A group of people is attempting to accomplish some task as effectively and efficiently as possible. The nature of the task is such that it is not immediately obvious who should do what or how the task should be structured. In order to increase efficiency and effectiveness, specific roles are being assigned to specific people or subteams. There may be such a large group of people who have ideas that a free-form conversation (synchronous or asynchronous) becomes confusing and people do not have enough “air time” or “print space” to stay involved.

How can people organize their work in an effective and efficient manner? In particular, how can a large group of people cumulate knowledge into a form that is understandable?

· Different people have different backgrounds, experiences and skills. Therefore, they have different beliefs about the best approach to the task at hand.
· Discussion and debate about the details of how the group should work may not converge or may take a large proportion of the time and resources allocated to the task itself.
· Some individuals in the group may have more expertise, experience, and skill at taking particular stances toward the subject matter.
· Freeform discussion may produce a disorganized knowledge base.
· An expert may be in a position to both evaluate potential contributions and organize them.

One or more experts serve as moderators whose role is to evaluate, prioritize, organize (and possibly summarize) the contributions of others in a large group creating in the process something that is a more efficient and effective a representation of the knowledge in the group than the raw input.

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