At organizations everywhere, managing the use of open source software well requires the participation of business executives, the legal team, software architecture, software development and maintenance staff and product managers. One of the most significant challenges is integrating all of these functions with their very different points of view into a coherent and efficient set of practices.
More than ever, it makes sense to investigate the many free and inexpensive resources for open source management that are available, and observe the practices of professional open source offices that have been launched within companies ranging from Microsoft to Oath to Red Hat.
The Linux Foundation’s Fundamentals of Professional Open Source Management (LFC210) course is a good place to start. The course is explicitly designed to help individuals in disparate organizational roles understand the best practices for success.
The course is organized around the key phases of developing a professional open source management program:
- Open Source Software and Open Source Management Basics
- Open Source Management Strategy
- Open Source Policy
- Open Source Processes
- Open Source Management Program Implementation
The Linux Foundation also offers a free ebook on open source management: Enterprise Open Source: A Practical Introduction. The 45-page ebook can teach you how to accelerate your company’s open source efforts, based on the experience of hundreds of companies spanning more than two decades of professional enterprise open source management. The ebook covers:
- Why use open source
- Various open source business models
- How to develop your own open source strategy
- Important open source workflow practices
- Tools and integration
Official open source programs play an increasingly significant role in how DevOps and open source best practices are adopted by organizations, according to a survey conducted by The New Stack and The Linux Foundation (via the TODO Group). More than half of respondents to the survey (53 percent) across many industries said their organization has an open source software program or has plans to establish one.
“More than anything, open source programs are responsible for fostering open source culture,” the survey’s authors have reported. “By creating an open source culture, companies with open source programs see the benefits we’ve previously reported, including increased speed and agility in the development cycle, better license compliance and more awareness of which open source projects a company’s products depend on.”
How can your organization professionally create and manage a successful open source program, with proper policies and a strong organizational structure? The Linux Foundation offers a complete guide to the process, available here for free. The guide covers an array of topics for open source offices including: roles and responsibilities, corporate structures, elements of an open source management program, how to choose and hire an open source program manager, and more.
The free guide also features contributions from open source leaders. “The open source program office is an essential part of any modern company with a reasonably ambitious plan to influence various sectors of software ecosystems,” notes John Mark Walker, Founder of the Open Source Entrepreneur Network (OSEN) in the guide. “If a company wants to increase its influence, clarify its open source messaging, maximize the clout of its projects, or increase the efficiency of its product development, a multifaceted approach to open source programs is essential.”
Interested in even more on professional open source management? Don’t miss The Linux Foundation’s other free guides, which delve into tools for open source management, how to measure the success of an open source program, and much more.