Open Source Project Management Can Be Risky Business


The Linux kernel is the core of all Android devices, and nearly a third of all Internet traffic rides on just one openly developed project, Netflix. (Read the excellent article in Time magazine about this.) How does the choice of using open source software as part of a project plan affect the amount and type of risk to a project within an organization?

Risk is both a perception and a reality. Tools help us move from perception toward reality the same way good thermometers helped us move from very generalized use of the terms hot and cold to more specific quantifiable temperatures (see an example in Google). Over time we’ve adopted different standards and techniques for discussing specific temperatures, which depend on the audience and the standard’s limitations. Kelvin, Celsius, Fahrenheit, and even RealFeel are now established standards for measuring temperature.