Information Management News
July 2010

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 Best Practices Conference 2010 will be held September 13-15 in Hampton, VA. For more information click here.

The DITA Europe Conference 2010 will be held November 15-16 in Vienna, Austria. For more information click here.

Upcoming Workshops

Minimalism: Creating Manuals People Can Use
July 13-14, 2010
Boulder, Colorado

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
July 20-21, 2010
San Mateo, California

In this workshop, you are introduced to the transforms and style sheets necessary to publish DITA documents. You will gain the technical knowledge necessary to structure and style DITA content for delivery to HTML, PDF, and other desirable formats.

Developing Quality Documentation in an Agile Environment
August 19-20, 2010
Hillsboro, Oregon

Developing quality documentation in an Agile environment requires a firm understanding of how Agile works and how to use the system to ensure that you are creating “just enough” documentation that meets customer needs.

Upcoming Webinars

Building a Bulletproof Business Case

Presented by Comtech Services & PTC
July 22, 2010, 12pm Eastern

DITA vs. Non-Technical Authors: Why and how?

Presented by Laurens van den Oever of Xopus BV
August 11, 2010, 11am Eastern

Never Waste a Good Crisis

Presented by Daphne Walmer of Medtronic
August 25, 2010, 11:30am Eastern

Click here for recorded webinars.


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.

CIDM Invitation to Participate in a Customer Quality Project
Importance of High Quality Technical Information

The Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM) and IBM are proposing a project survey titled, “Importance of High Quality Technical Information”. This survey was inspired by the 2008 CIDM presentation that Microsoft shared called “Content and the Bottom Line: Defining the business value of your publications” and was created to measure the value of technical content from the clients’ perspective and to understand how providing quality technical information affects purchase decisions. IBM has already posted a survey on the Web. We would like to invite you to do the same and share the data you accumulate to provide a broader industry view on the subject.

Read more about this quality project.

Rare Bird Applications Now Open

The Rare Bird Award recognizes outstanding managers and their teams. The applications should describe thoroughly an innovative practice in which your organization has been engaged. The members of the judging panel look for detailed descriptions of the practice and concrete evidence that the innovation has led to organizational change.

Click here to submit your Best Practice for consideration. The submission deadline is July 14.

DITA Europe Call for Speakers

The Center for Information-Development Management and Dr. JoAnn Hackos announce a call for participation in the upcoming DITA Europe conference to take place 15–16 November 2010, in Vienna, Austria. If you are interested in presenting at the conference, please complete the form and submit to Lisa Lambert before 24 August 2010.

Part 2 of 6: Ad-Hoc Organizations and Content Management
JoAnn Hackos, Comtech Services, Inc.

Dr. Q, the leader of our content-management consulting team, has been asked to work with Checko Systems, a huge manufacturing company with a wide range of products. When it was a fledgling start-up, Checko had a central technical publications organization.

Read the article.

More articles

Letter to the Editor
Response to Level 0—Oblivious Organization from the June 2010 eNewsletter
Author Annonymous

I read the first installment of “Oblivious Organizations and Content Management” this morning and was so impressed. I’m in an oblivious organization, but we are moving towards standards, kicking and screaming all the way. My tech writing department has standards and processes and we use them, but we are atypical.

Read the article.

Collaboration Gone Feral
Kathryn Showers, Symitar, a Jack Henry Company

Members of our Implementations group came to us with a request: will you please rewrite the Computer Operator’s Guide?

What? Write technical documentation? That’s the job of the Technical Publications department… er… us, right. Sure, well, we would love to do it, except we don’t have any resources

[read: people] to migrate, review, test, and edit the materials. I wish we did, because the project is interesting, and an excellent poster project for showing off single-sourced, format-neutral, structured writing. If we wrote it well, we could replace a huge section in that pesky monolithic system documentation (that is our current deliverable) with concise, user-friendly DITA topics. If only I could see outside the confines of this resource box.

Read the article.

Managing Careers in the Wild World of DITA
Cindy Frakes, Oracle Corporation

Moving to a structured authoring model requires a massive amount of work and a 360-degree approach. As a member of an Information Development Management team, I have found that the planning phase seems to take forever because there are business plans to write, authoring and content management tools to review and select, presentation after presentation to get buy-in from peers and upper management, and collaboration with other teams to integrate the new authoring model into the overall product development lifecycle.

Read the article.

Dan Tonkery on the iPad and the Future of Technical Publications
DCLNews Editorial April 2010
Republished with permission from Data Conversion Laboratory, Inc.

The iPad has finally arrived. This magical and revolutionary next-gen tablet computer with its online library of books and magazines, music store, and theater from Apple is now available. Industry pundits claim this device will change the future in publishing and may be the transformational product for our society, equivalent to the introduction of the television or print itself.

Read the article.

Welcome new CIDM member!

Tweddle GroupTweddle was founded in 1954 by Edmund Tweddle, who believed in the power of ideas and innovation. Early adoption of publishing technologies, such as computerized photocomposition and typesetting in the early 60’s, set the founding philosophy that strategic investment in people and technology would yield long term growth.

The Tweddle Group remains committed to its founding principles of continuous innovation. Today, the service areas encompass the full spectrum of owner communications and technical publishing—
Information Development, Management, and Delivery.

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