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Application for designing, using and sharing intelligent social work-flows

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000201084D
Publication Date: 2010-Nov-08
Document File: 2 page(s) / 44K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Throughout life there are lots of complex tasks that everyone has to go through that can be very hard to organise. Examples of such tasks include organising a group holiday, buying a house and planning a wedding. A lot of social interaction is required in order to complete all these tasks and typically this creates difficulties. In the case of buying a house, the buyer must interact with estate agents, solicitors, surveyors and the mortgage lender to name but a few of the parties involved. For first-time buyers this in itself could pose a problem because they may not know who needs to be involved at any given point in the overall process. This aside, any buyer, inexperienced or otherwise, inevitably has to consume lots of time chasing the different parties involved with the effect that it is almost impossible to know how far along in the process they are and to see the overall effect of any delays.

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Application for designing, using and sharing intelligent social work-flows

There are lots of complex tasks that can be very hard to organise. Examples of such tasks include organising a group holiday, buying a house and planning a wedding. A lot of social interaction is required in order to complete these tasks and typically this creates difficulties. In the case of buying a house, the buyer must interact with estate agents, solicitors, surveyors and the mortgage lender to name but a few of the parties involved. For first-time buyers this in itself could pose a problem because they may not know who needs to be involved at any given point in the overall process. This aside, any buyer, inexperienced or otherwise, inevitably has to consume lots of time chasing the different parties involved with the effect that it is almost impossible to know how far along in the process they are and to see the overall effect of any delays.

    The application described herein is designed to help users manage and control these everyday social work-flows, with the aim of improving communication between all parties in a process and demystifying complicated tasks. This correspondingly would also help to reduce business costs on the part of service providers. Typically, this application framework would be integrated with a social networking web site in order facilitate communication with friends and other contacts. Specifically, the application enables:
- Design and creation of work-flow templates, identifying all the steps necessary to be completed in order to achieve a goal and including:

    - the order in which individual steps should occur
- the dependencies between each step
- the respective parties (friends, businesses or other) involved in each step
- sharing of templates with other users of the application so that they can reuse them and be guided through a process

    - integration of businesses as contributors involved within a work-flow
- customisation of existing templates in order to accommodate additional goals or steps specific to a given person or their context (for example, customisation of a house buying template to incorporate the steps involved in planning a holiday, where the two work-flows are occurring in parallel and therefore it would be, at the very least, useful to take into account when the person will be on holiday and whether that will affect the house buying).

Furthermore, the application offers the following advantages over existing solutions:
- Work-flow templates can be created and shared with other people, enabling someone with no prior knowledge of a process (e.g. house buying) to be guided through the process. Such reuse also enables evolutionary customisation where others build upon or improve existing templates.
- The creator of a template can control which people/companies/roles are involved in each step of a process. This enables the creation of branded templates where a particular company could work with other companies in order...