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

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Timing Is Everything: A Phased Rollout

Earlier we touched on how centralization efforts are often tripped up by efforts to work with everyone and to do so all at once. Obviously, this is a recipe for disaster, but what’s the alternative? It’s pretty simple, really: choose your battles wisely, and take your time. Here’s our advice.

Identifying Potential Clients

You don’t want to work with all clients. Some are simply too stuck in “cowboy” mode, playing the rugged individualist to your information architecture communalist. Some are too busy to work with you. Some are too cautious when it comes to new things. Some would like to work with you but don’t have the resources, or perhaps they don’t have particularly valuable content. And, frankly, some just don’t get this information architecture stuff, regardless of your best educational efforts.

In such a mixed environment, with both ends of the evolutionary spectrum coexisting on the same floor of corporate headquarters, you must accept the reality that you’ll be working with only the few clients with whom success is immediately likely, and waiting for the others to catch up over time.

Some clients shouldn’t be using your information architecture at all; they may be better suited to managing the information that lives with their department. What you need to do is figure out how to pull that information out and integrate it with other information. For example, HR data is probably never going to be something you have control over, but it ...

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