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3 Things an IKEA Dresser can teach us about Content Management

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By John Mancini, on May 18, 2015 | @AIIMIntl

Last weekend, we moved my daughter up to New York City.

She started a job today as a nurse at Columbia Presbyterian hospital, and the apartment is on 10th Avenue a bit north of the Port Authority (pizza place on one side of the door, Irish bar on the other, Dunkin Donut down the block – what’s not for me to like?). My wife and I are alternately very proud and terrified of her accomplishment and move. Mostly the former. Her place is in the middle of the picture below by the diversity flag.

In the course of the move-in and many illegal parking spaces and Keystone Cop antics associated with doing a move-in in NYC, we decided to add to the lunacy and make a visit to IKEA.  In Brooklyn.

Those who know me can testify that IKEA is not one of my usual haunts.  Just following those little arrows through the pre-defined maze of bedrooms to kitchens to living rooms to bathrooms gets me a bit dizzy.  If not for the meatballs I would usually rather put a stick in my eye than go to IKEA.  But truth be told, amidst my whining, anytime I am forced to go to IKEA, I do have a grudging appreciation for the sophistication of the operation.  And for the incredible example it provides of effective Taxonomy and Metadata management in action.

Say what? Taxonomy and Metadata?

At IKEA, I find myself thinking about all the conversations I’ve had with so many people over the years about the impossibility of truly doing content and document management well. About how incredibly gargantuan the task is of organizing all that content. About how nobody can find ever anything. About how the sheer volume of all that content makes the task not just difficult, but impossible. About how even at AIIM (true confessions), with only 30 people and sitting atop the world’s best collection of content and about content, we struggle much like the shoemaker’s children to organize our fairly modest content and information assets into something coherent.

For anyone who has managed to somehow avoid the IKEA experience, THIS is what awaits you at the end of your journey.

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Endless rows of stuff, just like the one above, that bring to mind the huge warehouse at the end of Indiana Jones:

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John Mancini

John Mancini, president and CEO of AIIM, is an author, speaker, and respected leader of the AIIM global community of information professionals. He is a catalyst in social, mobile, cloud, and big data technology adoption and an advocate for the new generation of experts who are driving the future of information management. John predicts that the next three years will generate more change in the way we deploy enterprise technologies and whom we trust with this task than in the previous two decades. His passion about the evolution of information workers into information analysts spurred John to establish the Certified Information Professional (CIP) program to enable anyone, anywhere to benchmark and develop new and strategic skills. His commitment to education includes the continual development of leading-edge training and publishing of ongoing industry research to help guide new thinking. As a frequent keynote speaker, John offers his expertise on the transformational challenges and opportunities facing information professionals and attracts over 100,000 visitors annually to his blog Digital Landfill. He has published six e-book titles including “#OccupyIT — A Technology Manifesto for Cloud, Mobile and Social Era” and the popular “8 Things You Need to Know About” e-book series. He has a Klout score in the high 60s, is ranked #5 in online SharePoint influence by harmon.ie and #42 in the KnowledgeLake SharePoint Influencer50. John can be found on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook as jmancini77.

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Bob Williams is the founder and president of Cohasset Associates, Inc. and founder of the National Conference on Managing Electronic Records, (MER).Mr. Williams is renowned for his leadership in addressing the legal, technical, and operational challenges associated with the life-cycle management of records, especially electronic records.  He has edited two definitive legal research studies: Legality of Microfilm and Legality of Optical Storage.  His also has overseen many industry white papers focused on compliance the SEC’s requirements for the storage of computer stored information (CSI).As a renowned speaker, Mr. Williams has given more than 1,000 presentations at briefings, seminars, and conferences throughout the United States as well as in Europe and South America.Mr. Williams’ primary focus now is organizing, running, and co-chairing the MER, Cohasset’s nationally renowned conference on managing electronic records

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