Task Assistant Use Cases

Task Assistant is a flexible task-management tool designed to support a range of uses, from managing a personal to-do list to supporting a fully collaborative workflow. Potential use cases for Task Assistant are elaborated below.

Personal To-Do Manager

An individual can use Task Assistant to manage his or her own activities. For example, separate tasklists could be created to manage tasks associated with different projects, or to manage short-term, mid-term, and long-term tasks. Alternatively, all tasks could be represented in a single tasklist, with hierarchy used to organize them. Deadlines and durations can be set for tasks, enabling Task Assistant to alert the user to tasks that are falling behind schedule.

Group To-Do Manager

Because multiple users can collaborate on a tasklist, shared tasklists can be created to support tasks for an entire group. Members of the group can delegate tasks to others, track who is responsible for which tasks, and monitor progress toward task completion within the team.

Best-Practice Tool

Task Assistant can be used to encode best practices (or standard operating procedures) as general-purpose tasklists that can be easily instantiated for a particular situation. For example, in an office environment, the approved process for authorizing an equipment purchase or submitting an expense report could be encoded as a tasklist that would help people to complete those tasks. Task Assistant can effectively provide a dynamic, distributed workflow environment for coordinating such corporate processes through its task collaboration mechanisms.

Collaborative Planning and Execution Tool

A user can create a tasklist that represents a plan of action at a high level and then ask others to expand on it to provide lower-level supporting tasks. In this way, a team can collaboratively build a plan of action. Once completed, the team (or a different team) can execute that plan, marking actions as finished and allowing Task Assistant to provide delegation suggestions and report status for both individual low-level tasks and aggregate higher-level tasks.