Enterprise Best Practices – Github is the new groupware

gear-iconRecently I’ve upgraded this CBPN web portal with a number of additional Cloud tools, most notably a Github implementation and Aha.io for PLM, integrating the two with the view that product roadmaps will drive outputs that populate a Github catalogue.

Enterprise Best Practices

These are best practices that can be re-applied by any organization for any purpose. I’m using it to collaboratively build Cloud Solution Roadmaps, however the key message is that platforms like Github can be used for any mass collaboration purpose.

As the name suggests ‘Enterprise Best Practices’ simply refers to an approach to corporate KM – Knowledge Management, that is based on the definition and implementation of a best practices system.

These aren’t new, eg ISO procedures, but they’re usually documented into massive paper manuals that sit lonely on shelves for years, and serve little value for the organization, indeed they are often looked upon as constrictive bureaucracy.

github_flowLeverage the Github Flow – Bring Agile to the Whole Organization

Therefore the key distinction now are the Cloud apps available to modernize the approach, and instead offer an approach of platform empowerment.

There are a plethora of different group collaboration tools that are relevant, but Github is the keystone because it enables the core best practice sharing dynamic – The ‘Github Flow‘.

In short you need an actual method of instantiating the best practice as a repeatable asset, and one that can be upgraded via a feedback loop from real-world implementation. This is exactly what the Master / Branching principles of Git enable, and what scratches the itch of an empowering model.

Github Collaboration Model – Bringing Agile to the Whole Organization

So why not just use Github? What additional value does Enterprise Best Practices add to the equation?

In short this is explained by the design goal I have been working to for developing these practices and how the apps may be used, defined by a sequence of two articles:

  • As ReadWrite explores it’s been used for everything from co-writing books to lawyers writing up legal documents. In our case it will be businesses and experts who are pioneering the use of Cloud computing.

devops1The core market dynamic I am pursuing is one Harvard describe as Bringing Agile to the Whole Organization, ie the generalization of working practices developed initially by software developers: Agile, Extreme, etc.

The ReadWrite article explores this effect – Teams from academics to book writers are employing the same Github-based, versioning system approach to collaboration.

In other words how can the whole enterprise ‘go DevOps’, resulting in an effect where the use of Github becomes so common and universal it could be described as the modern ‘groupware’, the app category used to describe the early collaboration tools like Lotus Notes.

However of course the challenge they run into is that it is still exactly that, ie a tool set for software developers, and so while you can define a sub-set of features to use ideally what you need is an entirely abstracted interface, one that exposes only the functionality that are relevant to end users, and even better tailored for their specific business scenarios (books, sales reports, .. etc.).

repo1As I am demonstrating with Cloudbestpractices.net, one way to achieve this abstraction is via apps like WordPress, where the ‘user interface’ is delivered first via the web community, with Github functions plugged into the site, eg the NFVaaS Repository.

The first simple feature is simply embedding a specific repository for download, and as the site develops I’ll be showing further ways WordPress-based community users can interact with Github repositories, forming the feature set for Enterprise Best Practices.

Neil McEvoy
About Neil McEvoy 18 Articles
Founder and CEO of the Cloud Best Practices Network.

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