August 1999

From the Director

CIDMIconNewsletter JoAnn Hackos

I hope by now you’ve all had the opportunity to register for next month’s Best Practices Conference in Keystone. Visit the web site ( for a detailed schedule of presentations and topics. We received a lot of input on the various topics members were interested in and have tried our best to schedule them all into this brief three-day event. The feedback we’ve received about the Center Associate and benchmarking presentations and the Council Member panels has been encouraging.

As we put the conference sessions together, it became apparent that we had two central themes running through our presentations: the role of the individual within the department and the role of technology within the department. We quickly recruited our Advisory Council members to speak on topics related to these central themes.

On the first day, Monday, we’ll look at how your individual group members interface with product developers when I present our Center member ratio benchmark study. Then we’ll investigate other areas of personal and professional development as Henry Korman discusses how our expertise can benefit product development groups and Katherine Murphy explores how we can create leadership qualities within our group. Julie Bradbury, from Cadence, and Center Associate Judy Glick-Smith will discuss leadership from their own professional experience. And finally, Gil Mounsey, from NCR, and Debbie Rosenquist, from Dell, will wrap up the day with a discussion on career development.

We have an exciting day planned for Tuesday as we look at technological advance and strategies for measuring if, indeed, we are advancing our groups. We’ll begin the day with a summary of the Center’s metrics benchmarking study and a panel of speakers from the study’s primary sponsors. Joe Welinske of WinWriters has graciously agreed to present a discussion on trends in online documentation. Center Associate Ann Rockley will investigate one of those trends-single sourcing-and lead a panel discussion with Council members Robin Reddick, from BMC, and Mike Lewis, from NCR, on their work on single sourcing. For the final session, Ginny Redish will highlight some future directions for documentation and training.

On the final day, we’ll expand these two themes to look at the roles of our departments within the larger corporation and market strategies as Associate Katherine Murphy and I, along with Diane Davis from Synopsys and Jimm Meloy from Autodesk, present a workshop/seminar on applying Geoffrey Moore’s Crossing the Chasm to documentation and training. We had a few good online chats on this topic earlier in the year and a rather quiet listserv study group on the same topic. We hope the face-to-face meetings and interaction fostered by the conference setting will provide us with some new ideas to take back to our companies.

We look forward to seeing you in Keystone next month! CIDMIconNewsletter