I recently attended an event where a brainstorming question was posed about how a particular next-gen OSS concept might fail. Interesting exercise!
There were a lot of super-clever technical people in the room. The brainstorming of ideas was a fascinating one. We dived deeply into the experiences of many of the technical people in the room and all the potential technical reasons for failure.
But I was left with an overwhelming feeling that:
- Most, if not all, of those technical hurdles could be overcome if given enough resources
- None of the more likely causes of failure were brought up, including:
- People-related factors (or organisational change factors) such as resistance to change, a shortage of skills in a nascent area, stakeholder management, lack of “champion” support if momentum slows, inability to reach consensus on scope / design, etc
- Financial viability factors such as inability to deliver on time/cost/scope, parallel operations and maintenance of legacy, lower additional benefit than predicted in the business case
That’s where I’ve noticed a greater proportion of OSS project failures anyway. Does this align with your experiences?Read the Passionate About OSS Blog for more or Subscribe to the Passionate About OSS Blog by Email