Design Concept

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Why we need new work or project management system
ChainOfasker is developed to overcome following weak point in the current groupware or project management system.

  • For Current Groupware
    They have many useful functions like e-mail, ToDo、Schedule. Although these are very useful, but I felt that current groupware is just mix of these collaboration functions but they have no mechanism to use these functions in an organized way to plan and conduct our daily job.

  • For Current Project Management System
    Current Project management system (abbreviated PMS or PM) has an clear planning, and follow up procedure, but when we try to use current tool to our daily job management, I felt that project manager centric planning and control style does not meet our daily more cooperative working style.

    For example, when we ask something to our member, do you issue task by task request? Usually we ask them final output by respecting  their capability and freedom to select the way how to do it. Because this is more productive and also respectful way to work together with our talented member.

    If we have junior member and they can not develop detail work plan, then we must teach or suggest how to do it. But I believe manager's role is not continue this detail planning but support their capability enhancement to be able to plan their task by themselves. 
We have been studying this matter and noticed that all cooperation start from asking someone to do something. So we started to explore the way to built work group task planning and monitoring tool based on Asking. 


Open ChainOfAsker ver3 (<= This is free service. So If you are interested in this approach, please try! )
To use ChainOfAsker, Please install
 Microsoft-Silverlight

  • ChainOfAsker start up by new browser window(or tab). So you can easily try following operations by switching browser window(or tab).
  • ChainOfAsker is using on demand Google App Engine cloud computing service. So it may require additional application loading time (5 to 10 second)  when you start accessing.



Chained Asking Procedure
When we try to do something which we can not handle alone, we must divide the job into the portion of which we handle by our self and the portion to ask someone. This means that we are doing one step of work breakdown when we try to ask something. And the same things will happen in the person who is asked some part of the job. So asking will create a chain of asking and reproduction of asking will continue until the entire job is broken down into small tasks and tasks are accepted by final executers.



Work Planning through Chained Asking Procedure
ChainOfAsker use Chained Asking Procedure to develop entire work plan. Following is the diagram of work plan development process based on chained asking procedure.

Scenario:
John is a salesman of catering service company and he got 100 lunch delivery order. To conduct this order, he must determine lunch menu, prepare food stuff, and cook. This Lunch delivery work plan can be developed by chained asking procedure as follows.


Numbered portion of above diagram represent following three user's cooperative planning activity.
  1. Sales_John issue “Top Request” to himself with due date.
  2. Sales_John create his “Menu Consultation Task” with duration.
  3. Sales_John issue “Cooking Request” to Chef_Mac.
  4. Sales_John set time relation from “Consultation Task” to “Cooking Request.
  5. Chef_Mac accept “Cooking Request” and create his “Cooking Task” with duration.
  6. Chef_Mac issue “Food Stuff Shopping Request” to Shopper_Jane.
  7. Chef_Mac set time relation from “Shopping Request” to “Cooking Task”.
  8. Shopper_Jane accept “Food Stuff Shopping Request” and create her “Shopping Task.
You can watch these 1 to 8 project planning screen shot  at How it works page

By this way,  We can create job structure and can calculate schedule by using final due date, each tasks duration and time relations. 
  • You can develop this project structure by yourself in the real ChainOfAsker's Tutorial mode.
    For detail please refer to the user's manual chapter 2 " Let's Try"  step by step self learning course.
This way of scheduling can not ensure the schedule which meets due date. So if we can not get a good schedule by the first planning attempt then we must negotiate how to shrink total schedule.

But this is not a disadvantage of this procedure, because traditional PMS also requires negotiation of task duration if a planner tries to develop a schedule which meets final due date. Also even first planing attempt fail to meet due date, All participant can recognize whole project structure visually and understand who, what task, how long each task planned. This is open and fair way to start discussing how to shrink total schedule. 


Looks Risky ?  No This is the way what we are doing everyday !!!
If you feel it is risky to delegate detail planning to next person, please remember that you are asking verbally or via mail everyday and once you asked you are delegating detail planning to the person how to do it.  

So asking by ChainOfAsker has same risk when you ask verbally or less risky because you can monitor how your request is broken down and carried out visually and if something wrong you can take corrective action.



Advantage of this Approach
This way of distributed planning and scheduling procedure has following benefit compared to current project manager centric planning style.
  • Intelligence gathering and organizing process
    We can gather and organize all participant knowledge for project planning through chained asking process. 
Example
In this lunch scenario, Chef_Mac know better who is good at baking or which kitchen equipment need special preparation before cooking  so it is clear he can plan better than other member. Then we think he is a best planner for the cooking related matter.

This means that request sender can reduce planning workload and can ask what he/she want even he/she does not have detail knowledge how to do it. And for helper side, he/she can utilize his/her specialized knowledge to the requested field to develop effective working plan.
  • Process to motivate all participant
    Everyone have a wish to control his/her job and participant can reflect his/her specialized knowledge to their work plan through chained asking process. So plan developed by this method have its built in power to motivate member to get it done.

  • Flexible
    In ChainOfAsker, every participant is a planner of his/her working plan. So everyone can change his/her working plan to overcome various problem which unveiled at project execution phase.  

  • Easy to use
    ChainOfAsker is an asking system, So ChainOfAsker can provide project management functionality by almost same operation manner when we ask something by e-mail. I think this is very important feature of this kind of software which is widely used by common people.







FREE PROJECT MANAGEMENT  FREE TASK MANAGEMENT Project management 2.0 Cooperative management Collaborative management Collaborative project management Participative  management scheduling Gantt chart groupware collaboration cooperation distributed project planning distributed project management

FREE PROJECT MANAGEMENT  FREE TASK MANAGEMENT Project management 2.0 Cooperative management Collaborative management Collaborative project management Participative  management scheduling Gantt chart groupware collaboration cooperation distributed project planning distributed project management

FREE PROJECT MANAGEMENT  FREE TASK MANAGEMENT Project management 2.0 Cooperative management Collaborative management Collaborative project management Participative  management scheduling Gantt chart groupware collaboration cooperation distributed project planning distributed project management