Introducing & Sustaining Interest in
in an Organization
Call for Participation
If you have used and/or written patterns, you are most likely aware
that this literary form, and its corresponding process and community
support, is providing potential for capturing best practices and
communicating them between people in organizations and throughout the
software industry. However, it is also quite likely that you have
experienced some difficulty in convincing others in your organization of
The spark for patterns in an organization most often begins with one or
more enlightened individuals who has heard about or used patterns and is
intrigued over their potential. It then becomes the task of these
individuals to enlighten the rest of the organization. It is likely to be
an easier undertaking if one has an understanding of the problems that may
be encountered along the way and what can be done to address these
Work towards documenting these problems and solutions in the form of
patterns was begun by David DeLano and Linda Rising of AG Communication
Systems in Arizona during their Introducing Patterns
into the Workplace workshop
at OOPSLA'96. The patterns were
Introducing Technology into the Workplace
. The work is
being continued in a pattern language
currently titled Evolving a
. The first seven
patterns in this language were shepherded and workshopped at PLoP'99 this
Many other patterns are being drafted. The stories of those who have tried
to convince others of patterns is an excellent source for these patterns,
their instances of use, and the feedback needed to produce a quality
language. Therefore, the collection does not contain the ideas of only
one person. Rather, it will be the work of many individuals and will, in
turn, provide help to those who will attempt to introduce patterns into
What will we do?
This Hot Topic session will provide an opportunity for participants
- obtain feedback on the patterns they would like to contribute to the
- share stories about attempting to introduce patterns, or other
innovations, into organizations
- mine patterns from these stories
- discover instances of use for the existing and the new patterns
drafted during this session
- begin to build relationships between individual patterns and, in the
process, discover what patterns still need to be written
What will need to be done before the session?
Participants will need to complete four tasks prior to the session:
- Examine the DeLano and Rising Introducing
Technology into the Workplace patterns and the Manns Evolving a Patterns Culture
- Draft one or more patterns that are not found in either of the
- Read all the pattern drafts of the other participants. (These will be
available on the web in February.)
- Provide feedback to one participant regarding his or her
pattern. (This is known as "shepherding". The name and pattern
will be assigned to each person in February.)
What will occur during the session?
- The session will begin with an introduction to the topic and a general
discussion of the patterns written to date.
- Patterns submitted by the participants will be workshopped. (During
this time, other potential patterns will be noted and recorded on
- Remaining patterns submitted by the participants will be workshopped
(and other potential patterns will continue to be recorded on
- New patterns will be mined:
- Notes for potential patterns (on the flipchart papers) will be
- Additional challenges will be brainstormed and recorded on flipchart
papers. Each piece of paper will contain one challenge.
- Potential solutions to each of the challenges will be brainstormed and
recorded, in a different colored ink, on the same paper as the
- Other factors, such as context, consequences and relationships between
patterns will also be noted on each paper.
- Some potential patterns, to record the information on the papers, will
- Some of the new pattern drafts may be workshopped, as time
- Relationships between existing and potential patterns will be
- The session will conclude by summarizing what was accomplished and
identifying the patterns yet to be written and the work yet to be
What will be produced during the session?
It is anticipated that the deliverables from this session will
- Workshopped patterns that will be added to the Evolving a Patterns
- Information (challenges, solutions, etc.) that can be used to create
other patterns after ChiliPLoP
- A deeper understanding of this growing language, and what needs to be
done to improve it
Who should participate?
This session is for all those who have attempted to convince others of the
value of patterns (or any innovation). It is likely to attract
individuals who have struggled with introducing and sustaining interest in
patterns in an organization. However, those who are expected to face this
task in the near future, and can share their experiences introducing other
kinds of new ideas into an organization, are also welcome.
Who will lead this session?
Mary Lynn Manns is on the faculty at the University of North Carolina at
Asheville. She also teaches patterns in industry and has experience
introducing them into organizations. During the past year, she has studied
the issues in introducing and sustaining patterns in organizations and is
leading the effort to build a pattern language to help those who are
facing this task.
How do I apply?
Submit the following two things to Mary Lynn Manns:
- a short description of yourself, including your experience with
patterns, introducing patterns into an organization, and/or introducing
any innovation to an organization
- one or more pattern drafts (See What will
need to be done
before the session?)
Submissions should be in the form of a URL that can be linked to this
hot topic's page. Thank you.
Participants (this list will be continually updated as people join
Note: PLoP is a trademark of The Hillside Group, Inc.