Business Design Patterns


Since 2004 my interest in patterns has focused on the use of patterns to document business strategies and operations. A full list of papers can be found in the
conference papers list.

The conference patterns were collected and re-edited for
Business Patterns for Software Developers published in 2012. Methods and Tools carried an article about software business patterns in 2013.

The patterns contained in these papers are:


EuroPLoP 2011 (Irsee, Germany) - Two More Business Patterns (Business Strategy Patterns for Software Companies)
  • Customer Understanding
  • Customisable Product
EuroPLoP 2009 (Irsee, Germany) - Pattern vocabulary for Product Distribution (Business Strategy Patterns for Software Companies)
  • Branded Shops
  • Named Sales People
  • Internet Store
  • Independent Retail
  • Local Guide
  • White Label
  • Wholesaler
EuroPLoP 2008 (Irsee, Germany) - Business Patterns for Product Development
  • Single Product Company
  • Whole Product
  • Product Portfolio
  • Product Roadmap
VikingPLoP 2007 (Bergen, Norway) - Design Patterns for Software Companies (Product development)
  • Packaged Services
  • Account Management
  • Sales/Technical Double Act
EuroPLoP 2007 (Irsee, Germany) - Design Patterns for Software Companies (Product development)
  • Homogenous Customers
  • Same Customers, Different Product
  • Segmented Customers
  • Poacher Turned Game Keeper
  • Customer Co-created Product
  • Simpler Product
EuroPLoP 2006 (Irsee, Germany) - Design Patterns for Technology Companies
  • Products with Services
  • Corporate Certified Experts
  • Also: Situating Business Patterns - A paper exploring the relationship of patterns to other theories.
VikingPLoP 2005 (Espoo, Finland) - Business Strategy Design Patterns for Technology Companies
  • Start-up Services for Products
  • Continuing Services for Product
  • Complementor, Not Competitor
  • Services Trump Products
  • Services Before Product
EuroPLoP 2005 (Irsee, Germany) - A few more business design patterns
  • Self-Service
  • Core Product Only
  • Personal Service
  • Common Parts
  • Simple Product Variations
VikingPLoP 2004 (Uppsala, Sweden) - Business Strategy Patterns for the Innovative Company from Corporate Imagination and Expeditionary Marketing
(Hamel and Prahalad, 1991).
  • Innovative Products
  • Expeditionary Marketing
  • Separate Imaginative Teams
EuroPLoP 2004 (Irsee, Germany) - The Porter Patterns
  • Cost Leadership
  • Differentiated Product
  • Market Focus
  • Sweet Spot
  • One True Strategy

Design Patterns for Software Companies

I have produced a series of papers which have gone under various different names but collectively build towards a design pattern language of business strategy in technology companies. While many of these patterns can be used by companies outside this field I have chosen to focus on the field where I have the most knowledge. More recently I have chosen to narrow the field further to look at pattern for software companies.

My first paper in this field rewrote
Michael Porter's generic strategies in pattern form. This work was principally an exploration of the pattern form. The paper was a success in that I saw how the pattern form could be used and thus laid the foundations of the later patterns. However I came to see flaws in the pattern form as applied to Porter's work. Principally Porters work is analytical, it is a tool to compare organizations. In contrast patterns are 'syntheical', that is to say they are used to create something.

During the course of this work several of the papers have also explored pattern theory. Some of this theory is in specific papers while some is contained in the introduction of other papers.

In addition to producing more patterns the next task in this project is to bring the patterns together and examine the whole.

All the papers containing these patterns are on the conferences page.