Though Categories and Initiatives are two very different concepts, they can be used in similar ways. In this article, I'll explain how we define each, citing specific examples.
What is an Initiative?
An Initiative describes an objective enacted to achieve Company or Program level Goals. It is time-bound and should drive the work being implemented in the Syniti Knowledge Platform. Initiatives are different from Goals, in that Goals are time-bound and have specific success metrics. Our recommendation is to always follow the SMART acronym when defining goals - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused and Time-bound. Following this model, let's consider the following examples:
In these examples, each Initiative rolls up to a Company or Program level Goal. The Goals are specific, time-bound, and have defined success metrics. The Initiatives focus on a specific objective that will help achieve the associated Goal. Both Company and Program level Goals/Initiatives are captured, demonstrating how what’s being done in the Data Governance Program, rolls back up to the Company’s overarching strategy. This structure isn't necessarily required in Syniti Knowledge Tier, but it allows an organization to capture all assets associated with various components of strategy.
What is a Category?
Categories help organize data into meaningful groups that can offer insight, improve accessibility, and streamline workflow.
The primary use case for categories is for the filtration of assets when using search. Think of it as searching a retail website for a 42” Samsung TV, 1080p, flat screen, black, with wall mount capabilities and a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty. It's simply a way to refine your search results, being very specific about what you need.
Let's consider the following examples:
Categories are pretty straight-forward - they can have multiple values. Notice how we are able to reuse both "CCPA" and "EU GDPR" from our Initiative example. Categories can also be applied to Initiatives, so Initiatives can be refined in search results. The Categories an organization decides to use should depend on that organization's unique needs.
Initiatives capture objectives implemented to achieve business goals, while Categories organize assets into meaningful groups. Some concepts, such as CCPA, may be defined as both an Initiative and a Category - but it really depends on the needs of the organization. There is no universally correct way to do this, but it should rather be implemented based on the decisions of the organization.
Information Governance can be complicated to implement, but yields important benefits. At Syniti, each customer may be assigned a designated Customer Success Manager who can help guide you and provide further expertise on implementations. To learn more about the customer success program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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