JoAnn Hackos, PhD
CIDM Director

The weather was pure New England—windy, cold, and rainy. The Red Sox winning the national league pennant was pure Boston. Participants in the Best Practices conference became part of both traditions. We stayed up late watching the Red Sox beat the Yankees, and we enjoyed the blustery days. But, what we all found even more energizing were the wonderful presentations and the opportunity to trade experiences with management colleagues.

I think everyone went home with more than one great idea. We heard about the advantages and challenges of continuous publishing, ways to measure results and demonstrate our ability to decrease costs while improving quality, advantages of taking part in Information Process Maturity Audits, new ways of planning projects by integrating information and training into cross-functional teams, and more. For those of you unable to attend, most of the presenters have agreed to turn their slides into articles for this e-newsletter and for the Best Practices bimonthly print newsletter. That means you won’t have missed out entirely. But, if you learn from the 2004 participants, you’ll plan now to attend next year. The CIDM Best Practices conference is truly the most important event for information-development managers to attend.

Following our pattern, we’re already looking for locations in the middle of the country for the 2005 conference. Anyone who knows of a great destination conference location in the Midwest, please let us know. We like great locations with good air connections and wonderful small conference facilities but not big city hotels.

As you know, the Best Practices conference brings together many of the leaders in our industry to discuss trends in the field and the implications for their organizations. The conference this year focused on the need for innovations that reduce costs while maintaining or improving customer quality. We looked closely at the challenges for our organizations and our profession in the ongoing move to outsource technical publications work to low-cost countries. Throughout the coming year, we expect to continue the innovation focus and work to educate each other in how best to respond.