One of the other things we do at pattern conferences is to run “Focus Groups.” Focus Groups come in all shapes and sizes, the output from a focus group ranges from nothing, to memories, to a wiki and sometimes to a report. The original intention of Focus Groups has been lost in the mists of time, maybe they were originally intended to help people find patterns. These days they may lead to patterns but more often than not they are just opportunities to think about a topic in more depth.
I have been involved in many focus groups and have run several. Two of my focus groups in particular have been more successful than others and have resulted in reports. Both of these were run with Lise Hvatum: “What do we think of Conway’s Law Now?” (2005) and “Does Culture play a Role in Software Development?”
Patterns for the Independent consultant
EuroPLoP 2015: A focus group looking for patterns and idioms of independent consultants
- Focus Group write-up report (not included in conference proceedings) (PDF)
Culture – EuroPLoP 2013
Does Culture play a Role in Software Development?