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How long does it take to build a class library with Datum360?

10.09.20 Standardization

Author: Tara Pritchard, Senior Consultant, Datum360

Datum360 has been instrumental in creating information requirements specifications (class libraries) for many organizations within the process, infrastructure, mining, and utility industries. Our expert team of Information Management consultants have on average over 15 years’ experience of developing class libraries (also known as reference data libraries).

To create a class library, the first thing that needs to be agreed on is the timescale available. In reality, a class library is never finished, it is a living object that will evolve over time as required.

So, to determine how long it will take to build a class library, we consider 2 distinct phases; namely initial development time frame and then the time required to iterate, refine, and evolve an evergreen quality class library.

Phase 1

Design and development of a Class Library, depending upon the maturity and complexity of the client organization, might take somewhere between 3 to 6 man-months of existing standard consolidation effort and definition of organizational ownership. All of this in preparation for sign off by the identified information owners.

To accelerate the process Datum360 provide a pre-baked Class Library so that clients can take what we have already, based on the experience and cross-mapping of the projects that we have worked on, present it to operations and ask them to review and sign off.

Typically, in our experiences gained from over 10 years of implementations, the time taken for these processes in client engagements has reduced from approaching 200 days to as little as 30 days of effort depending on complexity, client culture and the starting point etc.

For organisations that already have a fully mature class library, it can be built into Datum360’s CLS360 platform within a matter of days.

In reality, a class library is never finished, it is a living object that will evolve over time as required.

Phase 2

Incremental improvement of the Class Library via a managed change process continues to develop over the Asset Life Cycle and is typically seen as an on-going function of the information management team to maintain this essential reference data.

The use of CLS360 dramatically reduces the effort and provides a clear audit trail. Also allowing easy variant management of cloned class libraries for specific asset groups or projects in relation to the master classification for the enterprise.

To accelerate time to move from phase 1 to phase 2 and ultimately to realize value, we fundamentally believe that it takes an adoption philosophy that the class library is correct until proven wrong i.e. that it will be delivered against and measured against as if trusted.

This adoption philosophy depends on those that genuinely need the information in the first place to truly care about what they ask for, how they ask for it, how they assure and measure it and how it is maintained. With this in mind, once the end-users in operations are fully engaged in active use and enforcement of a classification the build time will be minimized.

So to win the hearts and minds of the people, the process requires a clear view of the end in mind, i.e. how the information will support operations and what must take place to help get there efficiently with assured data integrity. It is important that all existing engineering information specifications and standards are captured and leveraged appropriately.


In our experience the platform and starting content is important, however, the critical part of the process is to get clear communications and ownership in place with key stakeholders, then managing the process positively to a conclusion so that time to value is not delayed.

To find out more about CLS360, we have a fact sheet available here

About the author: Tara Pritchard is part of Datum360's Services Team, if you would like to find out more about our service team capabilities and how we can support your engineering information strategy, please follow the link here to our services brochure

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