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OSPOs: A Key Lever for Open Source Sustainability

OSPOs: A Key Lever for Open Source Sustainability

Enabling continuity in executive support, funding, software development practices, and OSS project prioritization is crucial. Within organizations, the Open Source Program Office's (OSPO) role can include setting code use, distribution, selection, auditing, and other policies, as well as training developers, ensuring legal compliance, and promoting and building community engagement.

OSPOs bring many benefits to both the open source ecosystem and organizations in equal parts. However, sometimes, the path to follow is unclear.

During this session, Ana will share a set of actionable tips based on the TODO community's learnings that any organization can implement to start building their Minimal Viable OSPOs, as well as ways to overcome ongoing challenges such as culture, tooling, process, and continuity.

This talk welcomes any open source professional, CTO, or executives willing to catalyze their organization's open source operations and become better citizens in the open source development community.

Ana Jimenez

March 13, 2023

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  1. Objectives > Ways organizations are addressing OS Sustainability > Role

    of OSPOs in supporting open source sustainability > Community learnings and best practices > Q&A and open discussion
  2. Important Considerations OSPOs vary in Sector, Region, and Organizational Size

    May Exclude the Term 'Program' to become 'Open Source Office' No Two OSPOs are Alike
  3. As en entity Center of expertise, either virtual or physical,

    that supports, nurtures, shares, explains, and grows open source within an organization. > Set policies related to code use, distribution, selection, auditing, and other key areas > Provide education and training to internal and external stakeholders involved in open source activities > Ensure legal compliance > Promote community engagement https://github.com/todogroup/ospodefinition.org
  4. As a Role An OSPO role can be conceived as

    an umbrella term, covering the responsibilities for defining and implementing strategies and policies that guide open source efforts and provide tools, processes, knowledge and education to organization teams and experts in navigating open source while helping to its sustainability.
  5. Enabler OSPO roles can help organizations navigate the cultural, process,

    and tool changes required to engage with the open source community effectively. • Educating teams • Establishing new processes and workflows • Adopting new tools and technologies
  6. Counselor OSPO roles can provide guidance and advice on the

    latest open source trends, licensing issues, and how to engage with open source projects, foundations, and communities. This can help organizations stay up-to-date with the rapidly changing open source landscape and ensure they are making informed decisions.
  7. Advocate OSPOs can promote the use and/or contribution of open

    source and best practices across different organizational units. This can help organizations realize the benefits of open source as well as engaging people to contribute to open source projects or start new ones
  8. Environmentalist OSPOs can help organizations support and sustain open source

    projects in the long term by addressing issues such as security, maintenance, and project health. This can involve establishing policies and procedures for code review, security vulnerability management, and ongoing maintenance and support through funding and/or contributions. By doing so, OSPOs can help ensure that open source projects remain healthy and continue to benefit the wider community.
  9. ☑ Culture Evaluate the culture within your organization to determine

    if it is conducive to open source operations Is there a culture of collaboration and sharing? Are the different actors that will be or are currently involved in open source willing to contribute to open source projects?
  10. ☑ Knowledge and Understanding Evaluate the level of knowledge and

    understanding of open source within your organization. Are the different actors that will be or are currently involved in open source familiar with open source licensing models and requirements? Do they understand the benefits and risks of using open source software?
  11. ☑ Open Source Software (or open works) Usage Evaluate the

    level of open source software usage within your organization. Are there any specific open source projects that are widely used? Are there any projects that are critical to the organization's operations?
  12. ☑ Tools and Processes Evaluate the tools and processes in

    place to support open source operations. Are there any existing tools or processes that can be leveraged for open source operations? Are there any gaps in tools or processes that need to be addressed?
  13. ☑ Addressing Gaps Determine if there are any gaps in

    open source adoption or readiness and develop a plan to address them. This may include training those actors that will be or are currently involved in open source on open source software usage and licensing, developing new tools and processes to support open source operations, or establishing an OSPO to coordinate open source activities.
  14. > Establishing an OSPO without proper alignment with organizational goals

    > Treating an OSPO as a separate silo within the organization > Treating an OSPO as a legal or compliance function only > Viewing an OSPO as a one-size-fits-all solution
  15. Not handling correctly Open Source can harm the open source

    environment Same happens if not handling correctly an OSPO
  16. 1) Assess open source readiness • What does open source

    means for the organization? • Is there an open source culture within the organization? • What are the organization's goals and objectives for using open source? • How is open source software currently being used and /or created (contribution) within the organization? • If any, what are the current policies and procedures for managing open source software within the organization? • What are the key legal and compliance considerations for using open source software within the organization?
  17. 2) Assess OSPO readiness > What are the challenges and

    opportunities for implementing an OSPO within the organization? > What resources and support will be needed to successfully implement an OSPO within the organization?
  18. 3) Focus on transmission knowledge 💻 Manage: What’s my team

    doing? Report: What does my supervisor expects? Does the other teams understand the message? Does the other teams finds it valuable? Maintainers Independent Projects Foundations Communities What is the method of integration?
  19. Rough Schema from one of the OSPO Book Project brainstorm

    sessions Credits to the original creators: https://lists.todogroup.org/g/ospo-boo k-project/message/4 Inclusive knowledge transmission is key Matrix of experts
  20. Data is a global language Have you ever heard of

    the OSPO Data Scientist role? Umbrella topic: - Data Hygiene - Open Source Analysis - Open Source Data Engineering
  21. OSPO Roles (People) Organization Needs (Profit) Open Source Communities (Planet)

    OSPO Role Sustainability Open Source Sustainability 4) Look at Sustainability from both angles
  22. Takeaways Do open source actors know who to contact in

    your organization? OSPOs are responsible for representing the organization in the open source ecosystem and engaging with other open source actors in a positive and constructive way.
  23. Takeaways Assess open source to identify areas where the organization

    may need to build expertise or make organizational changes to support open source efforts Foster self-discovery
  24. Takeaways Include open source transmission knowledge To build healthy and

    meaningful connections, OSPOs must be skilled at communication, relationship-building, and community engagement.
  25. > Formerly at Bitergia Spent +3 years experience helping organizations

    in their InnerSource and Open Source metrics journey > OSPO PM at TODO Group of practitioners advocating for #OSPO education and adoption across organizations worldwide through networking, training, research, guides, tools and more > MSc in Data Science > Involved in other OS Communities
  26. Q&A