Objective

The term "open" has become popularly used to describe a variety of objects; software and technology, educational resources, education, etc. Ambiguity exists in the meaning of open. For example, open education, where anyone can enroll with only the requirement of a fee and no education, versus being available to anyone without cost. In addition to the ambiguity of open and what it enables, also lies ambiguity with the openness of  organizations.

Specifically to the success of open source software, many now invoke the label to describe their works or community, without guaranteeing the freedom to study, use, modify, and redistribute. Such activity can typically be described as open-washing--marketing the product or company to imply alignment with open source software licenses, communities and ethos--or fauxpen source--distributing software with modified licenses that are not approved by the OSI, meeting the Open Source Definition.

The "Openness Index" attempts to define open attributes while assessing the type of openness within the community of practice who's responsible for the design, development, and distribution of the open artifact.

Importantly, the "Openness Index" is not designed to assess the openness of any artifact, e.g. an object, software, OER, etc. claimed to be open—there are plenty of licenses that can be used to assess the openness of an object—but rather an the organization or community that creates and manages these artifacts.

Open Maturity Model:

Martin Fowler offers, "A maturity model is a tool that helps people assess the current effectiveness of a group, and supports figuring out what capabilities they need to acquire next in order to improve their performance" (martinfowler.com). Richard Caralli et. al. of Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute, defines maturity models more formally, "In its simplest form, a maturity model is a set of characteristics, attributes, indicators, or patterns that represent progression and achievement in a particular domain or discipline" (Maturity Models 101).

Building on this definition, the Openness Index attempts to assess an organization's current capabilities for developing open resources, and a road-map for continuous improvement in their particular discipline (e.g. open source software).  The higher the maturity, the higher the probability that incidents or errors will lead to improvements (and greater discipline across the organization), either in the quality of the artifacts or processes employed to develop those artifacts.

A popular example, the "Capability Maturity Model," describes a five-level evolutionary path of increasingly organized and systematically more mature processes. The Openness Index uses the same framework to access the maturity of an open project along a continuum from "initial" to "optimized".

  1. Initial/ Aware : (chaotic, ad hoc, individual heroics) - the starting point for use of a new or undocumented open project.
  2. Repeatable - openness is at least documented sufficiently such that repeating the same steps toward openness may be attempted.
  3. Defined - openness is defined/confirmed as a standard business process, and decomposed to levels 0, 1 and 2 (the latter being Work Instructions).
  4. Managed - openness is quantitatively managed in accordance with agreed-upon metrics (those of the OMM)
  5. Optimizing - openness management includes deliberate principle/process/practice optimization/improvement.

causality.pngCausality

Causality (also referred to as causation, or cause and effect) is the natural or worldly agency or efficacy that connects one process (the cause) with another process or state (the effect), where the first is partly responsible for the second, and the second is partly dependent on the first.

The Openness Index includes the application of causality, that is, conditions for maturing organizations. These include:

  • Necessary & sufficient cause: To say X is necessary and sufficient to cause Y is to say two things:
    1. X is necessary to cause Y, and X is also sufficient to cause Y,
    2. X and Y are necessary for the other to exist.
  • Sufficient cause: If we say that X is a sufficient condition for Y, then we mean that if we have X, we know that y must follow. In other words, X guarantees Y.
  • Necessary cause: If we say that X is a necessary condition for Y, we mean that if we don't have X, then we won't have Y. Or put differently, without X, you won't have Y. To say that X is a necessary condition for Y does not mean that X guarantees Y.

Openness Values

Courage

'Courage is a sufficient cause for 'Participation'

Courage is sufficient to participate in openness, however participants may be motivated by other causes, such as: a condition of employment; direction from a supervisor; peer pressure; or, a hidden agenda—perhaps to influence (or sabotage) direction.

Individual Courage: The willingness to proclaim oneself, or a project, open

  • Initial: The individual is aware of openness as an alternative to traditional practices.
    • Evidence : Artifacts exist, and are publicly accessible, citing the individual's awareness of openness or open communities, open organizations, open organizational models, etc.
    • Example: The individual has written a blog post which indicates they are aware of open models. The individual references an open community of practice as part of their work or interests.
  • Repeatable: When challenged, or new situations/issues/opportunities arise, the individual constantly references open models, alternatives and/or communities of practice as alternatives to traditional models/approaches.
    • Evidence: Multiple examples exist of artifacts referencing openness, open communities of practice, etc. related to a variety of resources, projects, initiatives, etc. These examples include multiple/alternative references for each resource, project or initiative.
    • Examples: An email exchange related to decision making processes, gathering requirements, or project management, includes references to Red Hat's "Open Organization," PayPal's "Inner-sourcing," and Eric Raymond's, "The Cathedral and the Bazaar." 
  • Defined: The benefit(s) of openness can be articulated by the individual.
    • Evidence: Artifacts describing how open principles and practices contribute to an individual's body of work or a community of practice.
    • Example: A business proposal submitted to a colleague includes a description of the benefits associated with open source software. 
  • Managed: The values enabling openness (adopting and behaving in an open way) can be articulated and recognized by the individual.
    • Evidence: Artifacts describing how the benefits of openness are enabled through specific behaviors, principles and values. 
    • Example: An analysis of a recent project where open practices (and the associated benefits and values) where attempted.
  • Optimizing: The individual continually reviews and updates artifacts related to his/her understanding of openness, its benefits and enabling values.  
    • Evidence: A growing body of knowledge/documentation referenced by the individual. A growing network of peers with related interests in openness.
    • Example: A wiki page history documenting ongoing learning, continuous interest, deeper understanding, and broader applicability with more references to open communities of practice.

How this individual may behave..."
The individual regularly articulates the promise, ideals, or benefits of openness. For example, using language common to open initiatives and communities of practice, referencing aspects of the open ethos, writing a personal blog on openness, tweeting on the benefits of openness, citing/referencing open source projects or initiatives as exemplars...

Organizational Courage: The willingness to declare an organization or project open

  • Initial: The organization includes openness as an alternative to traditional practices.
    • Evidence : Artifacts exist, and are publicly accessible, citing the organization's awareness of openness or open communities, open organizations, open organizational models, etc.
    • Example: An featured speaker on openness was included in an event coordinated by the organization.
  • Repeatable: When challenged, or new situations/issues/opportunities arise, the organization constantly references open models, alternatives and/or communities of practice as alternatives to traditional models/approaches.
    • Evidence: Multiple examples exist of artifacts referencing openness, open communities of practice, etc. related to a variety of resources, projects, initiatives, etc. These examples include multiple/alternative references for each resource, project or initiative.
    • Examples: An email exchange related to decision making processes, gathering requirements, or project management, includes references to Red Hat's "Open Organization," PayPal's "Inner-sourcing," and Eric Raymond's, "The Cathedral and the Bazaar." 
  • Defined: The benefit(s) of openness can be articulated by the organization.
    • Evidence: Artifacts describing how open principles and practices contribute to an organization's business practices, products and services, etc.
    • Example: A new team in the organization describes the benefits associated with open communities of practice. 
  • Managed: The values enabling openness (adopting and behaving in an open way) can be articulated and recognized by the organization.
    • Evidence: Artifacts describing how the benefits of openness are enabled through specific behaviors, principles and values. 
    • Example: An analysis of a recent project where open practices (and the associated benefits and values) where attempted.
  • Optimizing: The organization continually reviews and updates artifacts related to his/her understanding of openness, its benefits and enabling values.  
    • Evidence: A growing body of knowledge/documentation referenced by the individual. A growing network of peers with related interests in openness.
    • Example: A wiki page history documenting ongoing learning, continuous interest, deeper understanding, and broader applicability with more references to open communities of practice.

What this organization may behave..."
The organization regularly articulates the promise, ideals, or benefits of openness. For example, using language common to open initiatives and communities of practice, referencing aspects of the open ethos, writing a corporate blog on openness, tweeting on the benefits of openness, citing/referencing open source projects or initiatives as exemplars...

Participation

'Participation' is a necessary cause for 'Honesty' to emerge.

Participation is necessary in order to be honest. While there is no guarantee of honesty among those who participate, one must participate in order to be honest.

Individual Participation: Involvement with or within a project, initiative or organization that has identified itself to be open. Individual Participation: Involvement with or within a project, initiative or organization that has identified itself to be open.

  • Initial: The individual has publicly associated themselves with an organization.
    • Evidence: Membership, attendance, presence within an open community of practice.
    • Example: Signed up for SourceForge; attended a Moodle Conference; joined the Educause Openness CG ListServ.
  • Repeatable: The individual engages consistently with the organization and consistently references their involvement.
    • Evidence: Activity and interactivity within an open community of practice.
    • Example: Facilitated a open community's conference session; engaged on the ListServ of an open community.
  • Defined: The individual has established a specific role with or within the organization.
    • Evidence: Participation is defined/confirmed as a standard business process.
    • Example: The individual holds a recognized role within an open community of practice;
  • Managed: The individual has undertaken specific responsibilities with the organization.
    • Evidence: Participation is quantitatively managed in accordance with agreed-upon metrics.
    • Example:
  • Optimizing: The individual assesses and validates/redefines their role and responsibilities in the organization.
    • Evidence: Participation management includes deliberate participation optimization/improvement.
    • Example:

What this individual might look like...
The organization practices decision-making processes that allow anybody to provide input, and publicly shares that input. The organization considers input, and their opinions of that input through publicly available discussions on the topics under consideration. The processes for soliciting and collecting input, managing and sharing contributions and discussions, and sharing the results and rationale for final decisions is also publicly available for audit and input. The open organization will not only tell the community what their final decision is, and why they came to that decision, they will also share how that decision was made (processes).

What this organization might look like...
The organization has in practice decision making processes that allow anybody to provide input and publicly render an opinion on the topic
and the process. For example, decisions for procurement of goods and investments in initiatives.

Honesty

'Honesty' is necessary and sufficient cause for 'Maturity'

Honesty requires sincerity, directness and specificity, where actions and statements are free from bias or dogma and motivated to
achieve the goals and objectives of the initiative. Reflection (assessment) of one's ideas and self can only be genuine if one is honest.
Individual: Participants engage directly (i.e. straightforwardly), truthfully and authentically with the organization.Initial:
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Organizational: The organization engages directly (i.e. straightforwardly), truthfully and authentically with the participants.
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Reflection: Knowing one's limits or failures is fundamental to acknowledging them, however recognizing one's limitations does not mean one
would admit to them or correct them. Humility accepts that current ideas, drivers, approaches, expectations, values might change and readily
accepts those.
Individual: Participants reflect on, assess and reconsider, both their own and others, current and previous engagements.
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Organizational: The Organization reflects on, assesses and reconsiders, both their own and others, current and previous engagements.
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Humility: The scope of competency and capacity.
Individual: The individual understands how they canand cannotcontribute to a project and what that contribution provides them.
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Organizational: The organization understands how it canand cannotcontribute to an objective and what that contribution provides them.
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Principles
Communication: Communication is necessary for transparency in openness. While some individuals/organizations may provide communication,
this may be promotional, marketing or spin rather than actual policies, processes and practices. Yet in order for transparency to exist at all in
openness, some form of communication must take place that conveys information and exposes organizational artifacts.
Individual: Participants actively share information with the organization.
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Transparency: Transparency, or access to and discover-ability, of information, contributes to the development of affinity groups (self-organizing,
self-interested, self-motivated, self-directed). If an organization provides access to information, individuals can find topics of interest and others
who share those interests. Groups cannot effectively organize or contribute without knowing organizational details.
Individual: Information created by or managed by participants is discoverable by the organization.
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Self-organization: A group of at least two people is sufficient for collaboration in openness. However collaboration can occur outside of
self-organizing groups, such as committees, departments, etc. who collaborate as part of their jobs or who may have been appointed, rather than
based on an affinity for the topic.
Participation, roles and direction is based on personal or professional affinity
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Collaboration: Collaboration contributes to evidence-based decision-making but is not necessary. Individuals can use evidence in governance.
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What this organization might look like...Evidence-based decision-making: Evidence-based decision making provides a rationale for organisational investment in, and the prioritisation
of actions and behaviours (initiatives). The effect(iveness) of evidence-based decision making is in part a function of communication and
transparency, without which organisational participants may not undertand why or how a variety of decisions are made reducing their ability
to effectively participate. The notion of evidence-based decision making is tied closely to outcomes monitoring and analysis, and underpins the
organisation's ability to function as a meritocracy.
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Meritocracy: Meritocracy allows the separation of title, role and other personal and professional trappings from ideas. The individual,
under particular circumstances is measured by the merit of their idea, and the idea is judged by the circumstances under which is is being
considered. It is virtually impossible to achieve this form of meritocracy without an organisational culture that values humility.
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Objectives
Simplicity: Simplicity refers to the state of an organisation and the practice of selecting processes, language, and outcomes that have the lowest
concept, administration, and work burdon that meet requirements. Simplicity reduces barriers to understanding and overhead costs, allowing
more resources to be invested in the goals of the community.
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What this organization might look like...Emergence: From
simplicity emerges complexity. Emergence is the creation of outcomes that are irreducible to its
constituant parts - that is, it is the creation of something new and more complex that the constituents without a
formal externally imposed plan. Through emergence, organisations can expect:
radical novelty through the appearance of characteristics and qualities that were not previously observed in the organisation;
coherence or correlation, providing stable and integrated wholes that maintain themselves over some period of time;
the benefits of evolutionary dynamic processes and outcomes that by definition are suited to and a reflection of their
environment;
the benefits of supervenience, is which the nature of emergent outcomes are influenced by the organisational culture, but are
not reducible. (reference to Emergence as a Construct: History and Issues , by Jeffrey Goldstein : http://www.anecdote.com.au/papers/Emergen
ceAsAConsutructIssue1_1_3.pdf )
Through emergence, the organisation can enjoy the complexity of sophisticated outcomes, while managing simplicity.
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Incremental Development: Engaging in discovery, design, and creation of any artefact, pattern, or idea in simple discreet iterative cycles, such
that mesurable outcomes may be assessed at a reasonably small level of granularity. As such, incremental development allows
for adjustments to desired outcomes, expectations, prioritisation, processes, and workload at a level that
promotes organisational effectiveness and efficiency.
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Rapid Feedback: Rapid feedback is essential to incremental development and allows for relevant, timely, and working products, which
enhances productivity, a sense of clear direction, and improves alignment with changing requirements.
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Continuous Feedback: Continuous feedback supports continuous improvement and enhances the likelihood that requirements are met as
they evolve with low relative investments in rework.
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Created by Patrick Masson on 2014.12.15 at 11:34:36 PST
    

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