#Office365Challenge – Term Store Management in Office 365 Part 3 Planning. This is the most important part of your Term Store creation and should not be done without consulting all the relevant parties. If you don’t have a dedicated person in the business who deals with file plans / document management – research. There is a lot of information on the web to guide you, and your team, into making better decisions.

Day: 98 of 365, 267 left
Tools: SharePoint
Description: Term Store Management in Office 365 Part 3 Planning

The Term Store should be developed based on the outcome of your file plan exercise. I’m not saying you cannot develop your Term Store if the File Plan is not in place, but I do suggest going one step higher to develop the basics of your File Plan which will be supported by your Term Store / Managed Metadata.

Related posts:
Around the Office in 365 Days: Day 96 – Term Store Management in Office 365 Part 1 Terminology
Around the Office in 365 Days: Day 97 – Term Store Management in Office 365 Part 2 Permissions

File Plan:
A file plan is a guideline that describes and documents the file locations, retention and archiving instructions, management of records as well as classification of documents. This normally goes hand in hand with the compliance regulations you might be following. The Team working on this should include IT (SharePoint), Business Representatives from each department, Compliance / Risk Department and the Document or Records Management Team.

“The file plan is the primary records management planning document in SharePoint Server 2013. Although file plans can differ across organizations, they typically:

  • Describe the kinds of items the organization acknowledges to be records.
  • Describe what broader category of records the items belong to.
  • Indicate where records are stored.
  • Describe retention periods for records.
  • Delineate who is responsible for managing the various kinds of records.”

The file plan describes the broader category of documents and this is where your Term Store comes in. Here are some great resources on developing your File Plan / Term Store:
Create a file plan to manage records in SharePoint
What is a File Plan? Constructing the File Plan
Principles of Creating a Top-Down Filing plan
File Plans Simplified
How to Create a File Plan in SharePoint
10 SharePoint 2013 Taxonomy and Meta Data Resources

Once you have the basics in place (File Plan), it’s time to build the Term Store. As with anything in life, it’s your choice how complicated this can become, but I do believe that being informed and keeping your eye on all the considerations will guide you into keeping it simple. Again, I would rather do the planning and structure in the file plan, and build the Term Store according to that. Building Term Sets / Terms in SharePoint on the fly – is sure to lead to chaos.

In the Term Store there are two basic methods I follow. Building out the category in a single Term Set or using separate Term Sets to address the sub categories. In this example I’ve used a Continent / Country list. I prefer using the Single Term Set method as the user can then pick from either Continents, Countries, Provinces, Regions or Towns. The items also have a relationship with each other. My main Term Set would be “The World” and keep in mind that you can open the term set at any level for the user to pick from.

This great article by Microsoft on How to Plan terms and term sets in SharePoint Server 2013 will help you a great deal:
“Managed metadata and the way that you structure it can affect many parts of a SharePoint solution, such as the following:

  • Valid values for columns, and the way users enter these values.
  • The enterprise keywords that users can apply to SharePoint items.
  • The way that search results can be refined.
  • How documents are routed.
  • The workflows that are applied to SharePoint items.
  • The ways that users can sort and filter SharePoint items.
  • If you are using social tagging, the tags that users can apply to items that are not SharePoint items.

Planning and organizing managed metadata involves the following steps:

  • Identify term sets.
  • Identify the owner of each term set.
  • Determine term set groups.
  • Define term sets.”

We’ve now covered the Terminology, Permissions and Planning of your Term Store, see you tomorrow when we create our first Term Sets and Terms.

Overview of my challenge: As an absolute lover of all things Microsoft, I’ve decided to undertake the challenge, of writing a blog every single day, for the next 365 days. Crazy, I know. And I’ll try my best, but if I cannot find something good to say about Office 365 and the Tools it includes for 365 days, I’m changing my profession. So let’s write this epic tale of “Around the Office in 365 Days”. My ode to Microsoft Office 365.

Keep in mind that these tips and tricks do not only apply to Office 365 – but where applicable, to the overall Microsoft Office Suite and SharePoint.