Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The engineering workplace 2020 at BMW

I found the presentation from BMW’s CIO Erich Probst at the ProSTEP-iViP Symposium 2011 quite interesting. In his keynote, he presented the following slide (I took the freedom to translate it to English) on the engineering workplace 2020:

Engineering Workplace 2020 (Source: Erich Probst, CIO BMW)

His thoughts are mapping very well to my earlier posting on The future workplace in engineering. Regarding the attractiveness for digital natives, he adds the aspect of gaming to the use of social computing. He also addresses the potentially stressful flexibility of working in an “always on” mode.

Semantic Consolidation – Bits of Wisdom
The future workplace must support the engineer in dealing with multiple channels, e.g. by the use of Web 2.0 patterns such as aggregation, syndication and mashups. I don’t want the same bit of wisdom on Twitter, recommended by 5 friends, through an email notification and finally discussed at the good old coffee machine. This requires more than portal-like integration on the GUI level. It would require integration on a semantic level in order to identify that bit of wisdom. It’s then up to the user to determine the best channel to access this information. And it’s up to the systems to ensure that this information is not delivered redundantly to the same user.

Dr. Matthias Zagel from Consentor presented on a related topic at the same symposium with his speech about Networked Product Development. Their approach is to identify parameters that are relevant for coordination in a team. All discussions and decisions are organized around these parameters. They become a new PLM structure – next to product structures, functional & requirements structures, WBS etc. – to organize collaboration, decision making and knowledge management. On the one hand, I realize that it is already challenging to master the classical PLM structures. But on the other hand, I feel that Consentor’s approach of self-organizing collaborative processes supported by social computing is an innovative approach that points into the right direction. What do you think?

P.S.: the presentations are available at www.prostep.org for registered members of the ProSTEP-iViP association.


  1. Hello Jens,

    thanks for this interesting blog.

    I read on heise.de about the VZ-communitues (studiVZ and meinVZ) which are planning to combine personal data with geographical data.

    Related article: http://www.heise.de/mobil/meldung/Einchecken-mit-den-VZ-Netzwerken-1230670.html

    For future engineering workspaces it might be an interesting additional aspect. I mean e.g. in terms of knowing/seeing where your contact persons are at the moment. But also for buildings (meeting rooms).


  2. Thorsten,
    thanks for commenting.
    Nice idea - I would also appreciate that from a boss point of view :-) We would have to deal with the works council, though.
    Best regards