CIDM eNews

February 2017
A monthly e-newsletter from The Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM)
Dawn Stevens, CIDM Director

Subscribe to the CIDM eNews in HTML or plain-text format.

CIDM News and Events


CMS/DITA North America Conference
will be held April 24-26, 2017 in San Diego, California.

Upcoming Workshops

Developing a Web and Mobile Content Strategy
February 2-3, 2017
Hyvinkaa, Finland

DITA Basics—Online Course
Thursdays starting February 9, 2017
12pm-2pm EST, 6 weeks, 6 sessions

Applying Agile Management to Information Development
February 22-23, 2017
San Jose, California

Minimalism: Creating Information People Really Need
April 4-5, 2017
Strasbourg, France

Optimizing the DITA Authoring Experience—Online Course
Wednesdays starting May 3, 2017
12pm-2pm EDT, 6 weeks, 6 sessions

CIDM Webinars

Technical Documentation = Marketing
Presented by Berry Braster, Etteplan
February 22, 2017, 11am EST

Recorded webinars.

Other Webinars

QA’ing an XML Migration: What’s the Right Balance Between Automated and Visual QA
Presented by Naveh Greenberg, DCL
February 14, 2017, 1pm EST

Why is DITA So Hard?
Presented by Eliot Kimber, Contrext
February 28, 2017, 1pm EST

The Many-Headed Hydra of Branch Filtering: Rendering reused DITA topics to HTML with different filtering
Presented by Eliot Kimber, Contrext
March 21, 2017, 1pm EST

Into the Pipeline
Presented by Laura Dawson, Numerical Gurus
April 5, 2017, 1pm EST


Our next managers’ round table will be the 4th in series of discussions on the Information Process Maturity Model. Join us on Tuesday, February 14th at 12pm EST. To sign-up, contact Lovonya Thomas.

Take the 2017 Following the Trends Survey – Is your content ready?

More Announcements.

Leaving a Legacy

Dawn Stevens, Comtech Services, Inc.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my legacy, lately. What do I want people to remember me for? As we transition Comtech and CIDM from their founder, JoAnn Hackos, to my ownership and leadership, I’m well aware of the shoes I’m trying to fill, the footsteps I’m following in, and the legacy JoAnn has left behind.

Read the article.

DITA and Topic-Based writing: flip sides of the same coin?

Robert Gillespie, Nokia

DITA is often sold as a panacea for all content ills; Topic-Based Writing (TBW) as a philosophy for creating standalone chunks of content. Unsurprisingly, after DITA and TBW have been implemented, a common reaction is to wonder what went wrong. The promised land of perfectly crafted topics and customer-focused content sculptured perfectly according to a user’s real needs does not materialize. The problem is less with DITA/TBW, or even implementation planning, but an unrealistic expectation of what can be achieved. This expectation is often rooted in a misunderstanding about DITA/TBW themselves.

Read the article.

The Ultimate Guide to User-Friendly Manuals

Ferry Vermeulen, Instrktiv

Do you write user manuals or technical documentation? Do you often hear people emphasizing the importance of their user-friendliness?

But you hear it so often, that you actually do not know where to start looking for information about how to write user-friendly manuals yourself?

Read the article.

February 2017 Best Practices Newsletter
Table of Contents



Designing for Information as a Service Sherry Zhang, Huawei
Leaving a Legacy Dawn Stevens, CIDM
Keeping Track of Time JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services
Evaluating Complexity JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services
Rethinking the Relationship Between Tech Pubs and Engineering Richard Ackerman, Digabit, Inc.
Leveraging Skills and Knowledge on XML Technologies: Document automation at work Ricardo Eito-Brun, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain
If you are not a CIDM member, you can subscribe to the Best Practices newsletter online. An electronic version of the Best Practices newsletter is $99 USD. An electronic and print version is $129 USD. Please note, the Best Practices contains different and more in-depth articles than the free CIDM eNews.

Welcome New CIDM Member—ServiceNow
Your enterprise needs to move faster, but lack of process and legacy tools hold you back. Everyday thousands of customer requests, IT incidents, HR cases, and security alerts are following their own paths moving back and forth between people, machines, and departments. Unstructured. Undocumented. Unimproved for years. With the ServiceNow System of Action, you can replace these unstructured work patterns of the past with intelligent and automated workflows of the future creating a smarter, more connected enterprise.

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

CIDM eNews Wants To Hear From You
Working on an exciting project? Developed a new strategy? Creating content in new ways? Delivering content in new media? Let us know what interesting developments you’ve been working on. We would love to have a short article from you (1,000 words or so) for the e-newsletter. Our readers would love to know what is working and even what hasn’t. Please contact our Editor, Lisa Larson with your idea.

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

CIDM’s LinkedIn Group is growing exponentially! Join over 2,900 members today to take part in informative discussions about our industry.

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