Governance for Software

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Draft introduction to the topic of governance models and related issues for research software

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Governance for Software

  1. 1. P roject Governance <ul><li>Decision making </li></ul><ul><ul><li>W ho controls the destiny of your software </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ownership </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who has rights on your software </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Exploitation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who can take your software forward </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Funding </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How can you take your software forward </li></ul></ul><ul><li>OSS-Watch </li></ul>
  2. 2. Governance Models <ul><li>The basis of decision making </li></ul><ul><ul><li>F rom benign dictator to fully meritocratic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Essential once you consider contributors from outside your group </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How much control do you wish to retain as originator vs how much do you seek to expand? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>H ow much can be enforced through licensing/trademark/patent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Similar to decision between partnership / private company / public company </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Ownership <ul><li>Generally copyright exists with the creator </li></ul><ul><ul><li>G ets complicated when many people modify a piece of code </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ownership need to be explicit </li></ul><ul><ul><li>T o allow future relicensing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To define legal accountability </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Contribution agreements should be used </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Useful to have a single “custodian” </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Exploitation <ul><li>Who and what are the right ways to take your software forward? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Commercial vs Open Source </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Targets </li></ul><ul><ul><li>K nown users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Potential users in current market </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Potential users in new market </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrators and bundlers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Partners </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Take forward yourself </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In collaboration with others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>By licensing code to others </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Funding Models <ul><li>Grant Mosaic </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional support </li></ul><ul><li>Fully Costed Service </li></ul><ul><li>External Enterprise / Consultancy </li></ul><ul><li>Royalties and Fees </li></ul><ul><li>Donations </li></ul><ul><li>Advertising </li></ul><ul><li>T-shirt (spinoff merchandising) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Funding Vehicles <ul><ul><li>University based </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spin out company </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consultancy and Customisation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Industrial knowledge transfer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contracts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Licensing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Certification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support services / training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Software as a Service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Software Foundation </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Not enough projects go from JISC to over funding sources </li></ul><ul><li>Tech transfer focus on patents </li></ul><ul><li>Not enough understanding of changing teams </li></ul><ul><li>Exploitation of experience from projects </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>The “so what” question? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why are you doing this? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who are you doing it for? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Real IPR issues </li></ul><ul><li>Software sustainability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Required because of disaster </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Required because of policy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Keep software with researchers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But don’t keep researcher teams static </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Sustainability stakeholders </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Researcher / developer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interested in understanding new techniques </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Funder </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interested in potential capacity/network effects </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Interested in getting a better way of doing something </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>How often do their desires conflict? </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Does JISC funding plus university mindset stifle Darwinian natural selection? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is that healthier than in the commercial environment? </li></ul></ul>

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