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Sustainable Competence Management with Ontology-Based Competency Catalogs
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Sustainable Competence Management with Ontology-Based Competency Catalogs


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Presentation at the eChallenges 2007 conference at The Hague, Oct 25, 2007

Presentation at the eChallenges 2007 conference at The Hague, Oct 25, 2007

Published in: Education, Business

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  • 1. Sustainable Competence Management with Ontology-Based Competence Catalogs Andreas Schmidt FZI Research Center for Information Technologies, Karlsruhe Christine Kunzmann Kompetenzorientierte Personalentwicklung Germany [email_address] [email_address]
  • 2. Motivation
    • Competencies as abstractions of work-relevant human behavior are a promising concept for a holistic view human resource development
    • Knowledge management
      • knowledge, skills and abilities are broader than the notion of „knowledge“
      • => work-relevant competency to act
    • Training
      • competencies allow for operationalizing learning goals and outcomes
      • => control instrument for needs analysis, training design, and assessment
    • Competence Management
      • individual competencies can be aggregated into organizational competencies
  • 3. Research Objectives
    • Fundamental Challenges of competency-oriented approaches:
      • well-defined common understanding of each competency across various departments or even organizations
      • various systems and services involved in HR, training, and knowledge management need to be semantically coherent
      • crucial trade-off in competency modelling needs to be solved:
        • the more accurate, realistic and fine-grained considered competencies are
        • the more complex management and controlling tasks become
  • 4. General Approach
    • A reference model for ontology-based approaches to competency-oriented human resource development.
      • How to connect strategic and operational HR processes with the help of the competency catalog as a mediating artefact
      • How to ensure continuous updating of such a catalog
    • This reference model is divided into
      • a conceptual part ( ontology )
      • and a reference process
  • 5. Developing a Reference Ontology
    • Based on experiences in EU project Learning in Process and industrial projects
    • Core idea: LearningOpportunity as a universal concept
      • unifying formal and informal learning opportunities
      • formal learning objects have objectives informal opportunities have a topic
    • OrganizationalEntities (processes, organizational units, roles)
    • Competencies as a bridge
      • objectives for learning resources
      • competencies of colleagueas
      • requirements for organizational entities
      • topics as weak competency notions
  • 6. Professional Learning Ontology (Top-Level)
    • Upper-level ontology as a reference model
    • available at
  • 7. Benefits of Ontology-based Approach
    • Enabling interoperability
      • integrating KM, learning management and competency management systems
    • More advanced services for learning support
      • competency gap analysis
      • recommendation of learning resources
      • compilation of learning programs
    • => These services make use of competency relationships especially subsumtion
  • 8. Competency-driven learning services
  • 9. Reference Process
    • What is missing: How to make use of and maintain competency models in a real enterprise environment => sustainability
      • avoid outdated competency models
      • avoid over-formalization of top-down approaches
      • built-in continous improvement
    • Three layers of responsibility
      • normative layer => top management
      • strategic layer => medium and lower management
      • operational layer => employees and lower management
    • Closed Loop Approach
  • 10. Reference Process
  • 11. Reference Process
  • 12. Reference Process
  • 13. Results from a pilot study
    • Results from a pilot study at a German hospital
      • nursing domain, 600 competencies collected and modeled
    • Main challenges:
      • Current technological solutions for process support
        • assume a relatively stable competency catalog
        • separate the tasks on operational and strategic levels
        • are not geared towards large competency catalogs
      • Modeling effort has to be reduced by developing competency frameworks
      • Thinking in competencies has to be established on all levels
  • 14. Conclusions
    • Ontology-driven approach to competency-oriented human resource development
      • enables high degree of semantic coherency among various systems and services
      • provides the basis for enhanced ways of support
      • needs to be embedded in a closed-loop approach of continuous updating
    • Currently, the approach is extended towards ePortfolio activities
  • 15. Outlook
    • FP7 IP MATURE –
    • will investigate the harvesting of bottom-up approaches to support the maturing of competency models
    • Ontology Outreach Advisory
    • Contributing to making HR Technology more semantic (e.g., via HR-XML)
    Andreas Schmidt Department Manager FZI Research Center for Information Technologies, Karlsruhe, GERMANY, Christine Kunzmann Kompetenzorientierte Personalentwicklung GERMANY, [email_address]