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Extended Office Process Migration with Interactive Panel Displays

Objective

PROMINAND is an integrated approach for supporting cooperative office work. The approach was based on a concept of office worker-influenced migration of office processes and a novel panel display device. A supportive human factors analysis and evaluation to optimise office worker satisfaction was also carried out.
The extended office process migration with interactive panel displays' (PROMINAND) migration system (MS) supports cooperation between office workers by controlling the migration of office processes through an organization. A typical office process consists of steps which are performed in parallel or sequentially. It is represented by an electronic circulation folder (ECF), which can be opened and closed, onto which a folder slip can be put, into which appendices can be added, and so on. The MS controls ECF circulation to office workers playing office roles by taking into account both organizational structures and organizational rules for dealing with office tasks. Control covers both the formally described circulation of ECFs and the handling of exceptions.

The flow of work is the one aspect of office tasks; the other side is the intrinsic work to be performed, divided into steps. The MS supports this work by the automatic invocation of appropriate application dependent programs which are referred to in a migration sepcification. PROMINAND's interactive panel device (IPD) is a computer controlled novel electronic device which consists of a set of building blocks comprising intelligent display and feedback elements. At any time these elements can be manually placed on and removed from a modular board of any size. The panel device can be used for the entry of a range of different kinds of plans or their modification by a computer as well as for the representation of computer generated or controlled plans. PROMINAND's evaluation, covering the 2 new technologies, was developed as part of the project's design phase. Concepts for a help and training facility were developed as part of the work.
PROMINAND's Migration System (MS) supports cooperation between office workers by controlling the migration of office processes through an organisation. A typical office process consists of steps which are performed in parallel or sequentially. It is represented by an Electronic Circulation Folder (ECF), which can be opened and closed, onto which a folder slip can be put, into which appendices can be added, and so on. The MS controls ECF circulation to office workers playing office roles by taking into account both organisational structures and organisational rules for dealing with office tasks. Control covers both the formally described circulation of ECFs and the handling of exceptions, which come into play because of non-deterministic human behaviour an d individual working styles. The flow of work is the one aspect of office tasks; the other side is the intrinsic work to be performed, divided into steps. The MS supports this work by the automatic invocation of appropriate application-dependent programs w ich are referred to in a migration specification.
PROMINAND's Interactive Panel Device (IPD) is a novel electronic device. It is computer-controlled, and consists of a set of building blocks comprising intelligent display and feedback elements. At any time these elements can be manually placed on and removed from a modular board of any size. The panel device can be used for the entry of a range of different kinds of plans or their modification by a computer as well as for the representation of computer-generated or controlled plans.
PROMINAND's evaluation, covering the two new technologies, was developed as part of the project's design phase. Concepts for a help and training facility were developed as part of the work.
PROMINAND was demonstrated for the first time at the 1988 ESPRIT Conference. Further demonstrations at the 1989 ESPRIT Conference and Systems'89, and presentations at conferences on office systems, have proven that the MS addresses the real needs of offi ce workers. The full system was developed and implemented as a demonstrator in 1990. It can be ported to systems which offer multi-tasking and windows.

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Coordinator

IABG Industrieanlagen Betriebsgesellschaft mbH
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EINSTEINSTRAßE 20
8012 OTTOBRUNN
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Participants (4)