Mobbing Pattern Language

Patterns: Think out loud

Also Known As


You need to tease out what to do next.

Useful when the mob is stuck. Use it when they have gone quiet.


Get partial ideas into the mob so the idea can act as the seed for genius.

How To

When the mob starves for next steps and goes quiet, speak your partial ideas even if you don’t see how they can help.

If you hear a partial idea, welcome it so the speaker knows they did good. Then riff on it.

If a partial idea is actionable, start applying it to see what happens.

Write the intent on the whiteboard. Write it in English.

Consume first: write the caller of a method that doesn’t exist.

Fake it ‘till you Make it.


There is value in just acknowledging that you are confused.

Alternatively, consider suggesting something wacky. This can act to free up other people’s thinking, e.g. “Well that’s interesting. Maybe we could do …”


When you start to put the frame around things, the hard parts start to take shape.