Organizational Patterns
Call for Participation

Last year, at ChiliPLoP98, a handful of us met to discuss the state of organizational patterns in the broadest sense, and included the discussion of:

  1. who the authors of the org patterns were, and how we could get them involved in writing a CPL (common pattern language)
  2. what patterns had been written and what were their current relationships, and what was "our vision" to combine them into a CPL
  3. who were the users of org patterns and what was our current relationship with them, and we were going to get them involved even more
  4. how the architects of the org pattern language were currently organized and how they were going work together to weave the existing patterns and pattern languages into a CPL.
The workshop provided the following deliverables:
  1. Context. We accounted for the current state of the organizational patterns in terms of how the patterns were organized (product), and how it was communicated to the world. In doing so we identified the following issues:

    • duplication, inconsistencies and "holes" in the current pattern languages
    • overall structure is not visible
    • current patterns and pattern languages are not in understandable form
    • pattern styles don't match audiences
    • org patterns are not easy to introduce/deploy and internalize in organizations
    • lack of communication among architects, writers and users of the CPL
    • CPL architecture team is not producing updates for the patterns at the org patterns web site

  2. Architects, writers and users lists. We should gather a comprehensive list of everyone who could possibly be involved.

  3. Resulting Context. We discussed what we needed to do to make org patterns successful:

    1. Out to the world

      Make the patterns understandable and readable by management through:
      • taxonomies/views/pictures (functional area, role, organizational type/stage, etc.)
      • minimal pattern form (executive summary, 5 basics, etc.)
      • high level book (this is "why" you need patterns) patterns CD
      • management handbook for patterns deployment: case studies, stories, interviews, accounts by other authors, video
    2. Deployment
      assess org
      key areas of business
      incremental development of business
      implementation strategies

  4. Pattern language structure and taxonomies. As a starting point, we used Jim Coplien's org patterns. We mapped them into a pattern language diagram, in which we added other org patterns from different authors. (Unfortunately, and due to time limitations, we only placed added about 20 patterns other than those by Jim Coplien.)

  5. A list of immediate tasks to be done:
    • spread the word about the activities of this workshop document what we did (this document)
    • contact writers to get clearance for editor rights to treat each pattern with an individual copyright
    • determine policies for the web site
    • taxonomies
    • document pattern language structure
    • explore the concept of a "context web"
    • keywords
    • make list of users
    • future meetings (PLoP '98, OOPSLA, ChiliPLoP '99) video/infomercial
Our goal at ChiliPLoP'99, is to continue with this work, by reassessing our direction, and identifying new strategies, tasks and collaborators.

Submission Details
Position papers should be no more than 3 single-spaced, single-column pages. The first page of the paper should include: a title, the author's name(s), mailing address, phone and fax numbers and email address, a list of key words and an abstract (200 words maximum).

The position paper should include your ideas on the issues to be discussed at the workshop:

  • the architecture of the CPL (taxonomies, classifications, structures)
  • how to organize the team of architects or writers to write the CPL
  • how to grow a community of org patterns writers
  • how to expand the community of org patterns users
Submissions in electronic form (Adobe PDF, Word, HTML or Postscript format) are highly encouraged.

Please send submissions by January 29th, 1999 to: Michael A. Beedle

Notification will be given by February 5th, 1999 as to acceptance.

Note: PLoP is a trademark of The Hillside Group, Inc.