cowimas is an innovative solution to accumulate the resource knowledge within businesses. It stands for a technical organised system that supports personnel during complex development processes with employing existing knowledge.
cowimas particular strength is to efficiently integrate multiple platforms within a combined interface. Therefore, during the course of a project personnel can intuitively and with a slight amount of effort allocate knowledge.
Contacts and connections are an essential part of each project. By embedding the contact databse into the project management software loose data sets are turned into meaningful connections. Business partners and clients get connected to related data and projects. That way step by step a profile emerges based on the previous cooperation.
Via a synchronization module existing data can be imported from prevalent applications like Microsoft Outlook or database servers. The data can even be synchronized in both directions providing up to date information among these systems.
Contacts are managed in the contact view where contacts - persons or companies - can be created, deleted or complemented. As in the other views annotations, documents and hyperlinks can be attached to them. Even connections between arbitrary contacts are possible.
Unlike many prevaling contact management applications cowimas distinguishes persons and companies, that can be connected with each other. Moreover cowimas offers the assignment of categories that make searching within the data pool easier.
The exertion of such mechanisms transforms a incoherent collection of contacts into a precious source of connected knowledge.
With tasks processes become more practical. They are representing one part of the project, which was assigned to a staff member. Like processes they can be structured hierarchically, thus contain subtasks.
Each task has its own context including all associated information. Consequently when working on a task, personnel has everything important to hand. No time-consuming searching for documents or partners can be called directly.
Although every staff member has its own list of assigned tasks, cowimas does not keep personnel apart but encourages and facilitates communication and teamwork by allowing them to see tasks of colleagues in the same department. .
Tasks, which emerge during the course of the project and weren’t considered beforehand, can always be included later on.
Further important ways of communication are the different states that are set individually for each task. These states offer a quick overview of what needs to be done and where problems arise.
The document part in cowimas is based on a document management system. This approach offers several advantages over common filesystems, especially the unique identification of files making it possible to refer to them regardless of their location in the filesystem hierarchy.
With this technology comments, contacts, hyper-links or even documents can be connected to documents. Hence, multiple files from various locations can be brought together into a common context of a task. The same document can even appear in distinct contexts without copying it and maintaining several versions.
Nonetheless, cowimas also offers classical access to files via network sharing and the browser which is integrated into the cowimas user interface. The latter offers a sophisticated but still easy to use search mode which enables users to handle even large amounts of data.
The stages of a document that's being worked on are preserved in versions. That supersedes the manual creation of backup copies keeping the filesystem clean.
In the cowimas system projects are created from processes. Processes are manageable and self-contained packages with their own context of associated persons, documents and annotations. In order to obtain complex processes as many levels of subprocesses as needed can be added to the main process.
One can easily assign a process to a staff member, which then appears in his or hers personal todo-list including all important dates, deadlines or priorities.
Processes can be created by collaboration so that many staff members can share their knowledge and experiences already during early stages of development and planning. cowimas offers a version management which allows the project manager to comprehend and follow changes within processes and where necessary to adapt or confirm them.
If problems arise during the course of a project, a note is automatically forwarded to all higher processes, thus critical stages are not acidentally elided but can be supported on time.
Just like in real life cowimas projects are a flexible structure consisting of processes, tasks, contacts and documents with many connections and inter-relations.
Processes are the matrix of a project and are used to model it - at least to some extent. Therefore the project manager selects processes from the processes library and develops a process hierarchy that represents the dependencies in the project. The use of prefabricated, standardized processes accounts for the assurance of the projects' quality. As soon as the processes are assigned to members of the team the work can begin.
Since during the conduction of the project cowimas is used as communication platform new data is entered into the system along the way - without explicitely dedicating time to it. Hence, lot of the team members' knowlede enters the system automatically.
In order to specify the knowledge that is stored in that web of information, cowimas offers annotations that can be attached not only to data objects but also to the connections between them.