Definitions for Organizational patterns

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  1. Organizational patterns

    Organizational patterns are structures of relationship, usually in a professional organization, that help the organization achieve its goals. The patterns are usually inspired by analyzing multiple professional organizations and finding common structures in their social networks. Such patterns are collected and organized into pattern languages, which are published as a foundation for process improvement and organizational design, largely in the software development community. Organizational pattern efforts since 1991 have led to a small body of literature and a community of research and support, both of which have close ties to the software pattern community. Organizational patterns broadly support knowledge sharing about organizational design and support corporate memory of reorganizations and process changes. They are often used as the foundation of project retrospectives. Organizational patterns are inspired in large part by the principles of the software pattern community, that in turn takes it cues from Christopher Alexander's work on patterns of the built world. Organizational patterns also have roots in Kroeber's classic anthropological texts on the patterns that underlie culture and society. They in turn have provided inspiration for the Agile software development movement, and for the creation of parts of Scrum and of Extreme Programming in particular.


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