PloneGov: a Community open to collaboration
Cities, regions and public agencies participating in the PloneGov initiative are developping cross collaboration. They help each other and form a large open source Community. Private sector is also involved, bringing technical expertize to the public sector developers. Every one is welcome to join the project and support the Community.
The PloneGov Community
The PloneGov initiative is always open to new collaboration. It now has approximately 70 municipalities as members, in 18 countries and 3 continents, who are working together to develop the software they need. The Plone open source Community inspired the project’s structure. Like with most other FLOSS communities, there are few formal governance structures, no membership fee and no formal association.
When Joël Lambillotte, the IT manager of the town of Sambreville, Belgium, first made contact with the Plone community in 2005, what struck him was what he calls the "human aspect" of the community. Today, PloneGov works hard to build social connections between its members: "We have a meeting almost every month." This human aspect, in his view, is an important element of success.
Xavier Heymans, the CEO of Zea Partners, an international network of SMEs working with Plone and Zope, says that new towns and people join PloneGov because they see the advantage of being able to re-use the code and share the risk of software development with others. PloneGov provides a way for towns to do more things with their limited skills, Heymans argues: "Most small towns only have one person in charge of IT. Each one of these persons alone doesn't have the full range of skills to create a new application; but in a team, they can do it." Another plus is the vibrant community, lead by a highly motivated team: "PloneGov constantly attracts new potentials. People get trained faster, and they can develop applications faster", he says.