This is our best shot for those who want a Vision Statement.

Think of this project as a sandbox where the org patterns editors can come and play, arranging patterns in new ways, and getting feedback from users, writers and critics. Through this highly social process, we'll gradually create a pattern language that encodes a broad range of experience with software development organizations. This language can help people apply their own insights in guiding the creation and evolution of effective software development organizations.

We believe strongly in having empirical support for the patterns in this collection. In many ways this effort is patterned after the pattern board in Alexander's OregonExperiment?. We encourage contributions by others; if they can be substantiated, and if they fit in the scope of the work, we'd love to admit them.

We hope to create a book from these patterns. Royalties from the book will go into a trust fund. Our current plan is to form a not-for-profit corporation, probably called AnthroWorks?, that will host a bank account for the royalties. We have no concrete designs on the use of the royalties at this point, but we anticipate they'll be used for scholarships to send people to pattern events, and to support other worthy and eclectic pattern efforts. Under no circumstances do we design for the editors or contributors to derive any direct material benefit from the sales of this book.

We strive to make these patterns exemplary in the strongest Alexanderian sense. Most of the patterns will be structural in nature; they are organizational patterns, not process patterns. We believe this is fundamentally important because organizational structure reaches deeper than process does, and because structure is more in line with the Alexanderian formulations for good patterns. We will certainly suffer the occasional departure from this philosophy.

No pattern stands alone, and we strive to present a pattern language, not a disembodied collection of patterns. No pattern will be admitted here unless it "fits" the others.

Brief History

At PLOP96,  JimCoplien and MichaelBeedle had a conversation about organizational pattern languages. Their concern was that too many of them were being published but that there was no effort in integrating all of these patterns into a single unifying pattern language, or at least into an integrated collection of pattern langauges.

As a result they set up this site dedicated to org patterns, with the purpose of organizing them into a conceptually integrated pattern language (which may actually comprise several integrated pattern langauges). 

Since then, they have also invited new editors to form part of the project. First they invited these InvitedEditors, but the group has expanded since into a larger group of InvitedAuthors.

Also at PLOP96, SteveBerczuk and MichaelBeedle had several conversations about starting a dialogue among the community of org patterns writers and users. So they asked WikiWiki!RalphJohnson to create a new mailing list called "organization-patterns". See: