(Trust Goals) Manage key indicators
You can't improve what you can't measure. (Peter Drucker)
This well-known (but often misunderstood) quote, atttributed to Peter Drucker, means we need to define where we want to go and a way to assess it in order to measure progress. Different organisations or entities will have different requirements and reasons to go through the GGI. It is therefore important to define what issues and objectives are to be achieved, and how to measure them. Like any improvement program, the GGI needs tracking and reporting.
Examples of goals could be:
- Identify software assets and dependencies.
- Leverage IP- and legal- risks in embedded code.
- Improve reputation and communicate about the entity's involvement in the Open-Source community and ecosystem.
Examples of ways to measure these could resp. be:
- Number of resolved dependences, displayed by licence type.
- Number of outdated/vulnerable dependencies.
- Number of licencing/ip issues detected.
- Contributions made to external projects.
This activity is about defining these requirements and measurement needs, and implementing a dashboard that shows in a simple and efficient manner the main indicators of the program.
This activity requires:
- stakeholders to discuss and define the objectives of the program,
- the implementation of a measurement and data collection tool connected to the development infrastructure,
- the publication of at least one dashboard for the stakeholders and for all the people involved in the initiative.
It helps understand and better manage the resources devoted to open source software, and measure the results in order to communicate effectively and reap the full benefits of the investment. By communicating broadly more people can follow the initiative and will feel involved, ultimately making it an organisation-level concern and goal.
- Question: Is there a document (publicly available in-house) stating the objectives of the initiative?
- Question: Is there a common understanding among the teams of the objectives of the initiative?
- Question: Is there a generalised dashboard available to all participants that shows the progress made on the initiative?
- GrimoireLab from Bitergia.
- Alambic from Castalia Solutions.
- Generic BI tools (elasticsearch, grafana, R/Python visualisations..) are a good fit too, when the proper connectors are setup according to the defined goals.
- Write down the objectives and roadmap of the Open-Source Governance.
- Communicate in-house about the actions and status of the initiative.
- Involve people in the definition of KPIs, in order to make sure that
- they are well understood,
- they provide a complete view of the needs and
- they are considered and followed.
- Build at least one dashboard that can be displayed for everybody (e.g. on a screen in the room), with essential indicators to show the progress and overall situation.
- The CHAOSS community has many good references and resources related to open-source indicators.
- A New Way of Measuring Openness: The Open Governance Index by Liz Laffan is an interesting reading about openness in open-source projects.
- Governance Indicators:A Users’ Guide is the UN's guide about governance indicators. Although it is applied to democracy, corruption and transparency of nations, the basics of measurement and indicators as applied to governance are well worth a read.
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