Organizational Structure: Who, What, and Where Should We Be?

We will need to determine a logical structure for our efforts, assuming we need some structure at all.

First, it's not clear if we need to centralize any aspect of the work described in this site. This work could continue to happen independently and organically. If we decide to collaborate and possibly centralize, there needs to be a compelling reason to do so.

Or we may decide that this centralization takes the shape of an "umbrella web site" that ties together our projects. Or an organization that is positioned and funded to advocate on the field's behalf. Or something else altogether.


If a decision to formally centralize is made, it should be captured in a mission statement and encoded in an organizational structure, such as a US 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. It should be noted that the international nature of the field and its practitioners might complicate any efforts to incorporate in the US.

Finally, a location--a PO Box if nothing else--should probably be set up. Right?

Another way to think about this issue of organizational structure is to think backward. What would be the ideal structure to have? When would it be realistic to achieve it? One year? Five years? Pick a date, then work backward, prioritizing along the way. Phases will fall out of this process, helping us determine where to start.

Posted by Louis Rosenfeld at October 04, 2001 06:22 PM

In exploring the possibilities for an IA Education Working Group, I have been looking at W3C ( Perhaps that organization can serve as a model for the IA infrastructure.

The W3C model includes processes for establishing working groups and developing recommendations within those working groups.

Although highly formalized, the processed behind W3C are designed to coordinate diverse and dispersed groups of people for specific initiatives within a broad context.

Relevant links:

Documentation of the W3C process:
(Chapters 4 and 5 talk about working groups and technical documents, respectively.)

Example of a working group charter:
(Note the specifications of the group's purpose, scope, and relationship to other groups.)

Posted by Dan at November 14, 2001 4:52 PM

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