iBusiness, 2011, 3, 35-42
doi:10.4236/ib.2011.31006 Published Online March 2011 (http://www.SciRP.org/journal/ib)
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. iB
The Model of Mobile Knowledge Services System
in the Management of Complex Cluster Project
Liu Yong, Liu Bingxin
School of Business Administration, So ut h C hina U nive rsi t y of Technol og y Guangzhou, Guangzhou, China
Email: liuyong@scut.edu.cn , celi naliu @163 .com
Received August 19th, 2010; revised October 25th, 2010; accepted November 3rd, 2010.
Cluster projects are projects of la rge-scale or with huge investment, such as Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and Shang-
hai 2010 Expo. A lot of on-site management works are involved in the process of cluster project management, espe-
cially the treatment of sudden accidents which would produce plenty of knowledge and experience. As cluster project
on-site management spots change frequently, knowledge produced by mobile workers in the process of on-site man-
agement is hard to be saved into the knowledge repository on time. It may cause a knowledge distortion or even missing.
On the other hand, in the process of cluster project management, a lot of knowledge is required by on-site workers to
deal with on-site activities. However, due to lack of effective mechanisms for knowledge communion, they of ten fac e th e
risk of making wrong decisions. To solve the problems of knowledge management and acquisition in the process of
cluster project on-site management, this paper presents a system model for mobile knowledge service.
Keywords: Cluster Project Management, Mobile Knowle d ge Servi ces, Knowledge Service Model
1. Introduction
Cluster projects are projects of large-scale or with huge
investment, such as Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and
Shanghai 2010 Expo [1]. In order to manage these
complex cluster projects, large amounts of on-site
managers who we call mobile workers are requires. On
one hand, in the process of project implementation, a lot
of knowledge would be needed as a support and a lot of
experience and knowledge are produced as well. If lack-
ing of effective mechanisms for information access and
knowledge communion, there would be a risk of making
wrong decisions. On the other hand, various experience
and knowledge are held by on-site mobile workers [2],
but it is difficult for them to recor d th e inf orma tion and
experience produced in the business process into the
enterprise’s database or repository in real-time. It may
result in a distortion of enterprise’s information and
knowledge, or even missing [3]. The mobile knowledge
service system not only can provide the required
knowledge for cluster project on-site workers at anytime
and anyplace, but also can save the experience and
knowledge produced in the process of cluster project
on- s i te m a n a g e m ent e f fect i v e l y . As a result, the efficiency
of on-site management and the accuracy of decision-
making would be greatly improved.
At present, there are not systemic researches on the
mobile knowledge services for cluster project manage-
ment at home or abroad. Some related researches are
focused on the mobile services of library, information
field, mobile communications, mobile learning, and
knowledge services. These researches do not connect
knowledge service with mobile environment. Generally
speaking, mobile knowledge service is a process of pro-
viding knowledge service to knowledge users in mobile
environment. It can supply individual knowledge ser-
vices to users at anytime and anyplace by using mobile
Knowledge produced in the process of project imple-
mentation effectively and providing knowledge requ ired
by mobile workers accurately have an important practical
significance to carry out and manage cluster projects. On
one hand, the method to deal with an issue of one project
might be also applied to another project or even another
cluster project that face the same problem. However,
each subproject often works independently and the
communion between each other is very little. The ref-
erence of the experience and knowledge between dif-
ferent clusters projects is even less. So it resulted in the
supported by“ the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universi-
ties, SCUT ”project number: 2009ZM0115.
The Model of Mobile Knowledge Services System in the Management of Complex Cluster Project
repetition of similar problems and a serious waste of re-
sources. On the other hand, if these experience and
knowledge could be collected and used by all the sub-
projects’ workers through a simple and convenient way,
the efficiency of implementing complex clusters would
be greatly improve d .
In order to help mobile workers to record experience
and knowledge produced in the process of project im-
plementation as well as to acquire the knowledge that
they need in mobile environment; this paper presents a
system model based on mobile knowledge services.
2. Design of Mobile Knowledge Services
2.1. The Description of the System Model
To supply the required services to mobile workers of
complex cluster projects at anytime and anywhere, mo-
bile terminals should be chosen firstly. Mobile terminals
such as mobile phone, PDA, notebook computers are
commonly used now. However, the volume of notebook
computers is large and not very convenient to be car-
ried-on. Mobile phone also has some disadvantages such
as small memory, slow rate of data transmission, small
screen which caused inconvenient operation. Compared
with them, PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) has been
widely used in systems based on mobile services because
it is not only easy to be carried and operated, but also has
advantages of good display of LCD screen and the capa-
bility of wireless communication [4]. As the operating
system of PDA is designed to face users directly and is
similar to traditional computer operation, so it can be
easily mastered by mobile workers. At the same time,
PDA can provide various wireless technologies and we
can go through internet and ge t the req u ired in for mation
through the built-in Modem or optional wireless inter-
net groupware. So, we choose PDA as our mobile ter-
To achieve the real-time linkage between client and
system in mobile environment, the appropriate wireless
access technology is also needed besides mobile equip-
ments. There are two ways of wireless access that can be
used by Internet mobile users: dial-up or through a wire-
less network card to log on to wireless private network.
Although a higher data transfer rate could be achieved by
the way of dial-up, it would be enslaved by environment
and not convenient to be used by mobile workers at any-
time and anyplace. Wireless Private Network is the
mainstream in the future, with which we can easily ac-
cess the Internet anytime. At present, the popular wire-
less access technologies include GSM, CDMA, GPRS,
CDPD and LMDS. Compared with other technologies,
CDPD access technology which takes a method of packet
data is an open system architecture based on TCP/IP. It
combines the functions of open interface, high transmis-
sion speed, user unit determination, air link encryption,
air data encryption, and compressed data error correction,
and wireless access by using the world standard IP ad-
dress mode. It also provides the seamless connectivity of
the same network layer and multi-protocol network ser-
vices. So it is widely recognized as the best wireless pub-
lic network data communication protocol [5]. Therefore,
we choose CDPD access technology to achieve wireless
access of mobile equipments in this paper.
With mobile equipments and access technology, the
probability of using mobile knowledge services system is
assured in theory. In the following, we define a system
model of mobile knowledge services used in the process
of complex cluster project management. Figure 1 is a
schematic figure of the model structure.
From Figure 1 we can see that the system is divided
into thr ee levels : user lay er, applic ation la yer of mo bile
Figure 1. The system model structure of mobile knowledge services in complex cluster project.
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. iB
The Model of Mobile Knowledge Services System in the Management of Complex Cluster Project 37
networks and resource layer. The on-site workers of
co m pl ex cluster project, who are users of the system, can
use PDA as mobile equipments to select services that
they need. The mobile network application layer is
mainly used for receiving users’ request and sending the
information that they need . The request sponsored by the
client program is sent out after business is selected
through the built-in browser of a mobile terminal [6]. All
the information needed in the process of system operat-
ing are provided by the resource layer including knowl-
edge repository, experts database and case database of
the project and the relevant information uploaded by us-
ers are also stored in the corresponding database.
2.2. The Function Model of Mobile Knowledge
Services System
Mobile Knowledge services of complex cluster project
can be mainly divided into mobile knowledge man-
agement and mobile knowledge acquisition. The former
service pattern mainly accomplishes the function of col-
lecting and saving project management knowledge. The
latter pattern mainly accomplishes the function of pro-
viding knowledge to required workers through the ways
of information search, knowledge quiz, hot information
feedback, WAP access, information discussion platform,
tracking knowledge services.
1) Mobile Knowledge Management:
Each subproject of complex cluster project can be re-
garded as a separate project, including feasibility study,
project establishment, project planning, project imple-
mentation, acceptance and check items etc. Mobile
workers can use PDA to login the knowledge services
system of cluster proj ect, and record problems they meet
Most of those who need to use the mobile knowledge
services system to upload experience data are on-site
management workers at the stage of project implementa-
tion. Therefore, we divide the problems happened in
project implementation phase into two categories: daily
management and emergency. On-site management
workers use event data sheet which is set in the system
already to record the problems they meet with and the
solutions of problems after choosing the respective cate-
gories. Then, they can save the contents and upload them
to the system. The event data sheet is shown in Table 1.
Through the record of each event, the problems occurred
in the implementation phase of each subproject and the
solutions can be saved effectively. On one hand, it can
help their team members and leaders know the general
situation of the subproject better. On the other hand, it is
also convenient for participants of other subprojects to
realize and learn from them.
Figure 2 shows that how on-site workers of cluster
Ta bl e 1. Event data sheet.
Name of Event
Time Spot
Solution and
Treatment Scheme
Effect Evaluation Reference to
Familiar Project
Scheme Presenter Participator
Reporter Verifier:
project use PDA and mobile knowledge services sys-
tem to record events.
It indicates that worker 1,2,3,4 etc. of each subproject
use mobile knowledge services system to upload prob-
lems and solutions happened in the implementation phase
of project through PDA. They save the information under
respective categories.
2) Mobile Knowledge Acquisition
Mobile knowledge acquisition services can be divided
into ordinary knowledge services pattern and tracking
knowledge services pattern. Ordinary knowledge ser-
vices pattern still can be d ivided into five ways: informa-
tion search, knowledge quiz, hot information feedback,
WAP access, and information discussion platform. Ordi-
nary knowledge services pattern mainly deals with clear
or vague demanded information from mobile workers
who have a simple understanding and a strong purpose
about what type of services they need before choosing
this service. Tracking mobile k nowledge services pattern
asks knowledge providers to supply follow-up services.
It not only can deal with mobile workers’ clean or vague
demanded information, but also supply guidelines for
potential demand.
a) In formation Search
All workers of the cluster project can search for in-
formation that they need in the way of inputting key-
words after logging-in system. The system can provide
all relevant information that mobile workers have up-
loaded to the system as well as knowledge that experts
have collected in repository. It may include documents,
pi ctu res , videos and other formats. Through this way, all
workers of cluster project are available to realize the
process of each subproject and encountered problems
conveniently. When dealing with a problem, they can
check whether other subprojects have occurred it or not
and their solutions. Through this method, the problem of
resources waste which is cause by little communication
between various subprojects can be mitigated rapidly and
work efficiency can be improved. On the other hand,
mobile workers can get professional knowledge existed
in the project database according to their needs. It can
satisfy mobile workers' demand for knowledge at any-
time and anyplace. System would also provide a feed-
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. iB
The Model of Mobile Knowledge Services System in the Management of Complex Cluster Project
Figure 2. The sketch map of uploading events by mobile workers by using system.
back function, if a worker is unable to find the corre-
sponding knowledge, he can use the feedback function
to submit the issue to system. System maintenance
workers would carry out these problems regularly and
put new solutions into the project database.
b) Knowledge Quiz
If mobile workers don’t have enough time to search
fo r inf or ma ti on b y t hemselves, they can use the function
of knowledge quiz. They only need to input the informa-
tion about their requirement into problem table setting in
the system. The system will return the match ing answers
to users automatically. As the multimedia mail system
can achieve the interoperability with In ternet and provid e
the function of sending messages between mobile termi-
nals and Internet [7], therefore, after the completed prob-
lem table is sent to the mobile knowledg e service system,
the answer will return to the mobile worker’s PDA in the
form of multimedia mail through background processing.
The contents of the mail can include text, sound, picture,
and video and so on. Using multimedia mail, we can
transmit plentiful information to ensure the quality of the
solution. If a mobile worker’s requirement cannot be
matched in project database, the system will automati-
cally reply no matching knowledge to him. At the same
time, the problem table will be stored in a pa rt icul ar po-
sition waiting for expert to solve it. After solving the
problems, the results would be saved in the database.
So, the database can be enriched continuously.
c) Hot Information Feedback
System can regularly send the latest information that
mobile workers concern in the form of multimedia
mails by recording demand information that each mo-
bile worker often send. So the mobile workers could
see the latest developments in their concerned fields
without searching by themselves. In this way, it can
reduce the time to search information and avoid the
geographic or tool’s limited. This kind of service is
called hot information feedback.
d) WAP Access
Through classifying the knowledge, mobile knowl-
edge services system maintenance workers show them
out in the form of ordinary website and put related links
to the web page in order to achieve resource sharing.
Mobile workers use PDA to login the system, then they
can visit the website and download the data that they
need. All information about cluster project will be re-
leased on the web timely. As a result, mobile workers
can realize the progress of the project at anytime and
anyplace. Through arranging data and analyzing browsed
information regularly, website maintenance workers
would expand data which are often browsed and
downloaded to update the web timely.
e) Information Discussion Platform
The mobile information discussion platform is di-
vided into two types: the platform between mobile
workers and the platform between mobile workers and
experts. The first one allows mobile workers to discuss
with each other. After entering the platform by PDA,
they can describe their problems or answer someone
else’s problems at any moment. Through this way, we
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. iB
The Model of Mobile Knowledge Services System in the Management of Complex Cluster Project39
can ensure the exchange of knowledge and the re-
source-sharing freely.
Mobile knowledge services system also provides a
platform for mobile workers to communicate with ex-
perts. They can discuss with experts on this platform at
anytime and anyplace. Experts will give their opinions to
questioners and mobile workers also can discuss the ul-
timate solutions according their own actual situation with
experts. In the process, experts can transfer mobile
workers’ tacit knowledge such as experience into the
explicit knowledge. Then they put the new explicit
knowledge into the database. As a result, the aim of
knowledge innovation and value-added is achieved.
f) Tracking Mobile Knowledge Service
The pattern of tracking mobile knowledge services is
applicable to the mobile workers who have a lot of re-
quirement or the problems can’t be completed after a
short time guidance and need long-term service. Through
tracking mobile knowledge services, we can know ex-
perts’ opinions at anytime and anyplace which ensure to
finish the work smoothly. After choosing this service, we
can choose a knowledge service worker according to the
required field s. Then we send our requ irement to him/her
through multimedia mail. It is a one-to-one communica-
tion. Mobile workers also can choose to discuss with
experts by information discussion platform timely.
In the whole process of solving problems, knowledge
service workers are required to integrate into the deci-
sion-making process with mobile workers to establish a
harmonious “user - service worker” relationship as fea-
turing lawyer. The service duty system pointing to spe-
cific mobile workers should be established, and then they
can do integrative services from knowledge collection,
disjunction, reorganization, innovation, integration to
application [8]. Knowledge service workers not only
should integrate into the process of solving problems to
solve the mobile workers’ existing problems, but also
should help them to grasp the whole problems from ma-
croscopic side. Based on the detailed understanding of
mobile workers’ working environment and requirement,
knowledge service workers may realize their potential
demand and provide diversiform services.
3) Mobile Knowledge Acquisition
In addition to the existing two mobile services modes
of mobile knowledge management and mobile knowl-
edge acquisition, we also can use the statistical results,
which extract from the information submitted by the mo-
bile workers to develop two new functions.
a) Reward Management
In order to encourage mobile workers to upload in-
formation through system, we can set up a function of
reward management within the system. That is, in a cer-
tain period of time, the system automatically counts the
total number of information uploaded by all mobile
workers in the cluster project or that of each subproject
and shows these numbers out in the form of statistical
tables according to the requirement. The workers who
upload a mass of information can be given encourage-
ment in the form of bonuses. The system also shows
award out in statistical table. By this way, we can inspire
the enthusiasm of mobile workers to save explicit and
tacit knowledge produced at the stage of project imple-
mentation as many as possible.
b) Statistics Analysis
According to the categories of events uploaded by
mobile workers, the system automatically counts and
shows the numbe r about some related issues or prob lems
occurring frequently at some stages of the project. It can
make leaders realize which problems often occur in the
process of project implementation or which problems are
easy to happen in a subproject or other questions only
through using the system. All the information can intui-
tively get from statistical data. It is easy to make leaders
understand the problems of the whole cluster project
completely and the overall progress of the project.
The development of two new functions can further
improve the system’s efficiency and make the range of
system’s users expand to project senior managers from
normal mobile workers. It not only can make the system
collect and provide knowledge, but also can provide de-
cision support for the project decision-makers.
Through the definition of the system and functions
above, we can conclude the function diagram of complex
cluster project mobile services system. It is shown in
Figure 3.
3. Case Study
The mode of mobile knowledge services system has been
applied into the actual cluster projects. Figure 4 shows
how knowledge flow inside one cluster project before
mobile knowledge service system is used.
Figure 4 shows the flowing direction of knowledge
inside the cluster project. Two-way arrow indicates the
strong flow of information and no arrow shows little ex-
change of information. From the figure we can see two
problems. On one hand, the knowledge produced in the
process of cluster project implementation, is transferred
in this order: on-site workers – responsible officers –
department managers – project managers – total leader of
cluster project. It is a transmission with levels as well as
a bidirectional flowing. However, it n ot only takes a lo ng
period of time to transfer information, but also causes
information distortion. On the other hand, as each sub-
project act independently, the communion among differ-
ent subprojects and different departments are not so
much. In the picture above, an ideal condition is that all
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. iB
The Model of Mobile Knowledge Services System in the Management of Complex Cluster Project
Figure 3. The function diagram of complex cluster project mobile services system.
Figure 4. The function diagram of complex cluster project mobile services system.
people should have two-way arrows connection. But in
fact, there is little communication among the different
subprojects or the same project with different levels. If
experience and knowledge generated in the process of
cluster project implementation can be used by all par-
ticipants, the efficiency would be greatly improved and
the probability of making mistakes would be reduced.
Using mobile knowledge services system can solve
these two problems well. First of all, workers in any level
of the project can use the system to get a comprehensive
understanding of events that are happened in the process
of project implementation. Especially for project manag-
ers and total leader, they can know about the situation at
work site anytime and anywhere without going there.
Secondly, for all on-site mobile workers, knowledge ser-
vice system can tell them about problems that other peo-
ple have encountered and their solutions. So they can
learn from each other. It is an effective method to solve
the problem of communicating inconveniently between
mobile workers and the difficulty to learn experience
from different cluster projects. Due to the system every-
body can make detailed and comprehensive communica-
tion without meeting each other.
In order to use PDA to upload events, the first thing
that mobile workers should do is to log in the system and
choose the function of business report. In view of the
confidentiality requirement, we cover the important in-
formation of the operation system to form the following
diagram shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5 shows that after mobile workers select the
function of business report, the pull-down menu appears
all subprojects’ names. If we select subproject B, all
stages of project would be showed in the side-menu.
Then we can choose the stage of the event belonged, for
example, the stage of project implementation. Further we
select the categories of the event - daily management.
Then we can click th e button of “Next” to enter the page
of event data sheet.
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. iB
The Model of Mobile Knowledge Services System in the Management of Complex Cluster Project41
Figure 6 is the page for recording event. The upper
left corner shows the operation order we have done:
Business Report - Project B - implementation. If mobile
workers do false operation, he can click the “Quit” but-
ton to return to the previous page. If th e operation is cor-
rect, he can continue to fill the blank. Clicking a space on
the blank, the system would enter into a special page for
mobile workers to complete the description. After com-
pleting a description , click “Finish” to return to Figure 6
and go on filling other blanks. If all blanks are completed,
click the button of “Upload” to upload it into the system.
Then other workers can view it. If there is an interruption,
we can click “Save”. So the information is saved in sys-
tem for a while and would not be uploaded until we
complete the fillings in the next time.
Other functions of this system are also applied in the
process of cluster project management. It can solve the
problems of knowledge management and acquisition of
on-site management well. To sum up, it is convenient to
provide appropriate knowledge services for on-site mo-
bile workers of the cluster project management team.
4. Conclusions
This paper presents a system model that can be applied to
the management of complex cluster projects. It is made
up of three layers: user layer, application layer of mobile
networks and resource layer. In this paper, mobile know-
Figure 5. the operation page of choosing function of busi-
ness report.
Figure 6. The operation page of event data sheet.
ledge services of complex cluster project is summarized
into two service modes which in clude mobile knowledge
management and mobile knowledge acquisition. The
service of mobile knowledge management is mainly to
complete the collection of mobile workers’ experience
and knowledge. The service of mobile knowledge acqui-
sition comprehensively meet the knowledge requirement
of mobile workers through six ways which are informa-
tion search, knowledge quiz, hot information feedback,
WAP access, information discussion platform, and tra-
cking mobile knowledge services. Through the applica-
tion in the process of complex cluster project manage-
ment, this system model can meet the demand of knowl-
edge services for mobile workers in the team of complex
cluster project manageme nt .
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