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.

Confluence Review Process

Arun Chandran, Dell EMC
January 15, 2021

Every document written is reviewed to ensure it represents accurate information. The review and approval process can make a document or break a document. To get the best possible result, every stakeholder should efficiently and clearly provide their feedback. […]

Microsoft Teams: Bringing us together

Zara Reyes, Waters Corporation
January 1, 2021

Togetherness can be explained as a state or feeling of closeness to others. It provides us with a sense of security, belongingness, support and gives us strength in difficult moments.

Right now togetherness is everything. This time last year, who would have thought 2020 would bring what it did. Social distancing is not in our nature. As humans, we are social beings who connect emotionally using our body language and verbal cues. We do not normally spend our days alone with no social interaction. The little things in life, such as the small social interactions we once had daily, now seem to belong to a distant past, and last year showed just how important it is to stay connected. […]

2020: The year things changed

Sabine Ocker, Comtech Services
January 1, 2021


2020 turned out to be a most singular year. We have experienced uncertainty, challenges, and personal and professional stressors. Many aspects of our working lives have shifted and changed in profound ways. Although there’s no way to guess what 2021 will bring, I’ve been contemplating a few of the more impactful changes that have left me wondering what to expect this year. […]

DIY DITA output customization

Yendra Waney, Oceaneering
December 1, 2020

When I started at Oceaneering, Microsoft Word was the basis of the documentation. So, I started the migration to DITA on the very first day. My manager at that time didn’t know about DITA, but he was pleased that I rewrote a manual with 20% fewer words. By the way, that was not because of DITA. Now the next challenge was to make the DITA output a bit similar to the Microsoft Word formatting. In other words, I needed to customize the output. […]

ConVEx Sets the Standard for Online Events!

Kathy Madison, Comtech Services
November 15, 2020

Over six hundred ConVExers from twenty-one countries, thirty-one US states, and 6 Canadian provinces participated in CIDMs first-ever virtual experience. The main-stage sessions, including the Insights & Inspiration talks and Industry Panels, were the most popular. The attendees also had the opportunity to join Zoom rooms for small candid conversations with speakers and vendors.

During the event, attendees were very highly-engaged in the ConVEx Slack workspace. They asked the speakers questions, made comments about the presentations, and started new discussion threads. The most active channels were #inclusivity-and-accessibility, #analytics-for-content, #contentcatharsis, #book-recommendations, and #petpalooza. Here are a few noteworthy posts/threads from the inclusivity and analytics channels. […]

Establishing and Improving Cross-team Collaboration with UX Designers

Sean Watson, ServiceNow
November 15, 2020

Integration between UX design and content writing is in the early stages of development at ServiceNow. Because of this, there’s a lot of opportunity to define processes in those relationships. The following are some key takeaways learned for successfully establishing a process that builds strong functional relationships across teams.

Perhaps the most impactful task you perform as a content writer is procuring information. There are several types of information required to perform a task. This information is typically acquired by meeting with a UX designer or a team of UX designers, and possibly a product or project manager. […]

Working with SMEs

Kathy Madison, Comtech Services
November 1, 2020

In a recent CIDM member roundtable discussion, we explored all things related to Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). A SME is a highly knowledgeable individual who performs specialized functions in a given organization. Traditionally we think of the SME as and the engineer responsible for whatever it is we are writing about, but SMEs can come from any department in your organization. They can be from product management, user interface (UI), user experience (UX), customer support, quality assurance, and even from our own technical writing team. The SME is essentially anyone we go for answers to our questions.

Regardless of who the SME is, we have to build a good working relationship with them, starting with establishing our own value and authority. We must always represent the technical writing organization in a positive way, continually showing our value. A few best practices to create a strong collaborative environment include: […]

Dynamic Publishing with a Headless CMS

Sabine Ocker, Comtech Services
October 1, 2020

Last month, we invited Barry Grenon and Kevin Kuhns of Genesys to come to the CIDM Monthly Round Table and give members a demo of their dynamic publishing environment. Since a headless CMS is an essential component for that environment, I circled back around with Barry and asked him a few questions. Below are his responses.

Sabine: Can you tell us about your role at Genesys—what are you responsible for, how long have you worked there, what kind of deliverables are created by your organization?

Barry: I have been working for Genesys for 13 years. Currently, my role is Director, Information Experience (IX) Platforms. My team is responsible for the administration and customization of our various IX websites. Deliverables include website content (prime delivery) covering all aspects of our technical documentation. This online content is also a source for generated PDF, in-application contextual help, and in-application notifications.

Sabine: Can you help readers who might not be familiar with a headless CMS environment understand what it entails?


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). […]

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