Information Management News
February 2013

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.

Important Subscription Information
Subscribe to the e-newsletterUnsubscribe from the e-newsletterChange your email address

CIDM News and Events

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




Other Events


The CMS/DITA North America Conference 2013 will be held April 15-17 in Providence, Rhode Island. For more information click here.

The Best Practices Conference 2013 will be held September 16-18 in Savannah, Georgia. For more information click here.

Upcoming Workshops

Developing Quality Documentation in an Agile Environment
February 6-7, 2013
Broenshoej, Denmark

This workshop focuses on the Scrum Agile methodology and how documentation departments can adjust to this high-speed development environment.

Information Modeling for Topic-Based Authoring
February 26-27, 2013
Natick, MA

This workshop is the very best starting point for your implementation of DITA and XML topic-based authoring.

Minimalism: Creating Information People Really Need
March 19-20, 2013
Cupertino, CA

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.

DITA: Getting Started
March 26-27, 2013
Seattle, WA

In this workshop, you learn that DITA is a standard for authoring topic-based technical information, that using DITA provides significant business advantages, and that you can get started immediately with the DITA Open Toolkit.

Information Modeling for Topic-Based Authoring
March 27-28, 2013
Cupertino, CA

This workshop is the very best starting point for your implementation of DITA and XML topic-based authoring.

Upcoming Webinars

How Just a Little Data Analysis Can Improve Your Content

Presented by Joe Pairman, HTC
February 5, 2013, 11:30am EST

Clear Writing: Simple steps to make your communication clear

Presented by Sharon Burton
February 5, 2013, 12pm EST

Converting Word docs to FrameMaker

Presented by Maxwell Hoffmann, Adobe
February 5, 2013, 1pm EST

FrameMaker for Word Users: Tables, tabs, global cautions and warnings

Presented by Maxwell Hoffmann, Adobe
February 12, 2013, 1pm EST

No Budget, No Problem: Techniques For Getting DITA Projects Approved

Presented by JustSystems & Dakota Systems
February 13, 2013, 1pm EST

EASE: A Case Study on the successful implementation of Simplified Technical English in the medical industry

Presented by Sherri Sotnick, Elekta & Berry Braster, Etteplan | Tedopres
February 14, 2013, 11am EST

FrameMaker for Word Users: Page layout, anchored frames and rich graphics

Presented by Maxwell Hoffmann, Adobe
February 19, 2013, 1pm EST

FrameMaker for Word Users: Books, multiple versions from single source files, TOC/IX and Xrefs

Presented by Maxwell Hoffmann, Adobe
February 26, 2013, 1pm EST

Click here for recorded webinars.


Etteplan | Tedopres celebrates HyperSTE’s most successful year to date

The Value of Content: Data Conversion Laboratory Looks Back at 2012

Infographic: Concept Design Survey–The Latest Trends

RSI Content Solutions Expands Engineering Operations in South America to Meet Growing Demand

NC FAST wins NSDTA 2012 Quality Award for Accenture’s documentation and training solution using Adobe Technical Communication Suite

RSI Content Solutions Named to Philadelphia Future 50 For Second Year in a Row

Industry Veteran Tom Aldous Joins Acrolinx

Data Conversion Laboratory (DCL) to Digitize 100 Years of American Alpine Club Publications

Adobe FrameMaker 11 is the recipient of the 2013 SIIA CODiE Award for Best Solution for Integrating Content into the Workflow

Click here for more announcements.

Content Management Strategies/DITA North America Conference 2013

Valentine’s Day Special

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

CIDM & DCL Survey: Following the Trends—Is Your Content Ready?

The complexity of delivering content continues to increase exponentially as more outlets become available to our consumers. Many organizations are faced with deciphering how the trends impact their businesses and what to do about them considering the rapidly changing digital marketplace. We want to discover how the changing requirements for delivery are affecting your business today and how you anticipate those requirements will affect your business decisions in the next few years.

You will have until the end of March 30, 2013 to complete this survey and enter to win a $100 American Express Gift Card.

Thank you for your help and interest.

Click here to take the survey.

Not Listening to Customers
JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services, Inc.

Everyone tells you that you should listen to your customers. I know I have probably said that from time to time. But it’s the wrong advice. You need to be aware of the distinction between understanding your customers and listening to them. Of course, before you can either understand or listen, you have to get to know your customers. Getting to know customers has always been a sticking point for information developers. More often than not I hear: “They won’t let us” But that sticking point is sorely out of date, especially when we face customer requirements for information delivery in a myriad of new forms.

Read the article.

10 Heuristics for Evaluating Documentation Usability
Ena Arel, Ayantek

We aim to produce documentation that is useful to users. That is, we want our users to find the right topics and use them to achieve their goals with the software. This article proposes ten Documentation Usability heuristics, or rules of thumb, which Content Developers can use to design, evaluate, and course-correct technical content before the ship date. Using these heuristics can help to catch most structural errors and provide insight into the actual user experience with the documentation.

Read the article.

Meeting Your Objectives
Megan Gilhooly, Invidi Technologies Corporation

Many organizations do strategic planning to determine corporate objectives. Those objectives are paramount to the decisions employees and managers make daily. In corporate strategy, the Mission Statement drives corporate objectives. Corporate objectives drive functional, team, and individual objectives. So what do you do if your organization doesn’t clearly communicate corporate objectives?

Read the article.

Lidiane Mocko Joins the Comtech Team
Bill Hackos, Comtech Services, Inc.

We are pleased to announce that Lidiane Mocko will be joining Comtech as a Consultant starting Monday, February 4.

Lidi received her B.S. degree in Computer Science from the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina in Brazil. Lidi has worked in Texas and Colorado as a software engineer, mostly in the broadcasting business. She is currently an MBA student at the Daniels College of Business of the University of Denver. Lidi and her skills and experience will be an important asset to the Comtech team.

February 2013 Best Practices Newsletter
Table of Contents



Improving Product Usability with Task Complexity Metrics

Ben Colborn, Nutanix

Teaming is a Verb

JoAnn Hackos, CIDM

Dangerous Liaisons

Ian Ampleford & Peter Jones, ARM Limited

Building the Business Case for Content Optimization Software

PG Bartlett, Acrolinx

First Steps in Implementing a Documentation Quality Program

Deborah Silvi, BMC Software, Inc.

Write with Agility

Don Cwiklowski, MasterCard

If you are not a CIDM member, you can subscribe to the Best Practices newsletter online. An electronic version of the Best Practices newsletter is $99 USD. An electronic and print version is $129 USD.

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

Now For Sale: e-version of Introduction to DITA: A Guide to the Darwin Information Typing Architecture—Second Edition
This new 2013 electronic edition of the bestselling Introduction to DITA includes DITA 1.2 mechanisms, including keyref, conkeyref, constraint mechanism, and more information to bring DITA users up to date. The tutorial lessons guide you step-by-step through the learning process from developing information topics and maps through content reuse mechanisms and modifying the DITA environment to better meet your needs. Buy the e-version today and download immediately!

Welcome New CIDM Member—BMC Software

Business runs better when IT runs at its best. Tens of thousands of IT organizations around the world—from small and mid-market businesses to the Global 100—rely on BMC Software (NASDAQ: BMC) to manage their business services and applications across distributed, mainframe, virtual and cloud environments. BMC helps customers cut costs, reduce risk and achieve business objectives with the broadest choice of IT management solutions, including industry-leading Business Service Management and Cloud Management offerings. For the four fiscal quarters ended December 31, 2012, BMC revenue was approximately $2.2 billion.

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

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

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

Join CIDM’s LinkedIn Group Today!

CIDM’s LinkedIn Group is growing exponentially! Join over 1,000 members today to take part in informative discussions about our industry.

The Center for Information-Development Management unites the info dev community to share information on industry trends, best practices, and developments. Click here to follow CIDM on Twitter.Click here to follow JoAnn Hackos on Twitter.