Table of contents
Implementing the OSS Good Governance methodology is ultimately a consequential and impactful initiative. It involves several categories of company people, services, and processes, from everyday practices to HR management and from developers to C-level executives. There really is no silver bullet mechanism to implement open source good governance. Different types of organisation and company cultures and situations will demand different approaches to open source governance. For each organisation, there will be different constraints and expectations, leading to different paths and ways of managing the programme.
With this in mind the Good Governance Initiative provides a generic blueprint of activities that can be tailored to an organisation’s own domain, culture and requirements. While the blueprint claims to be comprehensive, the methodology can be implemented progressively. It is possible to bootstrap the program by simply selecting the most relevant Goals and Activities in one’s specific context. The idea is to build a first-draft roadmap to help set up the local initiative.
Besides this framework, we also highly recommend getting in touch with peers through an established network like the European OSPO Alliance initiative, or other like-minded initiatives from the TODO group or OSPO++. What is important is to be able to exchange with people running a similar initiative, and share the issues encountered and the solutions that exist.
Given the ambition of the good governance methodology and its potentially broad impact, it is important to communicate with a variety of people within an organisation. It would be appropriate to onboard them to establish an initial set of realistic expectations and requirements to get off to a good start, attract interest and support. A good idea is to publish the Customised Activity Scorecards on the organisation’s collaborative platform so they can be used to communicate with stakeholders. Some hints:
As modern software practitioners, we like agile-like methods that define small and safe increments, since it is good practice to reassess the situation regularly and to provide meaningful minimum intermediate results.
In the context of a live OSPO program this is highly relevant, as many side aspects will change over time, from the organisation’s strategy and response to open source to people’s availability and engagement. Periodic reassessment and iteration also allows for adaptation to ongoing programme acceptance, better tracking of current trends and opportunities, and small incremental benefits to stakeholders and the organisation as a whole.
Ideally, the methodology could be implemented in five phases as follows:
Preparing for the first program iteration:
At the end of each iteration, do a retrospective and prepare for the next iteration:
A Customised Activity Scorecard is a form describing a Canonical Activity customised to the specifics of an organisation. Put together, the deck of Customised Activity Scorecards provides the roadmap for managing open source software.
Please note, from early experience with the methodology, it takes up to one hour to adapt a Canonical Activity into an organisation's specific Customised Score Card.
The Customised Activity Scorecard contains the following sections:
Starting with the Handbook 1.1 version, the GGI proposes My GGI Board, an automated tooling to deploy your own instance of the GGI as a GitLab project. The install process takes less than 10mn to set up, is fully documented, and provides a simple and reliable way to customise the activities, follow their execution as you make progress, and communicate the results to your stakeholders. A live example of the deployment can be seen in the initative’s GitLab, with the auto-generated website available on its GitLab pages.
Here is a standard workflow to use the deployment feature:
When activities have been defined, you can start implementing your own OSPO. Select a few activities that you think are relevant to start with, and change their progress label from ‘Not Started’ to ‘In Progress’. You can use GitLab features to help you organise the work (comments, assignees, etc.) or any other tool. It’s easy to link to the activities, and there are plenty of great integrations available.
On a regular basis (weekly, monthly, depending on your timetable), assess and review the current activities and when they are completed, change the label from ‘In Progress’ to ‘Done’. Select a few other and start again at step 3 until they are all completed.
The website proposes a quick overview of the current and past activities, and extracts the scorecard section of issues to display only the locally relevant information. When changes happen in the issues (activities) these are automatically updated in the generated website. Please note that the CI pipelines for the automatic generation of the website are automatically executed nightly, but you can easily launch them from the GitLab project’s CI/CD section. The following picture shows the auto-generated website interface.
You can ask questions or get support for the deployment feature at our GitLab homepage, and we welcome feedback.
GGI Deploy homepage: https://gitlab.ow2.org/ggi/my-ggi-board
Communicate on your success and enjoy the peace of mind of a state of the art open source strategy!
The OSS Good Governance is a method to deploy a continuous improvement program, and as such it never ends. Nevertheless, it’s important to highlight intermediate steps and appreciate the changes it yields, to make progress visible and share the results.
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