It is impossible to capture precisely and on a simple scale a detailed assessment of an IT department’s open source skills. What’s more, the skills required for any particular implementation can vary widely, depending on the maturity of the open source project. The goal of this model, then, is not to create an authoritative aptitude test, but rather, to help an IT department understand what skills are required to use open source projects in different situations.
The Open Source Skills and Risk Tolerance model will serve four purposes:
It is a guide to self-assessment that can combat the frequent over-optimism of IT departments and technologists in general. All technologists feel in their hearts like highly skilled innovators. The descriptions presented of the specific skills an IT department has to have at each level can assist in making a sober judgment about what sort of open source is appropriate.
It gives the authors a quick way to talk about what sort of skill level will be needed in the later chapters that review specific open source projects.
In understanding the skills required at each level, an IT department will be able to create an organized plan for creating and improving institutional skills so that the cost of using open source drops and the potential value created from using open source grows.
If an IT department chooses to use consultants to help in evaluating and implementing open source, the model provides a framework for evaluating the skills ...