Bridging the OSS chasm

You don’t need to be better. You need to be different.”
Chase Jarvis
. and my book came into existence due to a distinct gap in the OSS market that I’d noticed again and again whilst on customer assignments. As represented in the diagram below, there was a major disconnect between the Technology Context and the Business Context as it related to OSS people, projects, processes, contracts.

In a nutshell, the technologists tended to focus on the OSS technology without understanding much about the business context or why executive stakeholders had resourced the OSS. Similarly, the executive stakeholders often didn’t know much about the ramifications of funding an OSS in terms of resources, risks, etc. As such, there is often a divide in communications in terms of jargon, priorities / objectives, emotional drivers, etc.

There are always two sides (or at least there has been on every project I can recall) and neither can get an OSS project across the line without the other. The technologists are required to evaluate the technical fit-for-purpose and the executive sponsors are required to approve the organisational fit-for-purpose. bridges that disconnect in many different ways:

  • Assisting CSPs and enterprise with their vendor selection processes by helping to capture the technical and organisational requirements and aligning them with workable vendor / integrator solutions
  • Preparing business cases that document the technical components and estimates the business value, risks, change, etc of implementing them
  • Conducting strategic consultancies that provide direction for the executive in terms of budget and resource allocations, change management, risk mitigation, etc and closely ties it into realisable technological solutions (unlike some of the illustrious management consultancy firms perhaps?)
  • Preparing road-maps that outline product / service trends that form future revenue streams versus the technology platforms required to deliver them
  • Facilitating projects between vendors / integrators and their customers
  • Training, integration, project / program management, communications, documentation, tendering, stakeholder management, etc

Who are the people within your organisation that act as the bridge between business and technology contexts? Is it an area that your teams need to get better at?

If you do need the support of a consultant / engineer / connector who constantly deals with both business and technology contexts, leave me a message about your particular situation in the form below.

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