“If the primary aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever.”
As we all know, OSS projects can be complex behemoths that have as many people-related issues as technically-related issues. More so than on most projects, OSS project sponsors need to be involved.
They can’t just be figurehead leaders and leave the project to others. They need to help with the organisational change aspects of a project by advising / guiding project management, removing obstacles, engaging with peers and promoting the project.
A project sponsor that is also acting as a strong project champion will always help to prevent a project from stagnating in unresolved issues. Looking back, each of the stagnating projects I’ve been involved with have also had project sponsors that were disinterested, not involved or not convinced about the merits of the project.
If you’re working with a CSP and commencing a new OSS project, if your project sponsors aren’t excited by the project, it’s up to you to inspire them. This preliminary effort is an important insurance policy for the project.