Information Management News
Volume 4, Issue 12
December 2004

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

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News & Events

Content Management Strategies 2005

Read more about the conference and how you can register or become an exhibitor today.

Upcoming Workshops

The CIDM sponsors the following workshops:

Developing a Content Management Strategy
JoAnn Hackos,
December 14–15
Santa Monica, CA

Managing Your Documentation Projects
William Hackos,
January 12–13
Columbus, OH

Structured Writing for Single Sourcing
JoAnn Hackos,
January 13–14
Fort Collins, CO

Structured Writing for Single Sourcing
JoAnn Hackos,
March 16–17
Beaverton, OR

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

When Offshore Information Development Doesn’t Make Sense
JoAnn Hackos, PhD
CIDM Director

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.

Read the article

More articles
Inside Microsoft Office Online Assistance
One User’s Experience with Microsoft Office Online
The Heart of the Strategic Planning Process—Continuous Evaluation
Operational Innovations in Content Management: The Release of Vasont 9.0

December Best Practices newsletter

CIDM Members: you can now search the Newsletter Archives online.

You can purchase the Best Practices newsletter online even if you aren’t a CIDM member. A subscription is $99 per year. For subscribers outside the US, the cost is $109.

**Please note that the printed newsletter and the eNewsletter do not contain the same content.**

Table of Contents—December 2004



From the Director

JoAnn Hackos

Rethinking the Assembly Line: How “Documentspaces”
Can Energize Team-Based Technical Writing

Michael Fergusson

Automating Single-source Development

Andrew VanConas

Single Source Content Management

Paul Trotter

A Balanced Model For Product Usability

Charlie Dowdell

Film Review: American Jobs

Lisa Finger

Inside Microsoft Office Online Assistance
Jonathan Price
The Communication Circle, LLC

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.

Read the article

One User’s Experience with Microsoft Office Online
Jonathan Price
The Communication Circle, LLC

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.

Read the article

The Heart of the Strategic Planning Process—Continuous Evaluation
Sue King
Independent Consultant

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.

Read the article

Operational Innovations in Content Management: The Release of Vasont 9.0
Suzanne Mescan
Vasont Systems

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.

Read the article