CIDM Matters

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CIDM Matters is an electronic newsletter published on the 1st and 15th of every month. Browse these articles published in CIDM Matters or subscribe to the newsletter by selecting the “Join Us” option on the navigation bar.

Let’s Undo it the Intelligent Way!

Anu Singh, Fiserv
September 15, 2020

In his book “The Fourth Industrial Revolution,” the World Economic Forum founder and chairman, Klaus Schwab mentioned that we must fundamentally change the way we live, work, and relate to one another in this Information and Communication Technology (ICT) era of rapid development. This era is witnessing many disruptive digital technologies, such as cloud computing, the Internet of Things, big data, and artificial intelligence, and are rapidly penetrating the Finance industry while enabling a fusion of physical and virtual worlds through cyber-physical systems (CPS). The cognitive technologies — deep learning, agentive technology, bots, and AI — have made us rethink how we deliver information. […]

Content Quality: How does yours stack up?

Kathy Madison, Comtech Services
August 15, 2020

Most content creating organizations have quality assurance processes to ensure their content is accurate and complete, and meets user requirements. But how do you know if your team is spending too much or too little time reviewing and tweaking content or how do you know if your quality is “good enough” for your audience? We hope to find the answers to these questions in this year’s CIDM Member Benchmark Study. We’ll investigate how member’s quality assurance processes stack up to their peers and what level of maturity the community has achieved relative to Comtech’s Information Process Maturity Model (IPMM). […]

Documenting Faster to the Future

Rohini Garde, VMware
August 15, 2020

In a recent company All-Hands meeting, VMware CEO, Pat Gelsinger, said, “Let’s move VMware faster to the future.” The phrase “faster to the future” got my immediate attention.

After the meeting, I started thinking about the phrase and wondered, “As a technical writer, what can I do to support this company goal?  What could be my contribution in helping VMware move faster to the future? “Can I document faster to the future”? […]

A Homebrew Reuse Analyzer

Larry Koller, CommScope
August 1, 2020

Computers are good at brute-force tasks. For example, they can compare thousands of paragraphs with each other, looking for matches or near-matches without getting tired or bored.

A content developer can use the results to:

  • find and correct inconsistencies
  • create collection files for reusable text.

I built a simple reuse analyzer from existing open-source tools and code, using a script to loop through any number of topics (after stripping markup). […]

Understanding Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for an Effective Storytelling

Anu Singh, Fiserv
July 15, 2020

Ever wondered why do we always write, “Click OK”?

This question can be answered from three different perspectives.

First, mostly because we would like to reinforce that it is safe to click the OK button to accomplish a task. Secondly, we do not build our content considering an individual’s psychological or self-actualization needs to connect with an audience. Third, we often do not realize that all content is not created equal, and it should not be for the targeted audience. […]

Unpacking Authoring Practices in DITA (Part 3)

Nolwenn Kerzreho, IXIASOFT
July 15, 2020

Some writers and specialists claim it’s too difficult to write in DITA and that the learning curve is too steep. Some other specialists and documentation managers claim that they can start new hires writing in DITA in a couple of hours. This article is the final part of a series of posts about writing practices that authors must adapt, adopt, or shed. […]

Unearthing Precious Lessons from the Hidden Gift Vase of Telecommuting

Sairam Venugopalan, QUALCOMM
July 1, 2020

Regardless of the nature of work that we might be performing in our professional lives, be it of the content-curation ilk or of the more fanciful engineering role, the vast volumes of time that we expend towards the readiness, ride, and return in the home to office trajectory has always been a throbbing area for several of us in the corporate countryside. While we might have yearned for jobs that would have enabled us to have the flexibility and cushion of not having to trek to our workplaces, be it far or at a stone’s throw from our abodes, many of our day-jobs have often necessitated physical presence at our desks and office cubicles. In certain cases, this lack of freedom might have been for logistical reasons with the organization for which we were working, while in other cases, the general mandate might have been for remote-working to be availed in a judicious way for exigencies. […]

Investing in Your Content’s Future

Sabine Ocker, Comtech Services
July 1, 2020

When migrating to a structured markup publishing environment such as DITA, most organizations feel they are well-positioned to move forward once tools and the information model are in place, and their content converted and migrated into the cCMS… but are they really finished?

Newly created content complies with the information model, and so going forward will be well aligned with the new standards and guidelines, but not the existing content corpus.

Many organizations decide to wait until after their content has been converted into DITA to do clean up. Given the pragmatic realities of software release schedules and learning new tools, some find the momentum flags for investing in their existing content. […]

Working on Far-Flung Teams (How I learned to stop worrying and love the Zoom)

Larry Kunz, Extreme Networks
June 15, 2020

Since the beginning of 2020, many of us by necessity have grown accustomed to working away from the office. Whether you use the seemingly ubiquitous Zoom or another tool, you’ve no doubt become familiar with videoconferencing and experienced both its strengths and weaknesses.

You’ve probably noticed that it’s harder to collaborate with remote teams than with teams that are co-located. It’s harder to keep everyone in sync, all rowing together to move the boat forward. Team members might struggle to share timely, accurate information. They might experience confusion and misunderstand things without even realizing it. […]

Create Exceptional Documentation using Enterprise Grade Reviews

Amanda Barfield, VMware
June 15, 2020

Prior to working at VMware as a Senior Technical Writer, most of my experience was working with start-up companies where I created a solid foundation for their documentation to grow and scale with them. One of the many things I’ve learned from VMware is how essential it is to incorporate Enterprise-Grade documentation reviews in each release cycle, regardless of company size or geographic differences. Working at a start-up is exciting, it’s thrilling, and there’s constant action, with the opportunity to build something from the ground up. The high agility allows engineering to release new features, updates, and fixes at the flip of a coin. As a Technical Writer, my biggest struggle was trying to figure out how to keep the documentation accurate and helpful to our customers, while still flowing with the agility of the start-up environment; I believe VMware Workspace ONE UEM has found a solution. […]

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