Inner Source Project Management

  • Martin Höst
  • Klaas-Jan Stol
  • Alma Oručević-Alagić


Software development organizations are continuously looking for better ways to manage their projects. An emerging approach to achieve this is Inner Source, which refers to the adoption of Open Source development practices within the confines of an organization. With an Inner Source approach, individuals, teams, and departments within an organization can start software projects, very similar to the Open Source model. This affects the way projects are managed in a variety of ways. Firstly, it will affect strategic aspects such as a software sourcing strategy that includes decisions on which software can be “Inner-Sourced.” Secondly, at the tactical level, organizations should choose an appropriate Inner Source adoption model that suits the goals and scope of the organization. Finally, it will affect the operational aspects of a project, for example, in the way different people across a whole organization can access the source code and make improvements. Furthermore, Inner Source makes communication much more transparent. While Inner Source offers a variety of potential benefits to an organization, there are also a number of challenges to address. This chapter discusses how the introduction of Inner Source may affect conventional software developing environments and especially how it affects software project management aspects. Based on our studies and those presented in the literature, it outlines a number of benefits of Inner Source as well as a number of challenges and some suggestions as to how they can be addressed.


Open Source Project Management Open Source Software Business Unit Software Product Line 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors wish to thank Brian Fitzgerald for useful feedback on an earlier draft of this chapter. This work was conducted within the ITEA2-SCALARE project, supported by Vinnova and Enterprise Ireland, and further by Science Foundation Ireland grant 10/CE/I1855 to Lero — the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre (, and by the Industrial Excellence Center EASE—Embedded Applications Software Engineering (


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Höst
    • 1
  • Klaas-Jan Stol
    • 2
  • Alma Oručević-Alagić
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceLund UniversityLundSweden
  2. 2.Lero—The Irish Software Engineering Research CentreUniversity of LimerickLimerickIreland

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