TxM 006 Section 1.4 What is a Strategic Engineered Precision Taxonomy (SEPT) to JAR&A Standards? Created by James on 6/26/2013 3:52:32 PM
The following is an overview of what constitutes a Strategic Engineered Precision Taxonomy to the standards that I have developed over the years:
1. Semantic structure
Fundamentally a taxonomy is a logical word or semantic structure – it depicts the real world in a carefully structured hierarchical list.
The following figure depicts a very simple taxonomy of Credit Note Reason Codes:
2. Precision vocabulary or preferred terms
In defining a taxonomy the choice of words is important – a limited and specific vocabulary should be used such that the same concept or element is always described with the same word or phrase. There is a difference between "Factory" and "Manufacturing".
3. Conveys understanding
A taxonomy succinctly conveys understanding between human beings with related knowledge and experience.
A strategic taxonomy conveys an executive view of the strategic priorities of the business all the way down to the most junior clerk who posts against that taxonomy.
4. Hierarchical strategically structured list
A Strategic Engineered Precision Taxonomy is a hierarchical (nested) structured list relating to any specific attribute stored in a computer system ranging from the most simple to the most complex.
5. Precision code scheme
In the context of this document not only is a taxonomy a precision semantic (English language) structure but this is, in turn, linked to a precision code scheme which conforms to the standards that I have developed over the years with regard to number of elements at any level in the hierarchy, gap coding, capitalization of headings, trailing periods against headings, use of numeric, alphanumeric or alpha coding, mnemonic coding including conventions for mnemonic coding relating to correlation to vowels and consonants, etc.
The following diagram gives an indication of how critical precision is in delivering value:
6. An Art and a Science
The development of a strategically valuable sustainable taxonomy is both an Art and a Science and requires significant levels of knowledge and experience to originate.
There are rules but a lot of what is required to craft a taxonomy that really works is intuition based on comprehensive understanding of business, information technology, language, logic, etc.
7. Precision communication tool
A precision taxonomy is a precision communication tool that requires adherence to a range of standards and conventions in order to achieve its full potential and communicate a consistent picture across all users.
8. Add's value to users from the CEO to the most junior supervisor (Team Leader)
A precision taxonomy adds value to all users of the information in the system, from the CEO who is able to get answers to all possible questions, including those not thought of previously and drill down to detail at the touch of a button to the clerk who needs to post fast and accurately and harness the power of software system intelligence linked to workflows, business rules, etc.
9. Time consuming and tedious to develop – once right it seems obvious
Strategic Engineered Precision Taxonomies to JAR&A standards are time consuming and tedious to develop and observers may question why it is taking "so long" but, IF well designed to cater for all business eventualities a precision taxonomy seems "obvious" at the end.
The more complex the taxonomy the more time consuming to develop it.
10. Software tools can enhance development
The use of software tools can enhance the development of precision taxonomies both in terms of speed and precision.
The above list contains the main elements that define a Strategic Engineered Precision Taxonomy.
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