Inner Source Project Management

M. Höst, K. Stol and A. Oručević-Alagić (2014) Inner Source Project Management, in: G. Ruhe & C. Wohlin, Project Management in a Changing World, Springer.

Software development organizations are continuously looking for better ways to manage their projects. An emerging approach to achieve this is Inner Source, which refers to the adoption of Open Source development practices within the confines of an organization. With an Inner Source approach, individuals, teams, and departments within an organization can start software projects, very similar to the Open Source model. This affects the way projects are managed in a variety of ways. Firstly, it will affect strategic aspects such as a software sourcing strategy that includes decisions on which software can be “Inner-Sourced.” Secondly, at the tactical level, organizations should choose an appropriate Inner Source adoption model that suits the goals and scope of the organization. Finally, it will affect the operational aspects of a project, for example, in the way different people across a whole organization can access the source code and make improvements. Further- more, Inner Source makes communication much more transparent. While Inner Source offers a variety of potential benefits to an organization, there are also a number of challenges to address. This chapter discusses how the introduction of Inner Source may affect conventional software developing environments and especially how it affects software project management aspects. Based on our studies and those presented in the literature, it outlines a number of benefits of Inner Source as well as a number of challenges and some suggestions as to how they can be addressed.