Information Management News 11-12.01

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CIDM e-newsletter
Volume 1, Issue 10
November/December, 2001

A monthly e-newsletter from the Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM)
JoAnn T. Hackos, PhD, CIDM Director

Introducing the HTML CIDM e-newsletter!
We hope you enjoy our new HTML format! If you would like to continue receiving the CIDM e-newsletter in plain-text format, please email

In This Issue

Holiday Greetings

Outsourcing Pitfalls You Can Avoid

Supply Chain or Support Chain? Where Does Information Development Fit In?

Industry News

The Top Techno-MBA Programs According to Computerworld

New Books on Content Management

News From Down Under

“Doing the Right Thing” and “Doing it Right”

From the Continent

When Are We Managing Too Much?

Upcoming Workshops

The CIDM sponsors the following workshops between January and May 2002. Sign up now:

Developing a Strategy for Minimalism: Creating Manuals People Will Use
JoAnn Hackos, PhD
February 4-5, 2002, Longmont, CO
February 20-21, 2002, Boynton Beach, FL
This seminar will show you how to put the principles of minimalism into practice so that you can create concise documents that attract and support the aims of learners.

Managing Your Documentation Projects
Bill Hackos, PhD
February 19-20, 2002, Alameda, CA
If you can keep your projects under control in the midst of chaos, everyone will think you’re a miracle worker. If you can bring a semblance of order into the chaos, you’ll at least be a hero. This seminar gives you the tools to succeed.

User and Task Analysis for Information Design
JoAnn Hackos, PhD
March 13-14, 2002, Columbus, OH
May 14-15, 2002, Portsmouth, NH
You will learn how to apply inexpensive usability methods that yield critical design guidelines, create a user model you can use during the life of the project, choose the right technique for your time and budget, and stay focused on users’ issues.

Holiday Greetings
JoAnn T. Hackos, PhD
CIDM Director

I hope that you are all looking forward to the holiday season. Being with family and friends is the best cure for all the anxiety we have had to face in recent months. We are off to Paris to spend Christmas with our sons and families.

At the same time that we look forward to the warmth of relationships, we need to look forward to the New Year. We have already seen promising signs of increased business activities. Lots of interest in workshops, seminars, customer studies, and content management is exciting after the doldrums of the past year. Planning has already begun for conferences and benchmark studies for 2002. We’ll keep you all informed as the plans become more firm.

I look forward to seeing many of you at various events in the coming year.


CIDM Survey— Single Sourcing Update
See how the content-management landscape has changed since our last survey in February 2001 by participating in the Single Sourcing Update survey. All participants will receive a brief analysis of the survey results by email.

Outsourcing Pitfalls You Can Avoid
Bill Hackos, PhD
Vice President, Comtech Services, Inc.

Your management has told you to outsource some of your documentation efforts to save headcount and money. Initially, you are appalled and upset. You will have to cut back on your staff and select an outsourcing supplier. What to do?

Read the full article

White Papers Available Now!
The CIDM would like to introduce the Industry Analysis Series, a collection of white papers published by the CIDM.

For a brief description of these white papers, visit the CIDM website.

To purchase these white papers, email CIDM or call 303-232-7586.

Supply Chain or Support Chain? Where Does Information Development Fit In?
Bill Hackos, PhD
Vice President, Comtech Services, Inc.

Information development has roles to play both in the supply-chain and the support-chain process.

Read the full article

Free Online Seminar
Structured Writing for Single Sourcing
Tuesday, January 8, 2002, 11:00am EST
Hosted by Arbortext, featuring guest speaker Dr. JoAnn Hackos.

Learn the value of structured writing and how to get started applying structured writing to your work.

For additional information and to register, log on to Arbortext’s Web site.

The Top Techno-MBA Programs According to Computerworld

In an October article, Computerworld listed the schools with the top 25 techno-MBA programs.

Computerworld wanted to answer the question: “Which schools do the best job of combining good management techniques and technology innovation under the general heading of sound business practices?”

They found that the top schools, while still having a strong technology concentration, are now also emphasizing the bottom line. Their programs encourage students to learn to achieve business goals using technology while they also learn business skills.

Computerworld also found that schools are working to accommodate the needs of the full-time employee. Students can continue to work and go to school and gain real-world experience in their new field of study. At many schools, students are asked to gain that experience by using new technologies to solve new business problems, providing the students with learning opportunities that will help them in their future careers.

New Books on Content Management

Several new books have appeared on content management in recent weeks. You may want to review all or some of them as part of your planning process.

Read the full article

“Doing the Right Thing” and “Doing it Right”
Robert N. Phillips
CEO, Lasotell Pty Ltd.

“Doing the Right Thing” and “Doing it Right” are two quite different concepts, and it is not always obvious to every technical writer and other delivery groups what these expressions mean and what it is that is supposed to be done.

Read the full article

When Are We Managing Too Much?
Vesa Purho
Research Analyst, Information Design, Nokia

Managing is a good thing. Good management ensures that company and individual goals are met in a motivating working environment. However, sometimes management can go too far and reduce motivation and innovation. Sometimes the reason can be found from trying to have all work done in projects; sometimes it is due to a misunderstanding of the budget. According to management books and experts, the budget is only a numerical representation of an action plan, and it should not prevent sensible work. So, if the environment changes during a budgeting period, the budget, and the action plans for that matter, should be adjusted accordingly.

Read the full article

The Center For Information-Development Management
The Center for Information-Development Management is an organization of information-development, training, and support managers across the United States and internationally. The CIDM is directed by Dr. JoAnn Hackos, international leader in the management of the design, development, and dissemination of information to customers and employees. Under her leadership, the CIDM conducts benchmark studies among member organizations and elsewhere, sponsors research into information development and its management, gathers and disseminates results and resources through newsletters, the Web, seminars, an annual conference, and research white papers. The CIDM facilitates the sharing of information among the most skilled managers in the information industry.

If you are interested in reading more in-depth articles, you should consider subscribing to the Best Practices newsletter.


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