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Open Source Health Factors Project


The Open Source Health Factors Project is an initiative undertaken by the Sakai community and Longsight, Inc., to identify the key factors that underpin successful open source projects. Once the factors are identified, we will develop and test an accessible self-assessment tool that any open source project can use to understand and improve how they perform.


The Open Source Health Factors Project envisions several phases:

Phase 1: Literature Review (Complete, Fall 2019)

This phase of the project reviewed research on open source projects, popular literature on open source projects, and relevant organizational development and community of practice literature. It generated a preliminary list of 8 health factors in 3 categories. Results were shared at the Sakai Virtual Conference in November 2019.

Phase 2: Community Engagement (In Progress, Spring 2020)

This phase involves three ways to engage with the Sakai community to gather additional data on the validity of the preliminary health factors identified in Phase 1. These three approaches include: surveying the Sakai Community for their perspectives on what makes open source communities successful or unsuccessful; observations of the Sakai community in the course of its work; interviews with key Sakai community members.

Phase 3: Assessment Development and Testing

Phase 3 calls for the creation of a tool or process that would allow self-assessment by open source projects with regards to their effectiveness as regards each health factor. Once created, the tool would then be tested with volunteer open source communities and data collected on its effectiveness and usefulness.


Phase 1

     Phase 1 Literature Review

     Phase 1 Report (Presentation)

Phase 2

     Phase 2 Plan

     Health Factors Survey

     Sakai Camp Report 

     Open Apereo 2020 (Presentation)

     Phase 2 Report 

Phase 3

     Draft Health Factors Assessment

     Phase 3 Report


Governance of the project is overseen by a small working team representing the Sakai Community and Longsight, Inc.

Josh Wilson, Longsight

Martin Ramsey, LAMP Consortium and CEATH, Inc.

David Wedaman, OD Researcher and Consultant

Jennifer Burns, Senior Researcher


For information, please contact David Wedaman at

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