Launching an Open Source Office
Project Description: At a previous company I began noticing that we were spending a lot of time “reinventing” projects that already existed as open source or even rebuilding our own version of proprietary things that other business units in the same company already had built.
I didn’t know it at the time but what I had stumbled upon was a commonly experienced problem that open source and inner source had a solution for. After doing some research and stumbling on the TODO group I found that the company could improve our efficiency by so much if we adopted open/inner source practices.
How I drove change
I decided to write a proposal to open an open source office and personally lead this drive for efficiency and software re-use. The charter outlined several key areas to organize my thoughts around what and why we were trying to do. I proposed this to my VP, legal, and manager with great success. My job changed to this open source leader full time and I was able to grow a small but mighty team. We set up action plans for our first year of operation as well and implemented OSS policy, licensing guidelines, seeded starter inner source projects, as well as began tracking software reuse metrics to track against our goals.
Open Source Office Charter
I’m sharing the proposal that was developed here in the hopes that it might inspire others on their own journey’s in open source and intrapeneurship.
- Create strategic advantage through using and producing open source and inner source software.
- Drive adoption and leverage of software reuse from internal and external sources.
- This office will enable, promote, and accelerate the use of open source software.
- It is not designed to take on all of the work of a program or project, although it will collaborate. That keeps a distributed working model so that work does not become centralized and encumbered.
- Clearly communicating the open source strategy within and outside COMPANY
- Owning and overseeing the execution of the strategy
- Facilitating the effective use and leverage of open source software in our products
- Ensuring high-quality and frequent releases of code to open source communities
- Fostering an open source culture within the organization
- Maintaining open source license compliance reviews and oversight
- Scouting open source technology opportunities with advance development teams
- Reduced time to market of new product’s
- Lowered development costs
- Decreased legal risk of current open source usage (License Compliance)
- Decreased security risk by using common updated software packages
- Increase brand quality through consistent features and user workflows
- Redirect the “not invented here” culture into a “Best Team Wins” culture
- Recruit and retain great software talent for COMPANY
- Set and maintain open source software policies and best practices
Staffing Critical Mass (Team to work closely with existing legal dept.)
- Open Source Director - Zack Koppert
- Open Source Developer (x2)
- Marketing/Communications (x1)
- Amount of open source utilized by product lines
- Reuse of Inner Source programs
- COMPANY reputation in open source communities
- Ability to recruit and retain talented developers
- Compliance to open source licenses
- Number of internal and external contributions to Open Software Projects
- Staffing, Tools, Development, Equipment, and Travel
- Announce on 6/15/18 with Zack as Director and XXX to cover Zack’s current role until the open position is filled.
- Form and staff office in 2018 and beyond
- Launch and incubate this group to serve BUSINESS-UNIT before expanding to support COMPANY-wide
- Expand beyond BUSINESS-UNIT to COMPANY-wide office expanding reuse and compliance
- Integrate at a PARENT-COMPANY level working with other companies