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April 2013


Pain Points and Innovations: Getting ready for Best Practices 2013

CIDMIconNewsletter JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services, Inc.

April is, in most parts of the northern hemisphere, the month when spring finally breaks out. It is also the month when we begin planning for the September Best Practices conference. It may seem awfully early to start planning, but we have big decisions to make about the conference:

  • Theme of the conference
  • Theme book for everyone to read in advance
  • Keynote speaker
  • Key presentations
  • Offers to present at the Showcase
  • Preparations for the Rare Bird award

As a CIDM member, the planning starts with you—and we really need your help.

The members of the CIDM Advisory Council and I met in March to begin the planning process. The most important planning activity is the series of small group conference calls we arrange for April and May. Each year, as a CIDM member, you receive an invitation to participate in a 2-3 hour conference call with a member of the Advisory Council. During each call, here is what we want to know:

  • What has been the focus of your activities as a manager and decision-maker during the past year?
  • What pain points have you been encountering with management, staff, colleagues, technologies, or other situations that you find most challenging?
  • What innovations in process, organization, user understanding, technology, content development and delivery, or others have you been successfully pursuing?
  • What would you most like to hear about at the 2013 September conference, remembering that our focus is on management, not tools?

So—your responsibilities as a CIDM member include

  • Signing up for one of the small group conference calls as soon as you get the notice
  • Thinking about what you want to talk about during the conference call

In addition to the conference calls, we are inviting all CIDM members who are attending the CMS conference in Providence to a planning meeting at the end of the conference on Wednesday, April 17th at 1pm. If you are a CIDM member and would like to attend, see Lisa at the registration table during the conference for more information.

As a result of the conference calls and the Providence meeting, the Advisory Council and I plan the program and decide who we will invite to give one of the 12 key presentations. Note that this conference has only invited speakers and very few of them, so it’s important that we make good decisions. If you already believe you have something interesting to communicate, just let me know or express that interest during the conference call. We want to have the best possible presentations around our selected theme. And, there is always room for a few presentations that are important and note worthy but are not exclusively on the theme.

We also want to invite more of you to participate in the Showcase. The Showcase helps to increase the number of interesting presentations from the small number in the program.

In thinking about a Showcase presentation, think Science Fair. Each presenter or presenting team has a table and some foam core to mount a small display. You are encouraged to include a handout and be at your table to talk to the interested passersby. All the attendees are invited for the 3 hours of the Showcase. We usually have nearly 100% participation because it’s all so much fun.

Because we have no exhibit at this conference, we also invite our CIDM vendor members to give Showcase presentations, but we insist that they be about a case study, preferably with a customer in attendance, not a product display.

It’s not too early to plan your Rare Bird award application. You’ll find the details on the CIDM website at https://www.infomanagementcenter.com/events/rare-bird-award/. Know that applications are due July 14th. We have been receiving about 6 to 8 applications each year but would be happy to receive more. If you have a great project you’re team has completed, with really good metrics, begin to assemble your story and its details. Good metrics are often one of the deciding factors.

So, get ready for your invitation and quickly select the small group conference call to attend. We will keep annoying you about attending because it’s so important to hear from all our members. That means it’s to your advantage to sign up right away and avoid those extra emails.

If you haven’t attended one of the conference calls before, know that it is one of our best activities of the year. It’s great fun to hear from colleagues about what is on their minds, to learn about the trials and tribulations of managing information development, along with the victories. We want to learn all about your great stories. Be prepared to tell them.