“A long, long time ago Dennis Haslinger told me that most of the most serious mistakes I would make in life would be bad ego decisions. I have found that to be true.”
OSS is an industry filled with highly intelligent people. In every country I’ve visited to work on OSS assignments, perhaps excluding Vietnam, my colleagues have been predominantly male. Dare I say it, do those two preceding facts imply a significant ego level exists on many (most?) OSS projects (or has it just been a coincidence that I’ve experienced)?
Given that OSS projects tend to cross business units, inter-departmental power plays like the one described in the Dilbert comic below can become just another potential pitfall.
To be honest, I can’t recall any examples where ego (mine or others) has lead to serious mistakes as such, but I’ve seen many cases where it’s lead to serious stagnation, delays in project delivery, that have been extremely costly.
Stakeholder management and change management are highly underestimated factors in the success of OSS projects.
PS. The “intellectual brilliance” link above also talks about the possible benefits of smart contracts in OSS delivery. I wonder whether smart contracts will reduce some of the ego-related stagnation on OSS projects, or simply shift it from the delivery phase to the up-front smart contract agreement phase, thus introducing more “what if scenario” stagnation?Read the Passionate About OSS Blog for more or Subscribe to the Passionate About OSS Blog by Email