Being quite involved both in the BPM field and in social networking, personal productivity tools, and Web application design, I’m always appalled when I think about how many findings and practices designed for businesses could benefit our everyday life too.
One specific example of this is about the BPM practices and their potential added value for end users.
With the advent of Web 2.0 and online social interactions, people started sharing thoughts, contents and tasks online. This evolved to cover also socialization of task management, which is currently supported by a plethora of online services directed to the final user (for instance, see: RememberTheMilk or Astrid).
First, I tried to build a list of features they cover, and that’s what I obtained:
As you see, they all provide plenty of features, with some diversification among each other. However, all these tools share a common weakness: they don’t provide any way for structuring the interactions, dependencies or constraints between tasks.
Based on this consideration, I thought about a vision towards the application of BPM techniques and tools to personal task management. The challenge of this is finding the appropriate level of complexity of processes: obviously one cannot expose the full complexity of BP modeling languages to end users. The language for modeling such processes should be complete enough for describing basic processes but also simple enough to let people understand, accept and use them in their everyday life. Therefore, I’m proposing to strip off some of the expressive power of enterprise business processes, so as to accommodate end user needs and acceptance.
I presented a paper at the BPMS2 workshop on Business Process Management and Social Software at the BPM conference on this. The slides are available on slideshare and reported below.
If you are interested, you can read the full paper here (scroll to the bottom of the page and download the PDF).
To my understanding neither the commercial tool nor the academic community (except for some work done by Michael Rosemann, reflected only in a one-year-old short post) is addressing the issue.
Feel free to comment and propose extensions or changes! This is just a first attempt in the direction of personal process management (but already supported by a prototype implementation, see the video attached to the slides or available on youTube!).
A demonstration video of our tool is on YouTube: