Patterns of Collaboration and High-Performance Communities
A ChiliPLoP 2004 Hot Topic

By Eugene Eric Kim (Blue Oxen Associates)

Effective collaboration is usually defined by a group's ability to accomplish some well-defined, bounded goal.  While this is an important metric, it does not explicitly take into account Christopher Alexander's notion of a Quality Without A Name (QWAN).  On the other hand, when we tell stories about effective collaboration in different contexts -- be it a group of engineers, a basketball team, or a jazz ensemble -- QWAN seems to be a common thread.

I am interested in patterns of collaboration that lead to QWAN.  I am also interested in patterns of high-performance communities -- spaces that enable effective collaboration.

Blue Oxen Associates has begun to develop a pattern language mined from its its case studies of different communities.  I would like to workshop these patterns with other participants.  I am also interested in examining patterns from other, more specific contexts (such as Neil Harrison and Jim Coplien's organizational patterns of agile software development) and identifying patterns that seem to appear in other domains as well.  Finally, I would like to mine patterns from the Hillside Group, a community that strikes me as exhibiting QWAN.

If you're interested in this session, please send email to Eugene Eric Kim (


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