The Open by Design approach describes a set of methods and best practices around open, collaborative methods and how organizations share knowledge, work, or influence in order to shape a market or community towards their business goals.
In the context of GitLab, we will primarily focus on creating methods and best practices for meaningfully engaging contributors throughout our product development process.
Industry research carried out by Mozilla and CIID, resulted in a framework for Considering the Benefits of Open Practices.
Below are the benefits of adopting Open Practices:
In the study of organizations that are building value using open practices and the literature of Open Innovation, they furthermore distilled six major ways of building value together with an outside community or organization.
In the detailed research report, you can find further information, especially regarding the various Open Practises models.
Before we dive more into the specifics of applying the Open by Design Approach at GitLab, it's essential to understand the differences with the Open by Default approach.
Open by Default is open-sourcing a project without providing the necessary resources and support to enable contributions.
Here are some of the most common mistakes open source projects make in the effort of opening their source code:
GitLab exists today largely thanks to the work of a vast community of open source contributors around the world. As a company, we are deeply committed to being a good steward of the GitLab Open Source project.
Applying/implementing Open Practises will allow us to increase community participation while decreasing friction, resulting in faster product development and innovation.
As a starting point, a team at GitLab doesn't necessarily have to adopt a specific Open Model from the framework, rather identify the necessary changes towards increasing participation.
The Code Contributor Program manager can immediately work with you to identify small and easy changes that will meaningfully support community contributions while you work on a long-term plan for radically increasing contributions.