Mary Lynn Manns & Linda Rising are pattern evangelists who have just completed an interesting book on 48 patterns for introducing new ideas.
Capture expertise in the form of vetted solutions to repetitive issues. This is a key knowledge representation and a neat way to leverage learning. Patterns are an advanced knowledge practice that combine best practices and distinctions with community adoption.
A collection of patterns that are related, focus on the same domain, work together to record proven solutions, capture expertise and solve known problems, perform a higher level function - they allow users to articulate, share and relate complex thoughts - they leverage communication and lift the level of the discourse.
Fearless change. Patterns for introducing new ideas. 2004 Addison Wesley, captures the experiences of two real life pattern evangelists. First half introduces patterns, the form, uses, styles and theory. The remainder catalogs 48 patterns in an easy reading format (opening story, summary, context, problem, forces, essence of solution, more on the solution, resulting context and known uses).
Their 48 patterns are grouped into themes (early (21), later (16), resistance (6) and throughout (5)), given easy to identify names, e.g. corridor politics, just enough, bridge-builder or time for reflection and each follows the same format.
Patterns - been there
Good patterns leave one with the feeling - I know that or I do that already - what the authors have done, is the hard work of providing examples, rationale and context - the key to turning information into working knowledge.
I'm skeptic, patterns do not exist as documentation, they only come alive and yield value when adopted and practiced within a community. The real challenge is now to build or find a group that will work through these excellent patterns and adopt the language.