Passbrains CrowdConsult: The Intelligent Knowledge Networking Tool
On 14. November 2013, our technology partner, Starmind International won this year’s Swiss ICT
Award in the category “Newcomer” and has been honored as runner-up for the Public Award 2013.
The Swiss ICT Award promotes entrepreneurship and the acceptance of ICT entrepreneurs and
companies in Swiss society where “Newcomer” category represents younger Swiss ICT companies
that are likely to play a significant role in the future with innovative solutions. Starmind develops
self-learning know-how networks for companies that operate in knowledge industries. Starmind’s
solution facilitates structured knowledge management and talent identification in real time and is
based on advanced self-learning algorithms derived from the principles of artificial intelligence and
The Passbrains Crowd Testing Platform uses Starmind’s technology for community-based structure and
scalable knowledge networking because we believe that in a community setting, “the basic economic
resource - the means of production - is no longer capital, nor natural resources, nor labor. It is and will
be knowledge.”, as asserted by Peter Drucker, Management Guru.
Today, managers are constantly dreaming about the day when they could progressively capture the
know-how and experience distributed among their employees and leverage this collective know-how
as a source of competitive advantage. In the words of Etienne Wenger, co-creator of the concept of
Communities of Practice, “Knowledge management will never work until corporations realize it’s not
about how you capture knowledge but how you create and leverage it.” With crowd testing, the situation
is no different, as in large crowd communities it all comes down to efficient access to specialized
Knowledge management, as it is currently
practiced in most organizations, revolves around
documenting the best practices in Wikis, blogs,
etc. This approach, however, does not appear
to be the answer, especially in multi-stakeholder
situations as with crowd testing initiatives, which
require deep subject matter expertise, extensive
know-how and attention to intricate details.
Scenarios as with crowd testing are usually
complex by nature and mandate deep technical
know-how. In these scenarios, execution is tightly
coupled with experience and expertise. In such
cases, attempts to archive knowledge using
document management systems are almost
always incomplete and are immediately outdated;
traditional knowledge management approaches
are only rarely successful and almost unusable in
Furthermore, the community size is a challenge
in aggregating and managing the knowledge
dispersed across the community’s members.
The bigger a community grows, the more challenging it gets to keep tabs on the community’s expertise.
Connecting, channeling and bridging expertise from where it is the most wanted to where it is the
most available requires support of advanced tools and smart machines built using artificial intelligence
concepts, ingenious portfolio of algorithms and distributed datasets to approach such complex topics
systematically over a structured framework.
How do we do it?
At Passbrains, technology lies at the core of our community knowledge. Our technology solution from
Starmind captures the expertise distributed across our community of several thousand professional
testers, charts the knowledge automatically and generates knowledge maps that visually identify where
specific talents reside within the community. Much like an infant’s brain, our community knowledge
builds on itself automatically with every new project, with every new task and with each professional that
joins our community. Through such a conscious and systematic approach to knowledge management,
our platform has become extremely adept and agile at problem solving and extremely accurate at
Passbrains CrowdConsult – our knowledge management tool for customers is part of our larger
Passbrains platform suite. This functionality continuously and systematically maps Passbrains’
community knowledge to help customers quickly identify Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) for speedy
problem solving, consulting engagements or expert recruitment. CrowdConsult’s self-learning knowledge
networking engine maps questions, problems and tasks and automatically routes them to competent
experts amongst thousands of members in the Passbrains community.
The motivation for such a systematic knowledge management approach derives from the vision
we share with Pascal Kaufmann, Starmind’s Chief Executive Officer, “We want to make knowledge
accessible”. By making the collective community knowledge available to our customers, we provide
many competitive advantages that our customers benefit from. The ability to find and apply the right
solution immediately when needed is a core competitive asset in itself. With the CrowdConsult tools and
services offering, Passbrains provides a supportive environment, where capturing the right knowledge,
refining the collected knowledge, storing it in an effective way, categorizing the knowledge and making
it easily accessible are achieved automatically and comprehensively.
How it works
Passbrains users simply enter their questions,
problems or tasks; the CrowdConsult tool and
expert community handles the rest. Passbrains
CrowdConsult automatically identifies the
Subject Matter Expert(s) most suited for the
task at hand and routes the question to the
individual(s), who provide answers and solutions
within shortest time. Once the solutions are
provided, the users can comment and rate the
solutions. Aggregated solution ratings enable
Passbrains users and customers to search for
specific Subject Matter Experts and engage
with them directly for individual problem solving
tasks, consultation or freelance engagements.
Hence, this functionality is also extremely helpful
for staffing projects at a short notice.
Passbrains’ CrowdConsult knowledge base can
be accessed anywhere via web browsers or
mobile devices. Organizations also benefit from
the real-time access to best practices, knowledge
and expertise. The automated process and selflearning tools seamlessly support organizations’
sourcing activities by pinpointing experts with
the right skill sets that could deliver maximum
benefits and results for their projects. Together
with Passbrains’ enterprise solution, organizations can also onboard their internal staff and thereby
leverage existing internal expertise better, reduce dependency on external resources, tremendously
increase efficiency and reduce costs at the same time.
Passbrains CrowdConsult knowledge self service delivers tremendous value to customers. Ad-hoc
access to a large knowledge community allows organizations to immediately leverage our expert
knowledgebase curated and built over the course of several decades by contributions from thousands of
IT and software testing experts globally and several decades of combined software testing experience.
Through combination of private (customers’) and public (Passbrains’) crowd communites internal and
external knowledge and expertise can be made accessible to customers in a seamlessly integrated
form. The slim and easy-to use web interface supports regular usage on a daily basis. Searching and
identifying best qualified Subject Matter Experts and talents from Passbrains’ growing community of
thousands IT and software testing experts has never been easier. Companies and customers could now
seamlessly leverage research and solutioning processes by using Passbrains CrowdConsult through
access to thousands of brains worldwide!