The OSS pyramid

“In most companies, the formal hierarchy is a matter of public record – it’s easy to discover who’s in charge of what. By contrast, natural leaders don’t appear on any organization chart.”
Gary Hamel.

In making the decision to take on a major new OSS project there is normally a significant hierarchy of individuals involved. Invariably the technologists will form the vast base of the pyramid, with many different technical insights / opinions to be considered.

Higher up the hierarchy the decisions are less technology-based and influenced more by business benefits, but generally by a much smaller number of people.

As a result, the total base of stakeholders will tend to have vast variances in drivers and influence. It pays to have content and presentations that suit the drivers of each layer in the pyramid when trying to initiate an OSS project. It also pays to have a rapport with each layer.

Then after a project is underway, the pyramid is also important because there can be so many different opinions and agendas at the base of the pyramid that key decisions have to escalate to avoid stagnation.

The Stakeholder Circle is one way to identify and visualise the key players in the decision-making process.

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