Open for Business… o n the Fringes
Terry Nolen and Dave Gebhart
Thursday 4:30 – 5:15 D137-138
About the Speakers Founders of an open development community within a traditionally closed source company.
Senior Principal Software Architect
Corporate Open Source? Kind of an oxymoron isn’t it? Like oil and water. They don’t mix, right? Corporations are seeking and now deploying new ways to incite innovation and productivity, and open source concepts are attractive to them.
Don’t kill the speakers, please! We’re hacks as well, and we’ve been able to find a cool way to be innovative, productive and have fun at work.
Open for Business – on the Fringes Gaining Management Support Combine Many Communities into One Develop Process and Practice
Things that work and don’t seem to work
Backgrounder Sabre Holdings - Known for Innovation The world’s first computer travel reservations system (1960’s), travel agencies enabled with travel booking capability (1970’s), Spin off from AMR (American Airlines), creates world class airline yield management solutions (1980’s), creator of Travelocity.com(1990’s), acquisitions: Travelocity.com, GetThere.com, Site59.com, launches Jurni Network, lastminute.com, TRAMS, and Zuji.(2000’s) An InformationWeek 500 company, ranked in the top 25 percent among the nation’s leading IT innovators. In 2006, Information Week named SABRE seventh on its list of the “Greatest Software Ever Written.” A Corporate Open Community Solution Open Source Research (February 2006) Business Justification (April 2006) Management Approval (May 2006) Implementation (June 2006) Consensus and Consolidation (October 2006) Where is this solution today?
With a year of experience, we are on a roll
Gaining Management Support It won’t show revenue until later; unless your plan show’s how it will, so don’t count on it. It can be relatively cost free if you do it yourself, and have no dedicated staff. Buying everything can be costly. But when it grows look for additional costs. Show how it’s global. With many business using global resources, this is a good benefit. Find a dedicated supporter Gain Publicity, Backing, Philosophy, Technology and Financial Support Copyright and Intellectual Property Protection Intranet and Employees – Usage in the safe zone. Make the justification for the platform formal and complete Understand Strengths and Weaknesses of Open Source Describe how project involvement can be a form of training and experience in an existing or new technology Show how having this type of innovation can be used to show customers that you’re innovative Be measurable. Make sure statistics are included to justify usage and re-usage
Show a ROI by keeping costs low
Combine Many Communities into One There are probably a few other divisions or departments dabbling as well. Show Momentum or Join Forces Don’t fragment the community. A larger community will benefit all the projects. Chiefs and Indians in One Room (Community) Treat every idea or thought equally, but dollars may dictate Migration and Combining Efforts Convince/Persuade Decision Makers First Combine the Community through Success Partner with Corporate Innovation or R&D Springboard great ideas into reality Provide a home for good but orphaned R&D Expect other Divisions and new M&A’s to have different technology
Find an integrated but flexible way to include them all
Develop Process and Practice Stakeholder, Evangelist, Champion, Committer, Contributor, User Secure projects to prevent unwanted change Automate as much as you can Project creation, Statistics calculation, Communication Leverage corporate infrastructure (SSO, LDAP, etc.) Document administrative support functions Document how to contribute and a contribution life cycle Document quality checks and security Make sure that projects are implemented as soon as possible Resolve platform issues as soon as possible, even if it is a hack itself Use existing corporate tools when mandated
Don’t be married to a specific set of tools; use whatever works
Needed Technology Organizations may or may not have the technology they need With either, consider integration points like login authentication, source control, bug tracking, statistics tracking and planning software. Look for something that will provide a common login and tools for all functionality. One stop shopping. Comply with the Corporate Standards. Don’t defy the CTO or CIO if you want their support. Convince them by example and they’ll come to you. Use your existing wiki for organizing a development framework. Because it’s usually secure within your business or corporation, there’s no fear of intellectual property loss. Use an existing Web GUI framework. Very similar to a wiki, but more foundational code to own. Buy It!
Look at the “Forges”. Sometimes they provide a hosted or locally installed version of their framework. It comes with most of the whistles, but may cost more than you expect.
Community Relations Communicate, Communicate, Communicate Keep all management engaged Create a Corporate Communications relationship Presentations, Web Page, Blogs, Email, Video Broadcasts… RSS feeds for instant notification Talk to your innovative or bored friends Show them the cool projects Present the community to Innovation and Hack events
Encourage management use as an Innovation to enhance sales
Things that Work and some that Don’t Work One stop shopping for development Don’t limit innovation to programming Managers don’t like giving up their resources Integration with separate sign on capability
Hard rewards and bounties are frowned upon by management unless there is viable proof that it can increase contribution
Rewards and Bounties for Contributors Be creative. Creative people like creative rewards. Consider a point based system with a weighted scale based upon contribution. Then apply points to hard rewards. Reward contributors with public recognition (soft rewards)
Custom T-Shirts are inexpensive and appreciated
On the Fringes Expect your platform’s projects to be varied in type bringing value to different audiences at different times. The projects will all be “On the Fringes” of corporate mainstream and not significantly influential for the corporation in the beginning. As a whole, the platform will active but it will start and grow slowly Activity increases as the community increases Seek out a couple of breakthrough projects with significant application to the corporation or business The projects will take off as well as the platform’s visibility It will increase the contributor / user community through awareness Continually improve the platform
The larger the community gets, the platform will show stress as any multi-user system might do. Be prepared to expand.
Questions? and Answers!