Boiko seeks to unify information mgmt field

Senior Lecturer Bob Boiko expects a lot of his students: the desire and ability to make information work across the terrain of creation, storage, presentation and use. "In return, I offer insights into today's buzz-worthy topics based on fundamentals that have been in play forever," he said. "Skills students can use on day one of a career and understanding they can use until the last day of their careers."

His interest in the fundamentals of Information management led Boiko to create The Information Management Foundation with Erik M. Hartman, president of Hartman Communicatie in The Netherlands. The two wanted to expose the skills and tools that underlie the work all practitioners of information management use.

"It is a challenge we are just now ready to face" said Boiko, "From hard-core data miners to the designers of e-books, we are all doing information management and need to create that single field."

The first edition of their book, TIMAF Information Management Best Practices came out in November. What the title lacks in creativity, the book, edited by Boiko, more than makes up for in practicality.

Boiko and Hartman tapped a worldwide network of information professionals to find people with the experience and talent to teach others how to be successful managing any form of information. They gathered best practices from major corporations like Microsoft, educational institutions like Harvard Business School, government and nonprofit organizations.

Boiko spoke about the book in a video interview [available here on YouTube]. In it, he describes how the book's structure leads readers through projects information management professionals are required to solve every week in their work. This step-by-step approach reflects the same strong teaching style Boiko brings to the classroom. And, this flow of information - from the theoretical, to practice, to the classroom and then back to the theoretical -- reflects the information lifecycle Boiko works so hard to help his students understand.

The irony is not lost on Boiko. "I've never seen much of a boundary between the classroom and the 'real' world," Boiko said. "In any context, to succeed you have to learn, then apply, then learn; think abstractly, then apply, and then think some more. That's what we are trying to do with the IM Best Practices project and what I also try to do in my classes."