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

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Strategy Versus Tactics: Who Does What

We’ve discussed why centralizing an enterprise information architecture is good, what’s involved, and how it should be done. So how should the EIA Unit team be structured.

Like an actual architecture, you should approach this challenge from both ends: top-down and bottom-up. Think of the top-down approach as the strategy end of things, where senior people figure out the big picture of where the EIA Unit should be headed and how it will get there. The bottom-up side involves the tactical tasks involved in actually doing the work at hand.

Unfortunately, it’s not easy to balance participation between management and the people in the trenches. The latter are typically intimidated and have little understanding of what it takes to navigate political minefields to effect organizational change. Senior managers typically can’t tell the difference between a site index and an inverted index. And ultimately, both groups work with different audiences.

So, divide and conquer!

Separate Strategy and Tactics

The strategic and tactical aspects of the EIA Unit need to be owned by two teams, each with its own mission and participants. Continuing with the concept of a business model, treat the tactical team as the actual business entity, and the strategy team as a “board of directors,” charged with meeting occasionally to steer the EIA Unit through the rapids of organizational politics. While the strategy group might convene quarterly to check in and set direction, ...

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