Proctor & Gamble

Research & Development

Procter & Gamble have over 10,000 people working in Research & Development. They believe that innovations in one part of the organization might offer inspiration to researchers in another part, but communicating that is a challenge. The main challenge is that these researchers are in a great many domains, each of which literally has its own language. In addition, many researchers are approaching retirement age and there is a fear that the firm will lose a great deal of its intellectual capital.

As part of this project we worked with two groups of retiring scientists. Part of this work was to develop methods for eliciting knowledge and part was to find where useful knowledge was stored, how it was organized and how it might be accessed.

We built an ontology to cover all of R&D with a minimal amount of information specific to any one R&D function. One of the key aspects of the ontology was its modularity. Fewer than 500 concepts covered all of R&D, and each discipline can extend the core with its own specialized nomenclature.

Subsequently the client turned the ontology into a semantic wiki and extended the core ontology to cover two other disciplines.