Information Management News
A monthly e-newsletter from The Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM)
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When Offshore Information Development Doesn’t Make Sense
In the 2004 (Number 4) McKinsey Quarterly, Ronald Ritter and Robert Sternfels, in their article “When Offshore Manufacturing Doesn’t Make Sense,” provide examples in which offshore manufacturing is the wrong choice, despite the lower wages available in third-world economies. They demonstrate that many management decisions to move manufacturing offshore are based on gross overestimates of the cost savings and ignorance of the potential problems.
Microsoft’s customer-driven publishing team recently won the CIDM Rare Bird award, which recognized their approach to user assistance as an inspiring model for other teams. But what lies behind their approach and how did they develop it? I recently talked by phone with Janet Williams Hepler, Group Manager, Office User Assistance, and Rob Ashby, User Education Manager for Microsoft Office User Assistance—Data and Discovery team.
When you ask for help in an Office 2003 application, you get a task pane over on the right with a section at the top called “Assistance” containing a Search box and a link to a Table of Contents. The next section highlights several new or popular articles on the Microsoft Office Online site, plus links to the Web assistance, training, communities, and downloads. At the bottom of the pane, a “See Also” section provides links to What’s New, Contact Us, and more.
This is the second article describing the Strategic Planning Process—a simple, effective method to keep the future in the forefront. This article describes the basic method of evaluating various entities against the Strategic Framework (described in the first article) and various benefits your organization can derive from using this process.
This past August, Vasont Systems released Vasont 9.0, the latest version of our single-source content management system. Our goal for this version was to provide more effective content reuse for organizations with multiple editorial groups, remote authors, or enterprise-wide content contributors. The system’s most compelling new enhancements were created in response to feedback from current Vasont users. At our annual users’ group meeting, Vasont users had three main goals in mind for the coming year: they wanted to further improve their productivity, meet their compliance requirements, and generally improve and update their overall editorial process. Our team responded with the following new enhancements and features of Vasont 9.0 to help users meet those goals as quickly as possible.