World’s Best Practice in OSS*

When it comes to OSS projects, I’ve worked in a dozen countries and been involved in almost every role including:

  • Chief Technical Officer
  • Program / Project Manager
  • Strategic Advisor
  • External Consultant
  • Enterprise Architect (across solutions including inventory, discovery, alarms, performance, provisioning, traffic engineering, line test management, service management, GIS / spatial tools, ticketing, service management, billing, etc)
  • Deployment Manager
  • Network Subject Matter Expert (SME) (across networks including SDH, DWDM, IP/data networks, DSL, ATM, inside plant, outside plant and others)
  • Data Modelling / Migration including SQL scripting
  • Training
  • Testing
  • Business analysis
  • Vendor selection – Tender creation and development
  • Bid management (customer side) and bid responses (bidder side)
  • Application prototyping (but not application development – eek)
  • Interface specification (but not mediation device coding – double-eek)
  • Commercial and contracts (but only in terms of identifying gotchas and negotiation strategies for the specialist teams, not the accounting stuff – too many accountants already in the family!)

I’ve worked for big carriers, small carriers, vendors, integrators and enterprise customers.
I’d like to think that this gives me a candid perspective on many of the angles within the OSS industry.

If you’re paying me to consult to you, do you think I’m going to tell you THE way that you MUST implement your OctopOSS? Not a chance! There is no such thing. If any expert (vendors, integrators, independent consultants, etc) tells you they can, it means they’re not going to be empathetic to your culture, your people, your combined skills/experiences, your politics, your processes, your network topologies, your constraints, your dependencies and your way of getting things done.

Every OctopOSS has unique challenges that will require an open mind. By all means, start with a deeply considered or even a standardised approach, but be flexible to change around customer-specific situations.

Unfortunately this makes me sound like the two-handed stockbroker… On one hand these stocks could go up, but on the other hand…..

I can tell you THE way if you really want, but I’d strongly recommend a collaborative approach as there will be context-specific tentacles on your OctopOSS that your staff will know more intimately than any outsider.

* BTW. I hate the term “World’s best practice” especially in the OSS context. It’s such a subjective term. Show me the stats to back up your claims and then I might start to see merit in this cliche

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