Information Management News
February 2011

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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CIDM News and Events

For a complete Calendar of Events, click on these links:




Other Events


The CMS/DITA North America Conference 2011 will be held April 4-6 in Baltimore, Maryland. For more information click here.

The Best Practices Conference 2011 will be held September 12-14 in San Antonio, Texas.

Upcoming Workshops

Minimalism: Creating Information People Really Need
March 8-9, 2011
Natick, MA

Minimalism is the first step to creating user friendly content that is fully structured. It is designed for anyone faced with manuals that users complain are too big and too detailed—or that aren’t used at all.

Advanced DITA Training including DITA 1.2
March 22-23, 2011
Norwood, MA

The Advanced DITA workshop will provide attendees with a hands-on walk-through of the essential DITA fundamentals, programming skills, and DITA Open Toolkit configurations required to assemble, style, and publish DITA XML source.

Upcoming Webinars

The Path to Global Customer Experience: DITA with Quality Built In

Howard Schwartz & Tom Smith, SDL Structured Content Technologies
February 24, 2011, 1pm Eastern

Ensuring Consistency with Map and Topic Templates

Helen Michaud & Julia Malkin, Endeca Technologies
April 28, 2011, 11am Eastern

Click here for recorded webinars.


Major Global Brands Confirm Global Information Management as Key to Success

LISA Executive Roundtables and Workshop

NLDITA 2011 Call For Speakers is now Open!

The WritersUA Conference for Software User Assistance

Technical Communication Summit 2011

Freescale Semiconductor is seeking to fill a Technical Writer position

Endeca is seeking a skilled, senior technical writer to join their dynamic documentation team

Click here for more announcements.

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

CIDM is LinkedIn!

CIDM is now on Facebook! Click here to join our group.

Content Management Strategies/DITA North America Conference 2011

Valentine’s Day Special

Register by February 14th and save $200on your registration! Go to our registration page to sign up today.

Introducing Scott McCloud, Comic artist and Keynote Speaker for Content Management Strategies/DITA North America 2011
JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services, Inc.

Scott has been writing and drawing comics since 1984. He has also written several books about comics as a medium. His first book in 1993, Understanding Comics, explains how comics work as communication, with a blend of text and images to tell a story in time. He followed with Reinventing Comics in 2000, in which he advocates strongly for moving comics to the web. Making Comics in 2006 instructs in those key methods to create comics by developing actions, characters, and words that build a world for the reader.

Read the article.

February 2011 Best Practices Newsletter
Table of Contents



The Illusive, Writing Productivity Metric: Making unit cost a competitive advantage

Mike Eleder, Alcatel-Lucent

How To Avoid Innovation and Quality

JoAnn Hackos, CIDM

Technical Communication and Usability: Intertwined strands and mutual influences commentary

Janice (Ginny) Redish, Redish & Associates, Inc.

Content Collaboration at Citrix: Strategic insights

Mathew Varghese, Citrix Systems, Inc.

Implementing the Big 3: A project management view on lessons learned on implementing an XML/DITA/CCMS publishing environment

Chona Shumate, Cymer, Inc.

If you are not a CIDM member, you can subscribe to the Best Practicesnewsletter online. 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.**

Top Ten Project Management Tips
Vic Passion & Jennifer Riebli, TechProse

Every project is different, but there are several tried and true project-management practices that have a place in every toolbox. Every project manager (PM) is different too; there are PMs who manage the project and do the work, PMs with internal clients, and PMs with clients who are external to their companies. Regardless of the type of PM you are or the project you are leading, practice the following tips the next time you manage a project.

Read the article.

Metrics Mania—Formatting
Dawn Stevens, Comtech Services, Inc.

In the early 80’s, as word processors put formatting control in the hands of the writer, the effort spent in making a document look nice exponentially skyrocketed. Horror stories of “ransom note” documents, which used every available font in every available size and color in a variety of margins and column widths, rose to mythical proportions. Although these reports might have been largely exaggerated, the truth remained that writers were enchanted with their control over look and feel, and consistency within information products went out the window.

Read the article.

Survey of Users of the DITA 1.2 Specification
Dear Friends,

In 2010, the DITA 1.2 Specification was significantly rewritten to address the needs of the DITA technical audience, including the tools developers. If in the past you have used the DITA 1.0 and 1.1 Specifications as introductions to DITA, do you have the sense that you are able to use the DITA 1.2 Specification in the same way? This survey is designed to help the DITA Technical Committee and the DITA Adoption Technical Committee understand how well the DITA 1.2 Specification meets your needs and what you might expect from the DITA Specifications in the future. Here is the link to the survey:

Thank you for taking time to give feedback to the DITA Technical Committee and the DITA Adoption Technical Committee.

JoAnn Hackos
Co-chair, DITA Adoption Technical Committee
Founding member, DITA Technical Committee

Welcome new CIDM member!

For over 75 years, Jeppesenhas been helping aviation professionals worldwide reach their destinations safely and efficiently. Today, Jeppesen builds on those roots by offering an ever-expanding array of innovative informational products, services, and software—not only to their air transportation partners, but also to a growing lineup of sea and land transportation partners.

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