OOPSLA'2000 Conference

Introducing Patterns (or any new idea) into Organizations

Sunday, October 15
Minneapolis, MN

Mary Lynn Manns, University of North Carolina at Asheville
Linda Rising, Consultant and Editor of The Pattern Almanac
Alan O'Callaghan, De Montfort University

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 convincing others in your organization of this potential.

The spark for patterns (or any new idea) in an organization most often begins with one or more enlightened individuals who has heard about or used patterns (or another new idea) and is intrigued over the 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 problems.

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 later expanded to Introducing Technology into the Workplace. In 1998, Mary Lynn Manns began introducing patterns into organizations, and holding "introducing patterns" workshops at various conferences. She documented her observations in the form of patterns, and this collection was workshopped at PLoP'99. This past March, at the ChiliPLoP'2000 conference, Rising and Manns worked with others to combine their two collections of patterns into a fledging language currently titled Evolving a Patterns Culture.

During this OOPSLA'2000 workshop, participants will discuss experiences introducing patterns (or any new idea or technology) into an organization. The goal is to draft the challenges and the potential solutions to the challenges in the form of additional patterns for the Evolving a Patterns Culture language.

Read more about the "Introducing Patterns" project (PDF file)

What will we do?

This workshop will provide an opportunity for participants to:

What will need to be done before the workshop?

Participants will need to complete three tasks prior to the day of the workshop:
  1. Examine the Evolving a Patterns Culture patterns.

  2. Draft one or more patterns that are not found in Evolving a Patterns Culture. (This draft does not need to be a complete pattern. Incomplete patterns with "half-baked" ideas and incomplete sections are also welcome. The purpose of this pre-conference exercise is only to get everyone's thoughts and ideas recorded to help "jumpstart" the workshop day.)
    • Include your name, affliation, email address, and a short description of yourself at the top of your pattern(s).
    • Post your submission to a web site and email the URL to Mary Lynn Manns.
      This will allow your submission to be linked to this workshop page and be easily accessed and read by all workshop participants before OOPSLA.

  3. Read all the pattern drafts of the other participants. (These will be available on this web page by the end of September.)

What will be produced during the workshop?

It is anticipated that the deliverables from this session will include:

Who should participate?

This workshop is for all those who have attempted to convince others of the value of patterns (or any innovation). We hope 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 workshop?

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 helping to lead an effort to build a pattern language for those who are facing this task.

Alan O'Callaghan is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher at De Montfort University in its Software Technologies Research Laboratory. Through contract research with industrial concerns, and through industry-based consultancy, he has developed the ADAPTOR pattern language for migrating large-scale business systems to Object Technology.

Linda Rising is well known throughout the patterns community as the editor of The Patterns Handbook. She was among those who led the introduction of patterns into AG Communication Systems in Phoenix Arizona, and has worked with others to capture these experiences in the Introducing Technology into the Workplace patterns.

How do I apply?

Submit the URL of a web site that contains the following two things to Mary Lynn Manns:

  1. a short description of yourself, including your experience with patterns, introducing patterns into an organization, and/or introducing any innovation to an organization
  2. one or more pattern drafts (See What will need to be done before the workshop?)
Submissions must be in the form of a URL that can be linked to this web page.
Thank you.

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Workshop Participants

Neil Harrison, Avaya Communication
David DeLano, AG Communication Systems
Jeff Garland, CrystalClear Software
Amy Strucko, Structural Dynamics Research Corporation
Frances Evans, Structural Dynamics Research Corporation
Rieko Yamamoto, Tadahiro Uehara (Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.)
Steven Fraser, Nortel Networks
Lucio Dinoto, LIFIA & JPMorgan Latin America
Alan O'Callaghan, De Montfort University