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OnLine Partnership lens: a social browser for networked enterprise


The Opal project addressed a significant knowledge management problem: human capital in those firms who need to find partners online, or in those organisations that have the need to configure multidisciplinary teams. This problem has been addressed through the design of the Opal concept and the development of the prove tool-kit that stores and manipulates profiles of partners' competencies, compatibility and trust. This novel resource extends the concept of human capital beyond competence modelling and includes emotional and moral dimensions. Tightly linked with the main objective of developing the Opal concept and associated tool-kit, the Opal project had both scientific and technological objectives: The scientific objectives were: - Elicit models of competence, compatibility and trust. - Design and implement a computer-based probe to capture and evaluate these and store them in a partner profile library. - Evaluate the probe's effect on the speed and strength of teambuilding. The technological objectives were: - To capture sets of attributes for partner profiles that represent three facets of partnership: competence, compatibility and confidence. - To model these as data objects held in an extensible framework such as XML. - To integrate the three facets into a flexible toolkit for modelling partnership. - To design, implement and evaluate a 'partner retrieval' system. - To design and evaluate a visual interface for this. - To provide a ranking mechanism for partnership. The project has successfully delivered specifications, methods and methodology, software and validation results satisfying the proposed objectives. Achievements and Results: In brief, the main project outcomes were: - A methodology for eliciting attributes to support partnership formation. - A working prototype for dynamic modelling of online partnerships and team building configuration. - A definition of attributes modelling compatibility and confidence layers. - An evaluation of the value of emotional and social attributes in its application to partnership and selection process. - A plan for further application and exploitation of the project results in the field of human capital, knowledge management and team collaboration and cooperation.