A monthly e-newsletter from The Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM)
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Business Intelligence and Its Role in the Life of the Publications Manager
In his article on strategic competencies in this issue, Vesa Purho describes the knowledge and skills that a skilled professional communicator should bring to the enterprise. First among these essential strategic competencies is “business intelligence.” Vesa argues that, as managers, we must be well informed about the businesses that our companies are in and the roles they play in their particular industries. Without such knowledge, we are more than likely to pursue a mistaken direction in our publications strategy, leaving our organization a candidate for downsizing, outsourcing, or outright elimination.
JoAnn Hackos, PhD
A Focus on Stakeholders
At the February meeting of the Innovator’s Forum, participants focused on their understanding of stakeholders and how that understanding had dramatically affected the success of their project plans. Everyone has now spent nearly five months working on their change management issues. Yet, for the first time, they reported a markedly strengthened perspective on handling change. We were all struck by the sound actions taken by the participants to ensure their project success.
The technical communication profession is highly skilled. We emerged from the 1980s with tools, standards, and methodologies that we gradually tuned and extended through the 1990s.
The information user became our focus and our challenge was clear: we wanted users to find the information that enabled them to be productive and competent performers. We crafted information that supported and empowered the task performer, and we designed information spaces that users could navigate successfully.
In our consulting practice, we have had the opportunity to discuss offshore outsourcing with many managers, as well as read countless articles on the benefits and pitfalls of offshoring. Arguments for and against outsourcing range from technical to financial to moral. In our zeal to take a stand either to save American jobs or American corporations, we forget that not all offshoring is the same. I’d like to describe some of the variety of offshore outsourcing.
In the May 2003 e-Newsletter, I wrote about strategic and operational competencies and gave some examples. In this article, I give my view on what the essential strategic competencies are in the current business world. Naturally, they may differ in detail depending on the industry you work in, but they are applicable in most cases. The competencies are in no particular order.