Information Management News
April 2011

A monthly e-newsletter from The Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM)
JoAnn T. Hackos, PhD, CIDM Director

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CIDM News and Events

For a complete Calendar of Events, click on these links:



Upcoming Webinars

Recorded Webinars

Other Events


The CMS/DITA North America Conference 2011 will be held April 4-6 in Baltimore, Maryland. For more information click here.

The Best Practices Conference 2011 will be held September 12-14 in San Antonio, Texas.

Upcoming Workshops

Developing Quality Documentation in an Agile Environment
April 28-29, 2011
San Jose, CA

This workshop focuses on the Scrum Agile methodology and how documentation departments can adjust to this high-speed development environment.

Information Modeling for Topic-based Authoring in DITA and XML
May 3-4, 2011
Everett, WA

This workshop is the very best starting point for your implementation of DITA and XML topic-based authoring.

DITA Boot Camp
June 20-24, 2011
Fresh Meadows, NY

This workshop covers the concepts needed to move to DITA successfully. The Boot Camp takes you from the DITA Basics to the skills you’ll need to create a specific standard for your industry and your content.

DITA: Getting Started
August 17-18, 2011
Colorado Springs, CO

In this workshop, you learn that DITA is a standard for authoring topic-based technical information, that using DITA provides significant business advantages, and that you can get started immediately with the DITA Open Toolkit.

Upcoming Webinars

What’s New In Dita 1.2? Why Would An Enterprise Want To Implement It?

Tom Aldous, SDL & Noz Urbina, Mekon Ltd.
April 12, 2011, 10am EDT

Enhancing Global Customer Experience with High Quality and consistent content in DITA using Adobe FrameMaker 10 and SDL AuthorAssistant

Tom Aldous, SDL & Tom Smith, SDL
April 14, 2011, 1pm EDT

Ensuring Consistency with Map and Topic Templates

Helen Michaud & Julia Malkin, Endeca Technologies
April 28, 2011, 11am EDT

Click here for recorded webinars.


VMware is seeking a Front-End Web Developer

NLDITA 2011 Call For Speakers is now Open!

Computational Linguistics Applications Conference—Call for Papers

Click here for more announcements.

CIDM is now on Facebook! Click hereto join our group.

bestpractices CIDM is calling for contributions to the bimonthly publication, Best Practices. Please contact our Editor, Lisa Larson, for more information.

bestpractices The Center for Information-Development Management unites the info dev community to share information on industry trends, best practices, and developments. Click here to follow CIDM on Twitter

Content Management Strategies/DITA North America Conference 2011

Join an outstanding group of individuals who have moved their organizations into content management, implemented the DITA standard, reduced their operations costs, and solved copious technical issues. Go to our registration page to sign up today!

Vendor Participation Increases the Value of CMS 2011
JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services, Inc.

The 2011 Content Management Strategies/DITA North America is right around the corner. I’m looking forward to learning about project successes and challenges, new technology solutions, and best practices for structured authoring and XML semantics. The program has seventy-six presentations in four tracks: management, authoring, technical, and tools.

Read the article.

April 2011 Best Practices Newsletter
Table of Contents



Road to Change

Todd Herrick, Symitar, a JHA Company

Training and Information Development: A collaboration worth doing

JoAnn Hackos, CIDM

Driving Deliverables by Listening to the Voice of the Customer

Janel Kratky, Cisco Systems, Inc.

Staffing Your Documentation Team with Co-op Students: A program that works

Tim Bishop & Judy Kessler, Sybase, an SAP Company

Becoming a Taxonomist: A review of the BookThe Accidental Taxonomist and its value to the DITA community

Susan Self, Qualcomm

Join the

[Technical] Conversation

Amanda Cross, ExactTarget

If you are not a CIDM member, you can subscribe to the Best Practicesnewsletter online. A subscription is $99 per year. For subscribers outside the US, the cost is $109.

**Please note that the printed newsletter and the enewsletter do not contain the same content.**

Software Requirements: What is the right level of detail for your projects
Douglas Muir & Geoff Hewson, Software Productivity Center Inc.
Reprinted with permission from Software Productivity Center Inc.

Getting software requirements right is one of the toughest challenges in the IT industry. Harder still, is to keep on getting software requirements right project after project.

Read the article.

Is Your Content a Valuable Corporate Asset or a Costly Liability?
Suzanne Mescan, Vasont Systems

When customers have an experience (good or bad) with an organization, it can determine whether they become loyal, long-term customers or turn to a competitor’s products or services. There are lots of touch points between the organization and its customers—people (sales representatives, customer service and help centers), communications (promotions, advertising, statements, invoices), corporate events (sale events, meetings, parties), as well as product packaging, and technical communications, among others. Each one of these touch points must convey a professional and superior image to the customer to ensure the first (and lasting) impression is a good one.

Read the article.

Task-Oriented and Modular Design: The solution to improving the quality and efficiency of documentation
Liang Qiuxia, Cheng Haitao and Yi Hong, Huawei Technologies Company
Reprinted with permission from Huawei Technologies Company

Our growing market share, the increased number of product variants and the shorter period for product release force us to produce more content in a shorter period of time with limited resources. Besides, customers require that documentation is task oriented and that the help information is correct, complete and relevant to their customer orders.

This article presents a task-oriented and modular design approach that provides a more reliable and scientific way to design documentation, enhances the efficiency of documentation development, and ensures a quick response to documentation customization.

Read the article.

Join CIDM’s LinkedIn Group Today!

CIDM’s LinkedIn Group is growing exponentially! Join more than 650 members today to take part in informative discussions about our industry.

Welcome New CIDM Member!

Bluestream’s flag-ship product XDocs, enables organizations of all sizes to realize the benefits of DITA at a lower cost than the competition, with comparable or better quality, thus offering unparalleled value. XDocs is an out-of-the-box, DITA-enabled component content management system that deploys in hours rather than weeks, is easy to use, and has a tight integration with various XML editors. Its flexible unlimited user licensing and optional modules such as work flow, knowledge base, online reviewing, and translation manager allow for economical end-to-end content creation, management, and publishing of content. XDocs customers range from Fortune 100 organizations seeking complex cross-departmental DITA solutions to small businesses containing single author documentation teams. Bluestream has been in business since 1997 and has customers in many verticals, among them software, oil and gas, health care, military, manufacturing and finance.

Learn more about CIDM (Center for Information-Development Management)here.