Friday, January 25, 2013

Definitions #4: SharePoint Information Architect

The SharePoint Information Architect is a role that has really grown some wings since the release of SharePoint 2010. Yes, MOSS and SharePoint 2007 possessed some fledgling features that remotely resembled centrally managed information architecture, but SharePoint 2010 made these concepts an integral part of the way people and information are organized and processed in the enterprise SharePoint environment.

So... what does the Information Architect do?

The Information Architect is responsible for centralized management and syndication of enterprise metadata, content types, and associated information management policies (records management also falls into this domain). The SharePoint Information Architect leverages the new Managed Metadata service in SharePoint to create metadata taxonomies (known as Term Stores), or hierarchies of information structure. SharePoint 2010 also provides for a folksonomy, which is user-specified metadata that the Information Architect can choose to either add to the enterprise taxonomy, leave the metadata in the ad-hoc term store, or delete the unwanted user-defined terms. The Information Architect should always be involved in any discussions regarding enterprise SharePoint governance.

The initial setup and launch of the term stores can be a daunting, time-consuming task, depending on the scope of the metadata defined. The central cataloguing of content types and information management policies is also no small task as well. This is where someone with a working knowledge of records management, retention, disposition, and their associated legal requirements can be very useful to the enterprise.  This person can be delegated responsibility of the Managed Metadata Service Application on the farm. This is but one of several examples of the mid-tier administrator roles that came to being in SharePoint 2010.

This person is normally designated as a Site Collection Administrator on the site designated as the central Managed Metadata Syndication Hub and Content Type Syndication Hub.

Recruiting Take-Away: This person should be an experienced records manager, taxonomist, or site collection administrator. Some experience with any of these three will be helpful. Most likely, this role will be a portion of tasking of someone who is a full-time professional in one of the other two roles.

Resume Search Criteria: SharePoint Information Architect, Taxonomy, Managed Metadata, Content Types, Information Management Policies, Records Management (optional, but helpful)

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