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John Dodds

I guess you answered my question!

John Dodds

Are you essentially saying that where there are human nodes in social software, an ERP version would have both objects and people and perhaps other entities as nodes?

It's all about flow-mapping.


John, close and not so close... people are resources as is tangible and intangible things with one difference, people can be assignees but still objects/resources leaving flexibility in the flow.

People being nodes... not as much: Nodes evokes fixed points. Here comes the "object driven" approach vs. the "event/transaction driven" approach of most if not all existing flow systems - which sticks to the fixed-point-nodes thinking.
With an "object driven" thinking it's the object of interest, the object you wish to increase value to, that spurs the events when it arrives thus leaving complete freedom for the path to be altered during the flow.
A football player would not be a node, he/she is merely a assignee-resource-object, it's the football that is the object of interest and when the football comes my way it triggers an ball-kicking-event. And given the need to keep the game flexible, next event is not set until I kick...

John Dodds

I was thinking of people as floating/flexible nodes but I see that's wrong because as I have said elsewhere the value in social software resides in the connections not the mechanism by which it's achieved (hence people's promiscuity with regard to various social networking software).


And balance has to be found between "push" and "pull"... and that's where Social Software is better than classic ERP or BPM stuff:

You want to join, and you sometimes want others to join but you also want push like a message if somebody pokes you or RSS to have stuff you chose pushed your way.

The Social Software ERP thingie would have to have "push" as work processes requires a sequence, but flexibility to choose a new path and a mechanism for "outsiders" to join in if they can offer value.

John Dodds

With regard to the last point, I can see parallels with the groups/clubs/channels that exist in social software. Closed groupings that can determine the rules for internal flows and allow new members as they see fit. But maybe I'm oversimplifying something which to me seems like quite a challenge to bring to fruition.


Good point, actually a pretty easy "feature" that can be added to thingamy!

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