Mergers, acquisitions, and spinoffs: critical tests of your content

merger

Our Information Mapping consultants sometimes feel like firefighters when they’re called in by organizations in need of urgent, immediate help to improve their content. A merger, acquisition or spinoff is often the cause of the urgency, because those are critical tests of the quality and consistency of documentation.

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Tired of spending time on hold? Blame poor call center documentation

call center holding

Next time you’re on hold, enduring the terrible music call centers use to punish the poor souls waiting for help, take some comfort from the fact that the call center is suffering, too.

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3 “Must Have” Strategies for the Oil and Gas Sector’s Big Shift Change

energy

A manager at an oil and gas company recently remarked that there are only two kinds of people working in the sector: those who already feel the impact of the Big Shift Change and those who are going to. He knew what he was talking about.

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3 reasons why pharma and biotech companies are improving their documentation

gmp

From the earliest phases of research and development to manufacturing and distributing new products, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are challenged by the sheer volume and complexity of the information they need to manage. They’re also heavily regulated.

Recognizing the importance of documentation to operational efficiency and compliance, industry leaders are improving its quality and consistency in these 3 key areas.

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Risk Management in the Financial Industry: It’s the documentation, stupid!

risk

An industry obsessed with risk management—and rightly so

A Russian security firm recently reported that cyber thieves have managed to steal about $1 billion from banks in 30 countries. Days later, the head of New York's Department of Financial Services warned that our financial system is vulnerable to disruption by "an Armageddon-type" cyber attack: a large-scale hack could damage the US economy as severely as the 2008 mortgage crisis. Add to that the financial industry's concerns about the uncertain and volatile global marketplace, increasing pressure from regulators and rising costs of doing business, and it's easy to see why risk management is such a hot topic nowadays in Wall Street boardrooms.

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3 Mistakes for Technical Communicators to Avoid in 2015

3 Mistakes for Technical Communicators to Avoid in 2015

2015 is well under way, and it’s an exciting year for technical communicators. Judging by the constant buzz and all the bantering and bickering on the profession’s favorite discussion forums, this is a great time to be in our line of work. Due to the ever-increasing amounts of content that organizations need to capture and control in order to remain competitive and compliant, we’re in a Golden Age of opportunity for those with the right skills and savvy.

But, as always, the pitfalls are still there. Here are 3 mistakes you should avoid making during the coming months.

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Mind Mapping vs. Information Mapping®: diagramming vs. structured authoring

People sometimes ask us, Is Information Mapping the same as Mind Mapping? The short answer is that they’re not really alike, but since their names are similar enough to cause some confusion, let’s clarify the differences.

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5 Steps to Managing and Reusing Content

five100When our professional services team performs a content audit for a large organization, managers are often shocked to see how much of the same content has been recreated for use within different areas. They can’t believe how much time and effort they’ve spent in “re-inventing the wheel,” and how many gaps, inconsistencies, inefficiencies and other problems have resulted.

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The Information Mapping format: a proven content standard

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 "That’s Information Mapping. I can tell by the lines, labels and white space.” Most people recognize a Mapped document right away, thanks to its characteristic format. This leads some to believe that the Method is simply a format, although the format is really just “the tip of the iceberg.” If you’re a Mapper, you know the Method’s greatest value is its systematic, research-based approach to information analysis and organization.

But don’t downplay the Information Mapping format—after all, it’s a content standard used by organizations worldwide. In dozens of research studies content arranged using the Information Mapping format has been proven to be easier to comprehend than the “before” version.

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Writing for the Web: The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two

tiedye2During our webinars and presentations, we often ask audiences to participate in a memory test. Here’s how it works: we put a slide containing a lot of words on the screen for 20 seconds. Then we take the slide away and ask everybody to write down as many words as they can remember. We’ve repeated this memory test hundreds of times over the years for audiences ranging from under a dozen people to several hundred. The results have been amazingly consistent. No matter where or when we do this, the vast majority of people are able to recall 5 to 9 words.

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