Red Hat Releases Framework That Can Drive Successful FOSS Projects

by Ostatic Staff - Jun. 07, 2016

In pushing open source projects forward, making good decisions matters, and Red Hat happens to use an in-house tool to help guide its decision making related to its technology projects. It's called the Open Decision Framework, and consists of the company's collection of its own best practices for making decisions and leading projects.

Now, the company has announced the release of a community version of the Open Decision Framework. "The framework can help decision-makers communicate transparently, seek out diverse perspectives, collaborate more effectively across distributed teams, and limit unanticipated impacts of business projects and decisions," the company claims.

Recently, Red Hat became the first company exclusively focused on open source projects to hit $2 billion in annual revenues.  Its unique business model of supplying strong support for open source software continues to work well.

According to the company, the new community edition framework is directly related to how the company has advanced its open source projects:

"Red Hat's open culture – rooted in transparency, collaboration and meritocracy – was highlighted in The Open Organization, by Jim Whitehurst, the company's president and CEO. Red Hat created the Open Decision Framework to help sustain and scale its open culture as it grew. As interest in open source – both in technology and as the basis of open management and culture – has taken off, Red Hat has received a number of requests from outside organizations interested in learning how to apply open source principles within their own organizations. By making its Open Decision Framework available, Red Hat hopes to empower business leaders, decision-makers, and project managers to learn from the experiences of Red Hatters and contribute their own findings back to the community."

 The Open Decision Framework focuses on how to take five open source principles--open exchange, participation, meritocracy, community, and “release early, release often”--and put them into practice throughout the process of making a decision or leading a project. "The framework is flexible and offers practical steps designed to help teams collaborate with each other, identify and engage stakeholders, manage competing needs and priorities, communicate tradeoffs and business requirements, and improve decision-making," claims Red Hat.

DeLisa Alexander, executive vice president and chief people officer at Red Hat said:

“When people read The Open Organization, they often ask us how we make open and inclusive decision-making work at Red Hat. We created the Open Decision Framework to articulate the lessons Red Hatters have learned by trial and error, based on our experiences working both at Red Hat and in open source communities. We're excited to launch this community version so that others can adapt it to fit their own organizations and projects, and share their improvements upstream."

 The Open Decision Framework is available under a Creative Commons license and is on GitHub.