CIDM e-newsletter
Volume 4, Issue 2
February 2004

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

If you would like to receive the CIDM e-newsletter in plain-text format, visit and choose the plain-text format.

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News & Events

CM Strategies Conference

The Center for Information-Development Management is excited to bring you the 2004 Content Management Strategies conference to take place on April 19–20, in San Francisco, California.
Valentine Special ends this Saturday.

Register Today

Blast Radius acquires XMetal

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Upcoming Workshops

The CIDM sponsors the following workshops. Sign up now:

Structured Writing for Single Sourcing
JoAnn Hackos, PhD,
March 18–19
Morrisville, NC

XML for Writers
Tina Hedlund,
March 29–30
Oakland, CA
June 16–17
Dallas, TX

Managing Your Documentation Projects
William Hackos, Jr., PhD,
March 30–31
Waterloo, ON
June 16–17
San Diego, CA

User and Task Analysis for Information Modeling – Conference workshop
William Hackos, Jr., PhD & Tina Hedlund,
April 21
San Francisco, CA

How To Plan and Implementa Single-Source Project – Conference workshop
JoAnn Hackos, PhD,
April 21
San Francisco, CA

Choosing your Content Management Tools
Tina Hedlund,
May 19–20
Boston, MA

Developing a Content Management Strategy
JoAnn Hackos, PhD,
May 20–21
Weston, FL

Structured Writing for Single Sourcing
JoAnn Hackos, PhD,
May 26–27
Mountain View, CA

User and Task Analysis for Information Design
William Hackos, Jr., PhD,
May 27–28
Houston, TX

Offshore Outsourcing
JoAnn Hackos, PhD,
July 15–16
Denver, CO

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

Business Intelligence and Its Role in the Life of the Publications Manager
JoAnn Hackos, PhD
CIDM Director

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.

Read the article

More articles
Innovator’s Forum Update
If Readers Don’t Read, Who Is Responsible?
Why do Offshore Outsourcing?
Strategic Competencies

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. The subscription costs $99 per year. For subscribers outside the US, the cost is $109 USD.

February 2004 Best Practices Newsletter



Continuous Publishing for NonStop Customers

Catherine Lyman

From the Director—Measuring Quality

JoAnn Hackos

Content Collaboration in a Learning Environment

Cindy Schott

What Makes an Authoring System Tip?

Mark Baker

BookBuilder: Custom Publishing with Topic Maps

Nikita Ogievetsky

Topic Maps 101

Tina Hedlund

Innovator’s Forum Update
Katherine Brennan Murphy
Principal, Tapestry Communications

JoAnn Hackos, PhD
CIDM Director

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.

Read the article

If Readers Don’t Read, Who Is Responsible?
Susan Harkus

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.

Read the article

Why Do Offshore Outsourcing?
William Hackos, Jr., PhD
Vice President, Comtech Services, Inc.

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.

Read the article

Strategic Competencies
Vesa Purho
Development Manager, Nokia

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.

Read the article