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Invitee-Based, Responsive Meeting Invitation Technique

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000125895D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Jun-20
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jun-20
Document File: 3 page(s) / 26K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Unlike the conventional proactive meeting invitation technique, the invention proposes a reactive technique whereby the planner postpones choosing a specific time for the meeting invitation and waits until all participants have responded with their intent to attend the meeting and their time preferences for the meeting. When all responses have been received and weighed collectively thenan optimum meeting time (with alternatives) can be automatically generated.

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Invitee-Based, Responsive Meeting Invitation Technique

Main Idea

In the corporate world, the difficulties of choosing a workable meeting time which incorporates invitees' true preferences and availabilities are well known. These difficulties can result in a delay of the meeting-time decision until availability input has been received by the planner, typically through time-consuming, back-and-forth, trial-and-error communication and multiple replans.

To summarize, the commonly used approach to meeting invitations issued using electronic calendaring tools such as Lotus Notes is as follows:

* Planner picks a time.
* Planner selects invitees.
* Planner sends invitation.
* One or more invitees refuses the invitation or sends a meeting time counter-proposal.
* The planner must then weigh this input and start the process all over again.
* This time, it is not unusual for an invitee who had accepted the original invitation to now have to refuse or counter propose

due to resultant schedule conflicts.
* And so the process continues...wasting the planner's (and invitees') valuable time in the process.
* Since the typical project manager needs to schedule many meetings, this cumulative toll to his/her own schedule and workload can be considerable

Limitations of existing electronic calendaring solutions:

While some electronic calendaring tools, e.g. Lotus Notes, do provide a way for invitees to refuse and counter-propose, the planner must still manually juggle and weigh each new constellation in order to arrive at an optimum meeting time.
* The resultant inefficiencies and waste of time by valuable employees are unacceptable.

Solution:

In the initial meeting planning stage, the planner departs from the conventional technique described above. Instead, he/she is not required to send a conventional invitation dictating a meeting time which will, it is hoped, happen to be convenient to everyone.

In lieu of the conventional meeting invitation, the planner sends a request that each intended invitee report his/her interest for a meeting to take place within a defined time window.

In response to the planner's request for available times, invitees can optionally submit their available times, including alternative availabilities and preferences.

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The planner then automatically computes the optimum meeting time based on invitees' reported availabilities based on an adjustable quorum of, e.g. 2 out of 3 from a particular subset of the invitees must attend.

By this technique, a series of possible alternate meeting times can be generated, with...