Professional Knowledge Management Conference (WM 2007) at Potsdam

The last three days I was at the Professional Knowledge Management conference at Potsdam where the knowledge management community in the broad sense met. The FZI team (Simone Braun, Hansjörg Happel, Max Völkel and me) was very busy with five presentations, two poster presentations, and one organized workshop (ProKW – Productive Knowledge Work – together with Klaus North, Stefan Güldenberg and Tobias Ley).

The ProKW workshop was an interesting combination of the management perspective on knowledge work and the techological perspective. The implications of the characteristics, as it turned out, are currently hardly reflected. This leads to a situation – according to Klaus North – where only 2% of the potential of knowledge workers is actually made use of. In the technological track, which Tobias and I chaired, there were several interesting contributions, e.g. on a generalized notion of document (call knowledge models) from Max Völkel which enables informal exchange at a much earlier phase by lowering the barriers of exchange. Simone presented our approach to vocabulary or ontology engineering, and Andreas Rath from the Know-Center presented an approach to automatically capture the context of a learner.

Apart from that, it is interesting to see how our idea of maturing spreads. On the one side, we presented (as in a previous post) three papers on the model itself and applications to software engineering and ontology engineering. On the other side, Dr. Hofer-Alfeiss presented the Siemens approach to maturing support with “breeding strategies”.

There was also an interesting insight in the workshop on Convergence of E-Learning and Knowledge Management: whereas three years ago, I felt quite alone with my integration ideas, it is now commonsense although the concrete combination with mutual enrichment is still not clear.

Last but not least, the WM was again a good place for networking and interesting talks in the breaks – with people from very different background. However, the conference programme was a little bit too crowded and breaks were often too short.