Re: Information Mapping

Subject: Re: Information Mapping
From: Niki Dow <NikiDow -at- RINGWOOD -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 21 Dec 1998 17:06:50 -0000

I'm not sure where the "private" thing came from, but there is an
alternative - DocuTools. Check out http://www.ptaonline,com

Although not dissimilar to IM, I prefer DocuTools - it's easier to
understand. Applying the structured writing methodology to all my work
makes it much easier to keep the most important principle of writing
uppermost in my mind, namely, "Meet the needs of your reader".

This methodology gives me a solid way of identifying my target audience, to
identify what they NEED to know (not what I think they need to know) and to
write in such a way that meets the readers' requirements. I don't write
anything now that isn't structured - even stuff that's used in-house only.
As a case in point, my manager recently asked me to give him a run down on
how "this structured writing thing works" because a report I wrote was one
of the first things he's understood in ages without having to read it twice!

Regards,
Niki


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Technical Writers List; for all Technical Communication issues
> [mailto:TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU]On Behalf Of Daniel Wiltshire
> Sent: 21 December 1998 16:47
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> Subject: Re: Information Mapping
>
>
> Documents written in the IM method have a clear and easy-to-follow format.
> I run across examples regularly. However, having never taken any IM
> training, I'm reluctant to start using it on our documents. (A former
> colleague talked management into paying his tuition for IM training, and
> then left the company a few months later, taking all the background and
> expertise with him!)
>
> One specific question I have about the method is,
> -- how does one designate cross-references within the text ? --
> For example, "For details on how to set up x, y, and z, see Section 2.4.2
> "X, Y, and Z Setup." Most IM documents I've seen don't include such
> numbered section headings. Our current documentation guidelines, which I
> developed, uses the outlined section numbering format.
>
> Is it worth the $1000+ tuition, plus travel expenses, to learn these fine
> points? If I'm going to ask the company to pay my way, I better have a
> bulletproof justification. I didn't run across anything on their website
> that would back me up in this effort. If the method really is private,
> where else may I learn it besides Information Mapping Inc.?
>
> Thanks,
> Dan
>
>
>
>
>
> John Cornellier <cornelli -at- CLAMART -dot- SRPC -dot- SLB -dot- COM> on 12/21/98 11:12:29 AM
>
> Please respond to John Cornellier <cornelli -at- CLAMART -dot- SRPC -dot- SLB -dot- COM>
>
> To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
> cc: (bcc: Daniel Wiltshire/PNT/PUSA)
> Subject: Re: Information Mapping
>
>
>
>
> IM appears to be a school where you learn a method for organizing
> information. IMO, IM appears to take a method which is public and then
> privatize it for their own profit. Analogously, is someone who learned to
> swim the Australian Crawl at the Four-Star International Academy of
> Swimming
> necessarily a better swimmer than someone who learned it at the Y? No. I'm
> not saying IM's courses aren't value for money, but I regret the
> implication
> that there's something intrinsically better about having learned a method
> chez them.
>
> anonymous wrote:
> > don't be threatened by IM. It's just a tool.
>
> To me, IM poses the following threat: we should be hired on the basis of
> what we can do, not on some nebulous qualification. It would be bad if
> managers became convinced that all techwrs needed an IM certificate. (OTH
> this would be very desireable for IM's shareholders).
>
> FWIW http://www.informationmapping.com/ contains the following blurb:
> "helps
> clients ensure that workers and managers have the right information
> available at the right time to do their jobs correctly and make effective
> decisions. Our seminars and consulting services help you design
> and develop
> effective documentation, SOPs, and user guides ? print or online. And we
> can
> help you plan and implement strategies for keeping critical information
> accurate, reusable, current, and accessible."
>
> John Cornellier
>
>
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>
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>


From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=



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