Mobbing Pattern Language

Patterns: Expert driver


Story #1: The mob wants to invite an expert to join them on a difficult problem.

The expert resists because they think it will be slow or they think that exploring unknowns requires banging their head against the problem until they discover something worth sharing.

Story #2: A group needs to brainstorm and discover product/feature opportunities, looking for a thin-sliced “bargain” MVP that requires only a small invite in functionality and technology.

This requires input from multiple disciplines, and some folks who do not normally mob (e.g., skeptical, inexperienced, etc.). It has lots of unknowns. Many in the team are not skilled in a whiteboarding tool to facilitate and quickly capture the discussion.

Also Known As

Wheelman, as in the skilled getaway driver in an exciting, high-stakes heist.


Skilled Driver(s) + Unskilled Mob + exploring ambiguity / unknowns + high stakes (time, skepticism, precarious engagement).


Maintain the engagement and winsomely persuade skeptics, while achieving a common goal (e.g., shared understanding, problem solving, knowledge sharing, etc.).

How To

We narrow the pool of drivers to only the very best drivers who can quickly and accurately wield the tools. This driver should take the “raw materials” from the group, turn them into a result, and give credit to the mob. The driver may also need to facilitate the group discussion, using their control of the shared machine as a tool to direct the attention of the mob.


This avoids losing the attention of the group and keep the learning in the domain instead of in the tools. For those skeptical of mobbing, they see a steady flow of productivity and can see an “unnecessary” person provide a valuable insight that otherwise would have been missed.


If the driver has to learn about how to use the tool, that can interrupt the engagement of the group.

If the driver works on their own / without vocalizing, they can leave the group behind.

Remember the goal is to give the mob a great experience.


See Also

[Single Driver] looks similar but applies in a different context.