CIDM e-newsletter
Volume 3, Issue 7
August 2003

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

If you would like to receive the CIDM e-newsletter in plain-text format, visit and choose the plain-text format.

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News & Events

JoAnn Hackos Receives Rigo Award
JoAnn Hackos is the 2003 recipient of the prestigious Rigo Award by the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Computer Documentation (ACM SIGDOC). Each year ACM SIGDOC gives the Rigo Award to an individual who has made an outstanding lifetime contribution to the field of user documentation. The award will be presented at the October 2003 Conference in San Francisco.

Best Practices 2003 Conference
September 22–24, 2003
Seattle, Washington

Innovator’s Forum
September 25–26, 2003
Seattle, Washington

Visit for more information and to register.

Upcoming Workshops
The CIDM sponsors the following workshops. Sign up now:

Structured Writing for Single Sourcing
JoAnn Hackos, PhD,
September 9–10, 2003,
Columbus, OH
September 16–17, 2003,
San Jose, CA

Minimalism: Creating Manuals People Will Use
JoAnn Hackos, PhD,
August 26–27, 2003,
Montreal, Canada
October 7–8, 2003,
Lexington, KY
November 6–7, 2003,
Atlanta, GA

Managing Your Documentation Projects
Bill Hackos, PhD
October 16–17, 2003,
Phoenix, AZ

Developing Online Information for Help and Web-Based Delivery
JoAnn Hackos, PhD,
October 21–22, 2003,
New Orleans, LA

XML for Writers
Tina Hedlund
October 21–22, 2003,
Chicago, IL

For more information on these and other workshops, visit the Seminars in Usable Design Web site at

Don’t Stop Thinking about Tomorrow
JoAnn Hackos, PhD
CIDM Director

A report in the August 4, 2002, issue of the Financial Times (FT) focused on the “twin challenges that today’s executives face—to deliver efficiency gains while creating new sources of growth.” As we all recognize, the pendulum has swung in the past several years toward efficiency—what Peter Drucker described 30 years ago as “doing things right.” Cost cutting—layoffs—outsourcing—offshoring. All are attempts to boost profits by lowering costs at a time when higher revenues are elusive.

Read the article

More articles
Let’s Earn Respect
Remaining Passionate in Dispassionate Times
Interpreting Requirements—The Importance of Asking Why

Plans for September’s Best Practices Conference and Forum are going well. Registration is well ahead of both 2001 and 2002. More than 100 people will be attending the conference, and Forum enrollment is expected to be 15 to 20 people—the ideal size for both. They will be large enough to communicate lots of ideas but small enough so you can meet everyone.

When you make your travel plans, be sure to leave enough time to see Seattle’s attractions. Our hotel is adjacent to the ferries that can take you to Victoria, BC, or Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. For schedules and ticket information visit You’ll need a whole day for these trips. Leave time to visit the Pike Place Market (Home of the Fish!), within easy walking distance, and visit Pioneer Square to see old town Seattle and other sites just a little farther away

Remember, if you haven’t already ordered your copy, read Malcolm Gladwell’sThe Tipping Point. It’s a fascinating account of how new ideas take hold. We’ll be referring to Gladwell’s basic concepts throughout the conference. We’ll have more on additional pre-reading in the next newsletter.

Dr. JoAnn Hackos and the Center for Information-Development Management invite you to…

Best Practices 2003 Conference
September 22–24, 2003, Seattle, Washington
Innovator’s Forum
September 25–26, 2003, Seattle, Washington

Best Practices 2003 Conference
Innovation: Making it Happen

You know what your people are capable of doing if you just had the support. You have great ideas that will make technical publications relevant to the customer. You’ve put together a strategic plan and laid out the metrics.

Why is it still so hard to make your change message stick?

Innovations are easy to imagine and difficult to make happen. At the Best Practices conference, experience how fellow information managers make a difference in their organizations:

Be prepared for the challenges of Tipping Point Leadership in introducing innovations and making the changes that your team needs to succeed in tough economic times.

Join us for the most valuable management conference in your profession.

Who should attend

Innovator’s Workshop

Turn your conference experience into tangible results.

Join the Innovator’s Workshop immediately following the Best Practices conference to turn your ideas into reality.

Innovator’s Workshop
Outstanding speakers, sessions, and location!

Join us at the water’s edge. The Edgewater hotel overlooks Puget Sound in downtown Seattle, Washington. It’s down the hill from historic Pike Place Market, the locale of the FISH! philosophy—last year’s theme. As you prepare to attend in 2003, read Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, this year’s theme book.

For more information and to register, visit our Web site.

Let’s Earn Respect
Bill Hackos, PhD
Vice President, Comtech Services, Inc.

I enjoyed Vesa Purho’s insightful article in the July issue of the eNewsletter and his subsequent post to the Best Practices listserv. Vesa extended the idea of Hygiene first developed by Frederick Herzberg1 in his landmark article in the Harvard Business Review (HBR) in 1968. Herzberg, writing about motivation, suggested that certain environmental conditions must be met to motivate people…such as salary, benefits, working conditions, even bonuses and other incentives. These are necessary but not sufficient conditions for motivation. Herzberg refers to these environmental conditions as “hygiene.” In addition, people must have fulfilling, challenging jobs in order to be truly motivated.

Read the article

Remaining Passionate in Dispassionate Times
Palmer Pearson
Operations Director, Cadence Design Systems, Inc.

Okay, we all agree that recessions, like acid reflux, last too long. In a work environment, plans for growth are dashed along with a personal sense of value. Layoffs, executed in phases, ensure that Sword of Damocles will precariously hover over our heads in a never-ending succession of hopeful financial quarters. Often heard in hallways across the land is the sarcastic moan, “The suspense is killing me,” and it may very well be.

Read the article

Interpreting Requirements—The Importance of Asking Why
Vesa Purho
Development Manager, Nokia

Many of us are familiar with the situation in which we have given our requirements for a new tool or document and what we receive fulfills all those requirements but still is more or less not what we actually wanted. There are many aspects related to creating requirements: selecting sources of requirements and techniques for eliciting them, creating guidelines for documenting them, and mapping the requirements to the specification documents for traceability. But in this article, I concentrate on the importance of asking Why?

Read the article