CIDM: 2015 Retrospective and 2016 Look Ahead

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Dawn Stevens, Comtech Services, Inc.

Happy New Year! CIDM hopes that 2015 was all you hoped it would be, and we wish you and your teams a happy and successful 2016. We are thankful for your support and involvement with CIDM in 2015 as an e-newsletter subscriber, a conference attendee, or a member organization. We hope to retain your support throughout 2016. As the New Year starts and before 2015 is a distant memory, we pause to reflect on the CIDM events of 2015 and to announce continuing enhancements to our organization and member services.

Conferences

Our three 2015 conferences, CMS/DITA North America, CMS/DITA Europe, and Best Practices, saw over 600 participants sharing experiences, strategies, and expertise in information architecture, project and people management, translation, technical solutions, content management, training and documentation development, and practical information reuse.

  • Registration is open for CMS/DITA NA 2016, April 4-6 in Reston, Virginia. We are honored to present David Weinberger, author of Everything is Miscellaneous, as keynote speaker. In 2015, we introduced Ask the Experts, offering you personal advice on current projects and problems. We continue that open session in 2016. We also introduce a new Technology Test Kitchen where participants can gain hands-on experience and instruction from tool vendors. We are putting the finishing touches on the agenda, which will be posted in the next few weeks. See https://cm-strategies.com.
  • In response to feedback on the Best Practices conference, we made radical changes, introducing new presentation formats and involving the community in the selection process. The result was a highly energized meeting of managers discussing critical issues for improving collaboration with customers, team members, and other departments. Look for continued improvements as we meet in Santa Fe, New Mexico, September 12-14.
  • CMS/DITA Europe 2015 saw continued growth as DITA becomes more widely accepted in Europe. For the second year, we were pleased to co-locate with SyncroSoft’s DITA-OT day. Dates will soon be announced for November 2016, again in Munich, Germany.

Online Conference

CIDM launched a new e-conference in July 2015 in response to the challenges many members face getting travel budget for a live conference. With more than 160 registrations and positive feedback, the conference had a very successful debut.

2016 will see two e-conferences in January and July. January’s program offers an exciting line-up of experts sharing their perspectives on metrics and how to collect them. View the agenda at https://forum.infomanagementcenter.com.

Management Roundtable

CIDM also launched a monthly Management Round Table in 2015, to continue in 2016. Exclusively for members of all levels, these monthly one-hour sessions provide time to chat about critical topics.

In 2015, participants discussed agile project management, collaboration, job descriptions, use of contractors, and the training and education of information development staff. In January, we discuss taxonomies. Topics are set two to three weeks prior to the session, giving you time to register. Watch for the monthly email notices.

CIDM Members-Only Web Page

The CIDM website saw a major facelift in 2015. We are pleased to announce its continued enhancement with a new Member’s Only page launching in first quarter 2016. This page offers CIDM members a great way to stay touch with each other and remain current on what’s happening in the industry.

On the Members-only page, you’ll find

  • Weekly surveys about topics of interest to managers. In addition to immediate feedback, we’ll publish results in summary white papers.
  • Resources that CIDM staff and members recommend. You can upload resources useful for your work and download articles and presentations others recommend.
  • Live twitter feed. Follow CIDM and post questions to your fellow managers, share insights, and keep in touch with topics from events you can’t attend.
  • Calendar of upcoming member events.

Industry Research Programs

In response to member feedback, CIDM will sponsor a research project funded by your membership fees. In 2016, this project will focus on agile project management practices. We invite all members to take part in a survey and follow-up interviews. A report will be published and presented at the Best Practices conference.

CIDM’s annual trends survey continues in early 2016. We are adding a member survey to our registration page to gather information about salaries, benefits, and job titles. Results will be summarized in an annual salary report for members.

New Comtech Workshops

CIDM continues to offer members discounted rates at Comtech workshops. In 2015, two new workshops were added:

In addition, Advanced Publishing for DITA is expanded into a full five-day intensive course covering XSLT, XPath, XSL-FO, XHTML, and CSS programming. In 2016, Comtech is launching a brand new Advanced Reuse Strategies and has completely overhauled the Applying Agile Project Management for Information Development and Web and Mobile Strategies workshops.

Membership Levels

Finally, we are evaluating all membership levels, with a plan to restructure membership levels to provide you more flexibility and choices. For information about membership, please visit https://www.infomanagementcenter.com/membership/.

CIDM is dedicated to serving the information-development management community with timely, relevant resources. We are excited about the changes we made in 2015 and plan for 2016. We hope you are too. We welcome your feedback about our current offerings and ideas for future services. Please feel free to contact our new membership coordinator, Kathy Madison, at kathy.madison@comtech-serv.com or 303/232-7586.

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