Information Architecture Designing and Organising Digital Information Spaces Part VII. Enterprise IA. busi · ness strat · e · gy n. Defining how an organization will use its scarce resources to achieve sustainable competitive advantage. The Origins of Strategy.
Information Architecture Designing and Organising Digital Information SpacesPart VII. Enterprise IA
busi·ness strat·e·gy n. • Defining how an organization will use its scarce resources to achieve sustainable competitive advantage.
The Origins of Strategy • “That general is skillful in attack whose opponent does not know what to defend; and he is skillful in defense whose opponent does not know what to attack.” circa 500 BC • Sun Tzu, The Art of War
What is Strategy? • strat·e·gy • The science and art of using all the forces of a nation to execute approved plans as effectively as possible during peace or war. • The art or skill of using stratagems in endeavors such as politics and business. • strat·e·gem • A clever, often underhand scheme for achieving an objective.
What is Business Strategy? • “Strategy is the creation of a unique and valuable position, involving a different set of activities.” • “But the essence of strategy is in the activities – choosing to perform activities differently or to perform different activities than rivals.” • Michael Porter, Harvard Business School • in his book On Competition
Strategic Fit at Vanguard • Early in its history, Vanguard established“a mutual structure without precedent in the industry – a structure in which the funds would be operated solely in the best interests of their shareholders.” • Since“strategy follows structure,”it made sense to pursue“a high level of economy and efficiency; operating at bare-bones levels of cost…for the less we spend, the higher the returns – dollar for dollar – for our shareholders/owners.” • John C. Bogle, Founder of The Vanguard Group • http://www.vanguard.com/bogle_site/october192000.html
Vanguard’s Activity System Map. Adapted from On Competition • Featured in Information Architecture for the World Wide Web • http://webword.com/download/chapter18.pdf
Strategy Revisited • “We are the blind people • and strategy formation is • our elephant. Since no one • has the vision to see the • entire beast, everyone has • grabbed hold of some part • or other and railed on in • utter ignorance about the rest.” • Henry Mintzberg, McGill University • in his book Strategy Safari • (written with Bruce Ahlstrand and Joseph Lampel)
10% • The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning by Henry Mintzberg (1993) 90% 90%
Strategy Defined as 5 P’s • Plan. A direction, guide, course of action. • Pattern. Consistency in behavior over time. • Position. Locating specific products in specific markets. • Perspective. Way of doing things (The HP Way) • Ploy. Specific maneuver to outwit. • From Strategy Safari (Mintzberg, Ahlstrand, Lampel)
In today’s marketplace, it is the organizational capability to adapt that is the only sustainable competitive advantage. • Willie Pietersen, Reinventing Strategy
Enterprise IA • For an excellent overview, read: • Enterprise Information Architecture: Don’t Do ECM Without It • By Tony Byrne, EContent Magazine, May 2004 • “Two questions resound throughout the content industry: Why do Enterprise Content Management (ECM) projects take so long to implement? And why do they fail with such alarming frequency? While all enterprise-level IT projects prove to be difficult and risky undertakings, a deeper examination of the ECM challenge in particular will reveal an endemic inattention to—or at best belated appreciation of—its critical corollary: the need for Enterprise Information Architecture (EIA).”
Case Study: MSWeb • 3,100,000+ pages • 50,000 authors/users in 74 countries • 8,000+ separate intranet sites • Employees spend more than one hour per day seeking information • Create a unified enterprise information portal
MSWeb: An Integrated Solution • Multi-Disciplinary Team • Integrated Information and Technology Architecture • 3 Types of Taxonomies • Category Labels • Metadata Schema • Descriptive Vocabularies • geography, languages, proper names, organizations / business units, subjects, products, standards / technology
Case StudyHP Employee Portal • Methodology (9 Weeks) • Opinion Leader Interviews • User Research • Content, Classification & Search Log Analysis • Deliverables • User & Opinion Leader Reports • Strategy Recommendations Report • Final Presentations
Employee PortalMajor Problems • Extremely difficult to find things via the portal • No idea what category to select in taxonomy • Misleading labels (e.g., “HP Policies”) • Search is important for users but works poorly • Employees use “wrong” keywords • Employees feel guilty using alternative navigation tools • 19 of 44 user testing sessions (43%) expired unsuccessfully at 3 minutes
Employee PortalRecommendations • Provide Multiple Finding Tools • classification schemes (taxonomies) • search • site index • Leverage CMS • distributed responsibility (metadata) • content value tiers (authority, strategic value, popularity) • incentives to authors/owners • Improve Search • integrate with browsing • filtering, zones, synonym management
Employee PortalRecommendations * implement in short-term
IA Therefore I Am • Peter Morville • firstname.lastname@example.org • Semantic Studios • http://semanticstudios.com/ • Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture • http://aifia.org/ • Findability • http://findability.org/