About the 2016 CIDM Best Practices Rare Bird Award

CIDM is pleased to announce the thirteenth annual Rare Bird Award for distinguished contributions to best practices in the management of information development. The award is made to the manager or team who submits their best practice for consideration by the judges prior to the annual CIDM Best Practices Conference at La Fonda On the Plaza in Santa Fe, New Mexico on September 12-14, 2016.

The Rare Bird Award recognizes the achievement of managers and their teams in developing a best practice that

  • demonstrates the ability of the organization to be innovativeThe phrase Share Your Success on a notice board
  • increases the efficiency and productivity of the organization
  • provides a clear benefit to customers
  • has the ability to transform an organization from ordinary to extraordinary
  • can be effectively transferred to other organizations
  • demonstrates the leadership abilities of the organization to peers, management, and professional colleagues

All who submit applications for the Rare Bird Award are required to attend the conference. We prefer that they take an active role in the Best Practices annual conference through participation as a speaker or as a showcase or panel participant. To be eligible for the Rare Bird award, all entrants must submit their Best Practice for consideration by July 21, 2016.

Go to our Rare Bird Submission page to submit your Best Practice for consideration.

Award Criteria and Judging

Judging criteria for the Rare Bird award include efficiency, customer focus, transferability, innovation, transformational value, and leadership. Please note that all five judging areas must be addressed in your submission to be considered for the award.

EfficiencyThe best practice provides documentation and/or metrics that explain how the manager increased productivity, lowered costs, or offered other improvements for his/her company. This efficiency would be a best practice for most companies. Most publications managers would recognize the results as excellent forms of process improvement, content management, minimalism, customer focus, or outsourcing, and so on.

Customer Focus-The best practice features improved methods or processes to incorporate customer needs in the information development process. There is clear evidence that customer input was used in the early design and development stages.

Transferability-The processes shown in this best practice could be transferred directly or with some modifications to other publications organizations. If adopted, the work has a high probability of offering similar improvements at the transfer site.

Innovation-The best practice offers unique approaches to traditional elements of information management, new processes, methods, or technologies that facilitate improvements in the way information management groups work within their company, with customers, or in the delivery of their products. The innovation should be measurable in business terms, such as reduced customer support calls, faster time to market, increased technical accuracy, easy access to concise information, and so on.

Transformational Value-The best practice is an example of creative thinking that takes information management to a higher level. Comments from company management or management peers about the change value of the effort would document its transformational value.

Leadership-The best practice subject matter, process, or results require outstanding leadership from the publications manager or team. For example, the manager or team changed the way work was done in the past, reallocated resources, reorganized for better results, solicited upper management support to bring in a content management system, teamed with customer support for better customer experiences, managed a corporate initiative, and so on.

Past Awardees

The Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM) presented its 2015 Rare Bird award jointly to Huawei Technologies’ Integrated Single Sourcing Innovation and their Customer-Centered Information Experience. In 2016 the individual submissions by Hebe Hui He and Jackie Wangzudong were selected as a comprehensive, end-to-end single-source solution supported by an exemplary commitment to a customer-focused information design methodology.

The Center for Information-Development Management (CIDM) presented its 2014 Rare Bird Award to Huawei Technologies’ Dynamic Content Publishing (DCP) solution at the annual Best Practices Conference in Stevenson, Washington. The Plano, Texas based team is led by Farhad Patel, who submitted the innovative, state-of-the-art-system that allows Huawei’s customers to locate and assemble information objects dynamically. The information objects may be large manuals, small standalone topics, videos, and user generated articles. This flexible design puts the information directly into the hands of the customer regardless of their platform.  It has received overwhelming support from customers and internal stakeholders, as evidenced by the well-documented efficiency and customer-satisfaction metrics.

The 2013 CIDM Rare Bird Award was won by RSA division of EMC. The RSA team, headed by Kevin Kyle, submitted a balanced entry to improve the quality of its content. The team began by acknowledging the need to improve its information set and then created a focused, repeatable, and sustainable process to deliver results.

The 2012 CIDM Rare Bird Award was won by Freescale Semiconductor’s Information Development Ecosystem Advantage (IDEA) initiative submitted by Bob Beims. The CIDM Rare Bird judging panel lauded the Freescale team for “outstanding vision, tremendous efficiency, and a transformative process that truly integrates information development as a value-add throughout the entire product development life cycle.”

The 2011 award was presented the Hach Company, represented by Emily Mydlowski. Emily’s team exhibited courage and leadership in conceiving and implementing process improvements proven by metrics to benefit internal and external customers. By moving the publications team from a “push” to a “pull” model, Emily improved on-time delivery, quality, customer satisfaction, and efficiency.

The 2010 award was presented to Carolyn Inkster, Steve Brady, and their IBM team for an extremely effective, customer-oriented best practice that took great leadership to bring to the market in a timely manner. Developing a robust metadata strategy, IBM was able to leverage a single set of source files for a series of 18 Install and Upgrade guides. Increasing their productivity in authoring and maintenance, IBM reports that the customer’s productivity and satisfaction has also increased as a result of the new documentation method.

The 2009 award was given to Volker Oemisch and the Alcatel-Lucent OneDoc team for the highly effective best practice of outstanding efficiency and exemplary corporate leadership. Alcatel-Lucent’s OneDoc program defines common processes, standards, tools in one community of information development.

The 2008 award was given to Virginie Ahrens on behalf of two ILOG S.A. teams working collaboratively to develop the ILOG OneContent Platform. Citing a tremendous reuse and localization savings, the teams continue to refine and enhance their single-sourcing strategy.

The 2007 award was given to Charlie Dowdell on behalf of The Raymond Corporation. Charlie’s publications department has developed a new information product and development process that greatly reduces publishing costs and improves usability. This new process development was done at very low comparable costs. They now offer, as an alternative to paper, a high quality PDA or laptop/desktop suite to provide information about their products. In 2007 they demonstrated a savings of $1.6M per lifecycle of manual.

The 2006 award was given to Eileen Jones and Dave Peterson on behalf of IBM. They have created a collaborative global environment at IBM. Working with 10 different companies inside IBM, they have brought people together and built a virtual community through a rigorous program of communications.

The 2005 award was given to Charlotte Robidoux, Patrick Waychoff, and Bobbi Gibson on behalf of the Hewlett-Packard DocKeeper Process Efficiency team.

The 2004 award was given to Janet Williams-Hepler on behalf of her team at Microsoft, which is responsible for the user assistance for the Office applications.