"Agile Practice" Patterns Wiki is Up
ChiliPlop 2006 Results
Fear of Losing Control
Learn Then Share
Lots of Bugs Found by Customer
Scared To Share
Static Information Radiator
Test Driven Development
Patterns are a way to capture knowledge and abstract it, distill it down to an essential and clear form that can help someone else address a similar problem. Patterns are not simply ideas written in a certain form - pattern mining is a whole process unto itself: pattern writers at AG Communication Systems use pattern mining to get ideas for patterns, which they then improve using a writers' workshop.
Patterns moved from the domain of architecture into the mainstream of object-oriented software design with the advent of the original book Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object Oriented Software. This is not surprising, as architect Christopher Alexander's Notes on the Synthesis of Form was required reading for researchers in computer science throughout the 1960's. Since that first book, many more have used this device to address software design issues - its popularity suggests it is a useful way to think and communicate.
Subsequently, patterns have been used in other areas of the software world too: Organizational Patterns of Agile Software Development by Coplien and Harris looks at the people side of software development, Fearless Change: Patterns for Introducing New Ideas by Rising and Manns addresses the human challenges of organizational change (not just in IT), and Software for Your Head: Core Protocols for Creating and Maintaining Shared Vision by McCarthy and McCarthy provides patterns specifically for collaborative teamwork.
FYI: if you find this topic interesting, you might want to know that the patterns folks hang out here. Well, when they are online :-)