Information Management News
Volume 6, Issue 8
August 2006

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

Best Practices 2006Registration is open for the 2006 Best Practices conference to be held September 18–20, 2006, in San Diego, California. The program is available online.

Transitioning Your Technical Publications Team to DITA Webinar

Join us for the PTC Webinar series: Employing Best Practices and Tools for DITA Success. For more information visit the PTC web site.

Comtech Services Releases DITA User Guide

We are accepting orders forIntroduction to DITA: A Basic User Guide to the Darwin Information Typing Architecture. Order your copy today!

Host a Workshop

Organizations that host a workshop in the JoAnn Hackos Workshop Series receive four registrations for the price of one. Find out how to become a host.

xml:tm approved by LISA OSCAR for public comment

The LISA OSCAR Steering Committee has approved xml:tm for public comment ratification as a standard. xml:tm is in many ways a complementary standard to DITA and an integral part of the XML localization landscape. See the article for more on xml:tm.

XMetaL and Mekon Announce FrameMaker Adapter for DITA

For information on this release from XMetaL and Mekon, read the announcement.

PUBSNET Documentation and Training Conference 2006

7th Annual Documentation and Training Conference hosted by PUBSNET to be held October 3–5. For more information visit the Conference Website.

Upcoming Workshops

DITA Boot Camp
JoAnn Hackos, Kylene Bruski
August 21–25
Wakefield, MA (Boston area)

XML for Writers
Kylene Bruski,
September 13–14
San Diego, CA

Content Management Workshop
JoAnn Hackos
October 4–5
Boston, MA (UMASS)

Minimalism: Creating Manuals People Can Use
Bill Hackos
October 17–18
Roseville, MN

Minimalism: Creating Manuals People Can Use
JoAnn Hackos
November 14–15
Mission Viejo, CA

Structured Writing for Single Sourcing
JoAnn Hackos
December 12–13
Germantown, MD

For more information on these and other workshops, visit the JoAnn Hackos Workshop Series web site.

Measuring Performance in Information Development
JoAnn Hackos, PhD
CIDM Director

Once upon a time, an information-development manager in a large telecommunications company discovered that the cost of one project far exceeded the costs of any of the other projects her staff worked on. Investigating further, the manager learned that this project was a victim of poorly defined requirements and specifications, resulting in nearly continuous redirection and rework of the documentation. Nothing was ever written once. Due to continuous changes in direction, the writers spent a large fraction of their project time adding, deleting, and rewriting topics. When the manager reported the findings to senior management, they decided to replace the engineering project manager. The lower productivity among the writers on this project mirrored productivity problems among the engineers.

Read the article

More articles

Writing for translation: Don’t miss the opportunity!
Susan Harkus, Independent Consultant
Tomoko Gondow, Seijo University, Japan

In 2000, we were developing a product for several European markets, and we knew that we would only have a short time to prepare the product for each market. Would a combination of automatic translation and human translators help us reduce localization time by reducing translation time?

Read the article

Strategic Thinking and Innovation Will Lead to Successfully Negotiating Major Paradigm Shifts in Our Future
Sue King, Independent Consultant

Recently, I found Thomas L. Friedman being interviewed by John Doerr, who was guest hosting the Charlie Rose show that night. I had tuned in midway into the program, just as Friedman was explaining how his views have changed as a result of touring the US since he wrote his book. The subject of the show was “The Looming Energy Crisis,” an interesting topic in itself. However, what struck me over and over again as I listened was the critical need for strategic thinking and innovative leadership, particularly as we attempt to navigate a future full of major paradigm shifts in energy and environmental conservation fundamental to our economic as well as ecological well being. What follows is a summary of the Friedman interview.

Read the article

Information Development: Service or Manufacture?
Bill Hackos, Comtech Services

Talking to information developers today, I find an almost universal trend. Almost all managers say management is cutting back on their departments. They are being asked to do more with less. Sound familiar? The surprising thing is that we are doing more with less, and of very good quality! How is that possible? I’ve asked around. Writers are not working more hours than before. Offshoring has not been able to realize the cost savings that management expected. Yet somehow we are able to produce more good quality information than we were before.

Read the article

xml:tm – XML Document Text Memory
Andrzej Zydron, xml-Intl Ltd.

xml:tm (XML-based Text Memory) is the vendor-neutral open XML standard for embedding text memory within an XML document. xml:tm leverages the namespace syntax of XML to embed text memory information within the XML document itself. xml:tm provides a radical new approach to the task of authoring and translating XML documents.

Read the article