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Subject: RE: [tgf] TGF Pattern Language work



Thanks for all the hard work you’ve been doing on this.  For me, it has helped make real what the pattern language approach means in practice.  Up until now I’ve always struggled a little with the concept, but all the work you’ve done makes both the approach and the value it will bring much clearer for me.


I started working through the document this morning, annotating comments and questions on each of the patterns.  But as I did this, it occurred to me that there was a common driver behind most of my comments.  So I thought I should raise a general question before carrying on with the detail.  I wasn’t able to attend your working group session on this two weeks ago, so apologies if this is an issue which the group has already thought about and reached a decision on.


In short, my thought is that the document would be stronger and clearer if we only did one pattern each on “Guiding Principles” and “Critical Success Factors”, rather than articulating separate patterns for the individual principles and CSFs.


I have three reasons for suggesting this:


1)     As it stands, there is a strong sense of duplication – for example between the guiding principle on Customer Insight, the CSF on User Focus and the elements of the Customer Management framework.

2)     The patterns for the individual principles and CSFs feel to me like they fall somewhat between two stools.   The three-part pattern structure of “context/problem to be solved/solution” means that that they have been expanded significantly from the 1 or  2  sentence description in the Primer – but not to the extent that they yet feel they map out a complete delivery solution.  And yet on the other hand I think that they lose some of the clarity of communication that the original short versions tried to achieve.

3)     Finally, it feels to me that every pattern should have within it some clarity about the conformance criteria: ie how do we know if the pattern is being used effectively?  Your present version largely doesn’t do that – reflecting the fact that we didn’t set conformance criteria at the level of individual principles and CSFs in the original Primer.  (Instead we set  the conformance criteria at the higher level, ie requiring that a conformant implementation of the TGF must use the Guiding Principles and must measure and manage the CSFs.)


So my preference would be for the patterns mostly to be confined to the four delivery areas of Business Management/Customer Management/Channel Management/Technology Management (where I thought that the number and level of patterns seemed just right) , with a single pattern for Principles and a single one for CSFs.   I don’t see this as ducking a task, but simply recognising the overlaps that exist between these parts of the TGF.  In fact, one of the things that your work on the patterns has brought out more clearly for me is the extent to which these three elements of the Primer (Principles/Delivery Areas/CSFs) address the same issues, but in different ways for different audiences:


·         The Guiding Principles try to distil the core essence of the TGF approach, in a set of business principles which can be intuitively understood and which can form the basis of top leadership commitment across the government to a new sort of approach

·         The four delivery Frameworks then set out the meat of the TGF, articulating in detail what needs to be done in order to put  the principles into practice

·         The CSFs then cover the same scope of issues, but through the lens of quality assurance and for the benefit largely of those involved in periodic health-checking.of the TGF program.


What do you and others think?  If the alternative approach I’m suggesting sounds worth trying, I’d be happy to do a first cut at what the top-level single pattern for Principles and for CSFs might look like.  Much of the content in your individual patterns we would then want to move to relevant parts of the  Business Management/Customer Management/Channel Management/Technology Management patterns.


But like I say, apologies if I’m reopening an old issue! 




Chris Parker

Managing Partner, CS Transform Ltd, +44 7951 754 060

From: Peter F Brown [mailto:peter@peterfbrown.com]
Sent: 07 June 2011 01:58
To: TGF TC List
Subject: [tgf] TGF Pattern Language work



Somewhat belatedly, I can give an update on work being done of the drat Pattern Language


Attached is an interim, incomplete draft (WD02) of the TGF-PL deliverable.

Following the working group meeting held two weeks ago, I proceeded with the first steps in a methodology:

-          Identify each and every conformance criterion in the TGF Primer

-          From the criteria, identify possible “candidate” patterns;

-          Add patterns that contribute to the whole;

-          Remove patterns that are redundant or can be better expressed as part of a larger pattern;

I then started the work of transposing text from the TGF Primer to the Pattern Language document:

-          Identify the core “imperative” statement for each pattern, based on the conformance statement in the Primer;

-          Add text that relates a particular pattern to others;

-          Add text that serves as the prose body of the pattern, taken from the Primer and other contributions;

-          Add references back to the Primer where appropriate in the “completion” statement of each pattern;

As a result of a couple of cycles, the number of proposed patterns has gone up and down and has now stabilised at under 40.


The interim result attached reflects this process applied systematically.

As a result,

-          the first 15 patterns are finished;

-          another half dozen are nearly finished;

-          the skeleton of the remaining patterns is in place


As I am “in the zone”, I’m happy to continue this tomorrow and should be able to complete another dozen or so of the patterns but after that I will be travelling for the remainder of the week.


Can I ask all members of the TC to:

-          take a look and give any comments about whether the draft is going in the right direction;

-          indicate whether the completed patterns satisfy the conformance criteria that we have nominally indicated in the Primer;

-          submit any comments or queries on the nature and content of the document.


Can you also indicate whether you will be able to lend a hand at writing a few patterns, now that the structure and practice is clearer. As an indication, you should allow 30-45 minutes per pattern to go through the steps outlined above. I will continue tomorrow in any case, proceeding sequentially through the text. I will then only be able to return to this after tomorrow on Sunday 12th and Monday 13th.


If you are willing to write some patterns, please let me know, and I will send you the .docx file to work with.


For reference, we are due to decide at our TC meeting on Thursday 16th:

-          whether to proceed with moving this working draft to a full “Committee Specification Draft” – which involves shifting the content to the new formal template and completing the set of patterns, at least as a first draft;

-          agreeing a timetable to finish a first formal draft for adoption by the Committee and releasing it for public review


Best regards,



Peter F Brown

Independent Consultant

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