CIDM e-newsletter
Volume 2, Issue 9
September 2002

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

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News & Events

Information Modeling Demystified presented by JoAnn Hackos at KMWorld & Intranets 2002 on October 29-31, 2002, in Santa Clara, CA.

For more information, visit

Upcoming Workshops
The CIDM sponsors the following workshops between November and December 2002. Sign up now:

Structuring Information for Online Success
Henry Korman, RA,
November 14-15, 2022, Madison, WI

Developing a Single-Sourcing Strategy
JoAnn Hackos, PhD,
November 18-19, 2002, Columbus, OH

User and Task Analysis for Information Design
Bill Hackos, PhD,
December 10-11, 2002, Sunnyvale, CA

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

The Six Sigma Method
JoAnn T. Hackos, PhD
CIDM Director

The Six Sigma method originated with Motorola as they sought to reduce the errors in their chip manufacturing process. To reduce the number of bad chips, Motorola looked for flaws in the manufacturing process. A process flaw resulted in defects in the chips. By fixing the process, they could lower the likelihood of failure and improve the quality of the product.

How does Six Sigma relate to technical-information development? As communicators, we produce information, not chips. But the problem of flaws is just as critical to our processes as it is to the manufacturing process.

Read the full article

The Impact of Culture and People
Robert N. Phillips
CEO, Lasotell Pty Ltd.

Our company has worked in a wide variety of fields—pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, information technology (IT), radio communications, telecommunications, defence, and television. It is interesting to make comparisons between the different jobs and to consider what intangible factors seemed to play a part in the progress or outcome of the work. Two of the most striking factors appear to be the culture of the company and the real background of the people contributing to the work.

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What Happened to My Information?
Vesa Purho
Development Manager, Nokia

According to the first communication law by Osmo A. Wiio (a Finnish researcher of human communication), communication usually fails, except by accident. Although being a tongue-in-cheek kind of law, similar to Murphy’s law, it does point out that communication is never easy and often fails. Disturbances prevent the message going through from the sender to the recipient. In this article, I look at the disturbances and what they can mean for customer documentation.

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The Center For Information-Development Management
The Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM) 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, and 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 at