JoAnn Hackos, CIDM Founder

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Dr. JoAnn Hackos is the founder and former director of the Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM). She is also former President of Comtech Services, a content-management and information-design firm based in Denver, which she founded in 1978. She retired in 2017.

Throughout her career, Dr. Hackos was called upon by organizations worldwide to consult on strategies for content management, information design and development, organizational management, customer studies, information architecture, and tools and technology selection. She developed many seminars dedicated to enhancing the practices and products that promote customer satisfaction and increase productivity. Many of these workshops continue to be taught by Comtech today.

Dr. Hackos was a founder of the OASIS DITA Technical Committee and served as chair of the OASIS DITA Adoption Committee through 2016. She also co-chaired the subcommittee on technical communication and was a member of several subcommittees. Since DITA’s initial release, Dr. Hackos has been instrumental in promoting the growing adoption of the DITA specification worldwide.

Dr. Hackos is the co-author of the ISO Standard for Systems and software engineering—Content management for product life-cycle, user and service management documentation (ISO/IEC/IEEE 26531) and remains active in the ISOC SC7 working group developing standards for information developers.

Dr. Hackos has authored a number of key texts in information development:

  • Information Development: Managing your Documentation Projects, Portfolio, and People (Wiley 2006)
  • Content Management for Dynamic Web Delivery (Wiley 2002)
  • Managing Your Documentation Projects (Wiley 1994)
  • Co-authored with Dawn Stevens Standards for Online Communication (Wiley 1997)
  • Co-authored with Ginny Redish User and Task Analysis for Interface Design (Wiley 1998)
  • Introduction to DITA: A User Guide to the Darwin Information Typing Architecture—Arbortext Edition (Comtech Services, Inc. 2007)
  • Introduction to DITA: A User Guide to the Darwin Information Typing Architecture—2nd Edition (Comtech Services, Inc. 2011)
  • Co-authored with Bryan Schanabel and Rodolfo Raya, A Practical Guide to XLIFF (XML Press, 2015)

JoAnn is a Fellow and Past President of the International Society for Technical Communication (STC). She is the recipient of Goldsmith Award of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Professional Communication Society; the Rigo Award of the Association for Computer Machinery’s Special Interest Group on the Design of Communication; and the Horace Hockley Award of the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators in the United Kingdom.