DECOR attempts fo develop integrated methods and tools for active, context-sensitive and self-adaptive delivery of organisational knowledge at the process level. Results will comprise the realization of structured archives with domain ontologies and process models as key structures, process modelling and enactment tools, and a methodology to support organizational take-up. Development and validation will be performed in test cases in the insurance and consulting sector.
DECOR aims at (a) providing a structured archive, organized around the notion of the company´s business processes which are equipped with (b) active, context-sensitive knowledge delivery to promote a better exploitation of knowledge sources. DECOR's technical R&D objectives are (1) to clarify the structuring elements for a sufficiently well-organized archive (2) to identify the necessary ontologies to represent the background knowledge of creation and use of documents, and (3) to provide tool and methodological support for modelling these ontologies in knowledge archive (OM) projects; (4) to employ strong and weak business process models as a structuring element to represent the context of information creation and application; (5) to extend the paradigm of workflow systems to automatically provide activity- and context specific relevant information; (6) to create a methodology for building & installation of process-oriented organizational memories.
The work will start with the assessment of available tools and methods with respect to the needs of the user partners. Under guidance and supervision of the disseminator partners and with help of the developers, the user partners model their respective ontologies and identify the business processes suitable for archive structuring and knowledge enactment. In parallel, technical details are clarified and a basic archive architecture is realized. Thus early practical experience and a clear identification of weaknesses and importance of the research directions is assured. This work is concluded by milestone M1. In WP3, archive prototypes are realized at the user sites, based on the basic architecture and the modeled background knowledge. Under supervision and guidance of the disseminators the user partners will process a sufficient amount of relevant documents to fill the archive with the critical mass necessary for further tests. Possible weaknesses in the ontologies and the modelling capabilities are identified. The modelling tools and methods for business processes are extended to cover the handling of weakly-structured business processes and the description of the appropriate knowledge needs. In WP5, an enactment service for the extended business process models is realized as a developer prototype. Disseminators and users model the extended process structures at each user site. This work is concluded by milestone M2. Using the models and the developer prototype, the active organizational memories are installed at the three user sites. The operational systems form milestone M3. The systems are tested and evaluated in day-to-day work at the user sites; feedback is collected and improvements realized. During the project, a systematic methodology for introduction of OM systems in enterprises is documented, taking into account insights and experiences from all work packages.
Milestone M1 (after 6 months): Processes, knowledge structures, modelling tools and methods are examined in three user scenarios.
Milestone M2 (after 12 months): Process-oriented structured archives are implemented at the user sites, modelling methods and tools for weak workflows are available.
Milestone M3 (after 18 months): weak-workflow enactment is enabled, prototype systems go operational at three user sites.