Open Strategy: Tools for planning of FOSS Projects and Communities

This is a placeholder for a Best Practice pattern about Open Strategy. It is based on the following assumption:

Many FOSS projects would benefit from following a more strategic approach to their software development process.

Especially as projects grow larger or are more ambitious and complex Strategy has a prominent place in the #fsdl. It doesn’t stand on its own and will get input from Vision and Product Development related activities.

To gauge ideas on FOSS versus Strategy I sent a poll on the Fediverse, and it created one of the largest discussion threads I’ve been involved in. Here’s the poll post: wrote:

Is #Strategy for #FOSS?

Taking a strategic approach to software development projects. Have a vision, outline strategies, create a plan, act on it. Does it happen in FOSS world?

Searching on strategy gives pages full of biz this, commercial that, capitalistic BS.

Would FOSS benefit from being more strategic? There’s this concept called #OpenStrategy and it could be adapted, populated with practices that are useful for teams, communities, and the commons.

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One good tool to adapt from the business world to fit FOSS communities is the Strategy Jam:

Strategy Jam diagram with pre-Jam preparation, the Jam itself, and post-Jam retrospective

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The Strategy Jam looks alot like agile / sprint related project management to me which I think some communities already use.
As you mention adapting I think the biggest change would be in 5., as the BDFL concept has issues, so a more collaborative approach should be benifitial especially for a comunity that wants to write free software. I also found a series of articles already put more thought into this than me: What's wrong with traditional product ownership - Part 1 of 3 - andre.schweighofer


Thanks for signing up and posting @nicole and welcome to Social Coding :slight_smile:

Yes, it would be good to have exemplar community-driven projects to learn from. Some were mentioned in the Open Strategy discussion thread (though very big projects, where a professional and strategic approach is a must). With the Jam I was also thinking of how @Houkime organizes FediJams (friendly game hackathons) and how multi-project ecosystems might strategize together. Here specifically coming to mind are the Forge Federation efforts that @dachary (forgefriends) and @realaravinth (forgeflux) are involved with (as well as starting Hostea together). Here not only the ‘compound’ forge federation community is wholly open and non-hierarchical, but forgefriends and hostea are too, and fully transparent as well.

I like the article you passed, especially the last part that highlights tools and guidance. I’ve been product owner myself before, and recognize the issues. In those agile methods supposedly teams should be multi-disciplinary, but with everyone having fixed roles in practice a team easily becomes a silo with the product owner the translator of needs from the ‘outside world’ to tech talk.

In that setting (and frankly most IT organizations I’ve worked in) The Why is not a commonly understood concept. This is where shared vision, strategy and collaborative ownership should bring improvement. That brings me to Continuous Improvement mentioned in the article. I find that very important, and warrants a separate best-practice.

Note btw that the intention is to fit these best-practices in a crowdsourced pattern library that covers the entire Free Software Development Lifecycle (FSDL). See category #fsdl

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