CIDM e-newsletter
Volume 3, Issue 1
January 2003

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 Conferencepresented by the CIDM on April 28-29, 2003 with a post-conference workshop on April 30, 2003 in Washington, D.C.

For more information, visit

Forum 2003 Conferencesponsored by INTECOM on June 30-July 2, 2003 in Milano, Italy.

For more information, visit

Upcoming Workshops
The CIDM sponsors the following workshops between February and July 2003. Sign up now:

XML for Writers
Tina Hedlund,
February 27-28, 2003, Jacksonville, FL
March 20-21, 2003, Reno, NV
April 15-16, 2003, Dallas, TX

Developing a Strategy for Minimalism: Creating Manuals People Will Use
JoAnn Hackos, PhD,
March 25-26, 2003, St. Paul, MN
May 13-14, 2003, Lexington, KY

Developing Online Information for Help and Web-Based Delivery
JoAnn Hackos, PhD,
April 2-3, 2003, Portland, OR

User and Task Analysis for Information Design
Bill Hackos, PhD,
April 8-9, 2003, Austin, TX

Structured Writing for Single Sourcing
JoAnn Hackos, PhD,
April 8-9, 2003, Indianapolis, IN
September 9-10, 2003, Columbus, OH

Managing Your Documentation Projects
JoAnn Hackos, PhD
May 6-7, 2003, Boston, MA

Developing a Content-Management Strategy
JoAnn Hackos, PhD
July 15-16, 2003, Rochester, NY

For more information on these and other workshops, visit the Seminars in Usable Design Web site at

Ad-Hoc Organizations and Content Management
JoAnn Hackos, PhD
CIDM Director

In response to my December e-newsletter article on oblivious (Level 0) organizations, I received two interesting accounts that are included in this issue (see the Responses to Oblivious Organizations). Both writers found themselves to be the first communicators in otherwise oblivious organizations. Both struggled to communicate the need for an organized structure in their work to their managers and colleagues.

This month, we turn to Level 1 of the Information Process Maturity Model (IPMM): the Ad-hoc organization.

Read the full article

More articles
Responses to Oblivious Organizations
Moving Toward Collaboration
Soft Systems Methodology Part Two
Users and Tasks, What’s the Point?

Content Management Strategies
Conference: April 28-29, 2003
Post-Conference Workshop: April 30, 2003

Mark your calendars! The Content-Management Strategies 2003 conference is April 28-29, 2003, in Washington, D.C.

Valentine's Special Registration

If you register for the conference by February 28,
the cost is only $895 USD!

For more information and to register for the conference and workshop, visit

Responses to Oblivious Organizations

In last month’s issue of the CIDM e-newsletter, JoAnn Hackos wrote that in oblivious organizations, management does not yet recognize the need for standard publications and is not ready for content management. The following are responses to that article.

Read the responses

Moving Toward Collaboration

Most of us have had to creatively find ways to do more with less. We’ve tried to answer the question: How do we enhance productivity in our current economic state? The answer is through collaboration and teamwork. But within those two concepts lies resistance.

Read the full abstract

Soft Systems Methodology Part Two
Robert N. Phillips
CEO, Lasotell Pty Ltd.

We ended the first article in this series saying we would look at how to determine the adequacy of the model we build of the “system” to try to understand the “system.” (We also need to verify the definition of “system.”) Before we look any further at the Soft Systems Methodology aspects, it is worth taking a detour through Donald Norman’s findings in his book, The Design of Everyday Things, about how we build internal models to understand how things work.

This article draws on just a few pages from Norman’s book that have parallels to Soft Systems Methodology models. The complete book is certainly worth reading.

Read the full article

Users and Tasks, What’s the Point?
Vesa Purho
Development Manager, Nokia

You can look at user and task analysis in many ways. In this article, I present the point of view that when doing user and task analysis we should take some insight from market segmentation to categorise users.

Read the full article