link the Rules
based criteria from 1-5 and BINGO we have a ready made stand alone
application ready to implement in our EDRMS, when or if we get one.
OK there is more to the above than what I have detailed but without this
process in place and implemented we are in a no win situation when we go
live with our new wonderful world beating EDRMS which will save the
organisation from destruction in the courts or some other unforseen
I wish to thank the person who stared this thread and I believe that was
Nolene Sherman. Thanks Nolene as I have gained much due to the various well
thought out inputs to the discussion.
Regarding Level 1 and Level 2 terms.
I have an issue with this as most work in an organisation is done at the
third level and this is the hard part and we have to go to this level to get
credibility. If you do go to a third level you have only done 10 to 20% of
what is required.
ECS is a must but I believe that we can have a ECS for all to see but a BCS
at the divisional or unit level [no not silos of unknown data that others
cannot see or use] but an ECS as the giant umbrella coverage and the
specifics of what I as a user needs for my day to day activity available to
me in small chunks with the ability to use the wider world ECS if and when
All of the words, terms, definitions, legal requirements and rules should be
produced in the tool we use to make the things we need for 1-6. I use such a
tool and I can publish all of my data out to an organisations intranet or
extranet along with the resultant disposition schedule, proof of my
corporate practices to a judge or if I am a government organisation a report
to an archive authority to prove I am doing the RIGHT THING and meeting
their directives and guidelines. [No EDRMS that I know of provides this
If I provided anything less I would be short changing my clients and
possibly putting them at risk of legal action of not meeting legislated
This has been a worthwhile thread.
Many thanks Laurie
Mr Daniel Lawrance [Laurie] Varendorff, ARMA
Member of the Western Australian Governments - Digital Records Working Group
Specialist Technical Writer on Records and Information Management - RIM and
related subjects, available for hire.
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