CIDM e-newsletter
Volume 3, Issue 8
September 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

Dr. JoAnn Hackos to speak at Content Management and XML Conference in Seattle

Dr. Hackos describes the process of defining a XML-based comprehensive Information Model and conducting a content-management project.

Click here for conference information

Dr. JoAnn Hackos to speak at STC Puget Sound Meeting – Open to the Public

Topic: Let’s stop writing documentation and start working for the users
Location: Monaco Hotel, Downtown Seattle
Date: September 18, 2003
Time: Social Hour 5:30pm, Meeting 7:00pm

Read Dr. JoAnn Hackos’s article

Ben Jackson Receives Promotion

Ben Jackson has received a promotion to Director of Information Development at Cisco Systems, Inc. CIDM members provided job descriptions and rationale that were used to support their own promotions to director.

The Sept. 1 issue of CIO magazine takes a hard look at the costs and consequences of offshore outsourcing.

Read more about it.

Best Practices 2003 Conference
September 22–24, 2003
Seattle, Washington

Innovator’s Forum
September 25–26, 2003
Seattle, Washington

Visit for more information and to register.

Upcoming Workshops
The CIDM sponsors the following workshops. Sign up now:

Structured Writing for Single Sourcing
JoAnn Hackos, PhD,
September 16–17, 2003,
San Jose, CA

Minimalism: Creating Manuals People Will Use
JoAnn Hackos, PhD,
November 6–7, 2003,
Atlanta, GA

Managing Your Documentation Projects
Bill Hackos, PhD
October 16–17, 2003,
Phoenix, AZ

Developing a Content Management Strategy
JoAnn Hackos, PhD,
December 4–5
Rochester, NY

Developing Online Information for Help and Web-Based Delivery
JoAnn Hackos, PhD,
October 21–22, 2003,
New Orleans, LA
November 11–12,
New York, NY

XML for Writers
Tina Hedlund
October 21–22, 2003,
Chicago, IL

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

Middle managers are key contributors to implementing change
JoAnn Hackos, PhD
CIDM Director

Tom Peters started the move to rid organizations of middle managers. In many companies, the mantra became “Flatten the organization.” — “Middle managers are stubborn defenders of the status quo.” I recall one large, effective information-development organization that was told to manage their projects through self-directed teams. The publications managers were either fired or demoted. Very recently I’ve received word of more companies who got rid of the manager because they were perceived as adding no value, even though they had initiated the changes that were making their departments successful.

Read the article

More articles
Change-Management Reading List
One More Reorganization
Clarifying requirements — asking what and how

Dr. JoAnn Hackos and the Center for Information-Development Management invite you to…

Best Practices 2003 Conference
September 22–24, 2003, Seattle, Washington
Innovator’s Forum
September 25–26, 2003, Seattle, Washington

Best Practices 2003 Conference
Innovation: Making It Happen

You know what your people are capable of doing if you just had the support. You have great ideas that will make technical publications relevant to the customer. You’ve put together a strategic plan and laid out the metrics.

Why is it still so hard to make your change message stick?

Innovations are easy to imagine and difficult to make happen. At the Best Practices conference, experience how fellow information managers make a difference in their organizations:

Join us at the water’s edge. The Edgewater hotel overlooks Puget Sound in downtown Seattle, Washington. It’s down the hill from historic Pike Place Market, the locale of the FISH! philosophy—last year’s theme. As you prepare to attend in 2003, read Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, this year’s theme book.

Be prepared for the challenges of Tipping Point Leadership in introducing innovations and making the changes that your team needs to succeed in tough economic times.

For more information and to register, visit our Conference Web site.

Innovator’s Forum

Turn your conference experience into tangible results.

Join the Innovator’s Forum immediately following the Best Practices conference to turn your ideas into reality.

For more information and to register, visit our Forum Web site.

Change-Management Reading List
Bill Hackos, PhD
Vice President, Comtech Services, Inc.

While preparing for our upcoming Best Practices Conference and Innovator’s Forum in Seattle this month I’ve been reading a number of books about change. I thought I would let you know about the best of them in case you want to prepare for the conference or if you can’t make it to the conference this year.

Read the article

One More Reorganization
Diane Davis
Director, IC Implementation, Synopsys, Inc.

It is amazing how much stress is associated with reorganizations. My company just announced yet another one. Keeping your staff productive during the rumor stage is a managerial challenge that is complicated by today’s economy. People are afraid of losing their jobs, and many people think that reorganization is synonymous with a layoff.

Read the article

Clarifying requirements — asking what and how
Vesa Purho
Development Manager, Nokia

In my last article, I talked about how important it is to ask “why” so many times that you get to the bottom of what it is that people actually require without specifying an implementation alternative. Starting from “the possibility to import an XML configuration in the system,” we ended up with “making changes in the configuration and changing the status of the modules has to be easy.” Two issues need to be clarified in the requirement: do we have one requirement or two, and, most important, what is meant by easy?

Read the article