Success leaves footprints… and so does failure.
This statement is probably true in any field but especially so in OSS. One of the reasons I follow the OSS industry so closely is because I’m always on the lookout for clues. Clues that track both sets of footprints to understand why.
An organisation that consistently gets no tangible improvements on their multi-million dollar OSS investments, yet still keeps up an approach of tinkering at edges is not following the footprints. An organisation that has had multiple revolutionary transformations and is still not getting good outcomes is also not following the footprints.
The footprints often come in derivatives of OSS complexity. It could also be the people, it could be the organisational structure, it could be the pyramid of pain. It could be the chess-board analogy. Projects could be failing in change management (or lack thereof).
A long time ago I did a five-whys analysis, which probably needs an update but still sheds some light on the topic.
But more importantly, where do you observe the footprints of success? What can you take from those clues?Read the Passionate About OSS Blog for more or Subscribe to the Passionate About OSS Blog by Email