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Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, Second Edition by Peter Morville, Louis Rosenfeld

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A Framework for Centralization

What follows is a plan of attack that you can modify to fit your own needs. No single enterprise has done everything we cover below; it’s better to think of this as a compilation of what we’ve seen work and, based on our experience, what we think could work. Our more ambitious suggestions, such as setting up a separate information architecture business unit, may seem unrealistic today, but we’re confident that over time these ideas won’t seem quite so far-fetched. For now, if you are taking responsibility for your organization’s information architecture, look at this framework as an ideal to measure yourself against. It will help to identify gaps that you need to work on, and build your strategy for success.

Build a New Business Unit

If you’re trying to push through any significant organizational change within a large enterprise, you know that obtaining senior-level support is an absolute must. Centralization efforts are no exception to this rule. Unfortunately, it’s all too common for a tiny team of a few information architects and content managers to find themselves entrusted with a Fortune 500 corporation’s architectural centralization (we’ve seen this again and again). Aside from being too small to take on the operational work of designing and rolling out a central architecture, they toil without involvement or even notice from decision-makers. In fact, the team is usually an offshoot of an existing business unit (e.g., IT or corporate communications), ...

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