Community Building 101

“…success comes entirely from people and the system within which they work. Results are not the point. Developing the people and the system so that together they are capable of achieving successful results is the point.” Leading Lean Software Development Recently, that quote stirred some controversy among my peers. The part about “results are not the point” was hard for some people to understand and come to grips with. Aren’t results always the point? Well, as with most things, “It depends”. The people and community that evolve around an open source software project will ultimately determine its success. Even if the core team launches the project with spectacular productivity and results, this phase of evolution will be fleeting if the necessary processes and community to make the project a long lasting success are not put into place. This article presents some of the actions open source community leaders can take ...(Read More)

DevOps User Stories

These are common user stories related to DevOps that were discussed in a LinkedIn discussion here.  I have repeated them in this post for my convenience and to make them a little more readable.   Some I agree should be on the list and others I’m not quite sure about.  Please refer to the original thread for details. Developer As a developer, when starting with a new company, I want to be able to be up and running (full working environment) in less than 1 hour. As a developer, when I need to perform a very small (i.e. cosmetic) change, I want to be able to deploy it in less than 1 hour. As a developer, I want to understand the operational environment into which my application will be deployed. As a developer I need to understand operational requirements for my application (not just user requirements). As a developer, I ...(Read More)

Strategic Reuse

Community managers have a tough job. They deal with lots of different stakeholders trying to find that elusive “middle ground”. They incessantly cheer on community activities and push adoption of collaboration best practices; but when it comes to validating their position through tangible and quantifiable metrics it can sometimes seem daunting. Is the best measure user participation? How about community size? Each of these seem like great things, and they are, but typically organizations don’t have a lot of tolerance for soft measures that don’t directly impact the “bottom-line”. Recently I have been working to identify ways in which organizational performance gains can be tied to community activities. Since my current position involves helping large organizations increase performance from their development teams, I started first by looking at something that may seem far removed from community, knowledge reuse. Why reuse?  The reason I chose to build my case around reuse ...(Read More)

Building a Better Mousetrap

“Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson Is there any more familiar quotation related to innovation?  I doubt it.  However, “build a better mousetrap” was actually a misquotation. What Emerson really said was… “If a man has good corn or wood, or boards, or pigs, to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson So there you have it.  The original quotation wasn’t about innovation at all.  It was about quality… no mousetraps either 🙂 The thing that strikes me most about this quote is the last bit about “though it be in the woods”.  I think the implication here is clear.  You may not be a marketing genius or have the best location but ...(Read More)

Strategic Reuse

Community managers have a tough job. They deal with lots of different stakeholders trying to find that elusive “middle ground”. They incessantly cheer on community activities and push adoption of collaboration best practices; but when it comes to validating their position through tangible and quantifiable metrics it can sometimes seem daunting. Is the best measure user participation? How about community size? Each of these seem like great things, and they are, but typically organizations don’t have a lot of tolerance for soft measures that don’t directly impact the “bottom-line”. Recently I have been working to identify ways in which organizational performance gains can be tied to community activities. Since my current position involves helping large organizations increase performance from their development teams, I started first by looking at something that may seem far removed from community, knowledge reuse. Why reuse?  The reason I chose to build my case around reuse ...(Read More)