Today the OpenChain Project is releasing the results of our Q4 Survey, a wide-ranging exploration of how the project is being used, how our reference and conformance material is perceived, and how the support structures around the project are working out for real-world users.
Visitors are satisfied with the discoverability and context of our overview material. However, ease of engagement with our community returned mixed results.
It is regarded as relatively simple to find out about the specification and conformance, and people are generally very satisfied with access to our educational material.
Finding our translations was regarded as a mix bag (some easy, some hard). Hopefully our revised website will help with that. Recognizing business value, on the other hard, was very easy. It was also quite easy to get help.
53.3% of people visiting the site did not use our online conformance web app. 13.3% used it for conformance-related activities. 20% used it for private “health checks” for their organization.
For those seeking to conform to the OpenChain Specification it was generally regarded as a very accessible process.
46.2% of respondents want to be listed as having an OpenChain Conformance compliance program. 38.5% are seeking a private “health check” of their current processes. 15.4% are engaging with the project for another reason.
Of the 15.4% are engaging with the project for another reason the disclosed activities are consultancy around OpenChain and seeking concrete (reference) solutions for some issues.
Interestingly, 66.7% of people said getting help with the online conformance web app was not applicable to their use case. The remaining 33.3% confirmed that it was easy to get the help they wanted.
53.5% of people found it easy to get help with general conformance questions. 46.7% of people said this was not applicable to their use-case.
A significant 53.5% of people said they would like an offline printable conformance handbook with a checklist for private “health-checks.” 40% said they would like this for OpenChain Conformance. Only 6.7% said this was not applicable to them.
26.7% of people said they are interested in getting help to conformance with the OpenChain Specification. 53.5% said they may be interested in the future. 20% are not interested.
66.7% of people are interested in getting OpenChain certification help in the future. 20% are interested today. 13.3% are not interested in services in this area.
66.7% of people are aware of the OpenChain partners and the services they provide. 33.3% are not aware of these services.
We had some great written feedback as well.
We received one comment we want to immediately address.
“Please don’t turn this into a sales funnel for feeding your ‘partners’. I’m actually pretty put off by the fact that this survey asked if we knew what partners were and whether we needed help. If you’re creating a standard and a process that is so difficult that it can only be done with external consultants then it’s pointless, and mere devs and engineering groups will not be able to implement it.”
Self-certification is at the heart of OpenChain. It always has been and always will be. OpenChain is explicitly a user driven project and standard (check out our platinum members, all user organizations rather than vendors).
The first path to conformance offered is to our self-certification web app. The next path is to our community for help if required. This will never change.
If someone wants commercial assistance they have to explicitly search for the pilot partner program. The existence of this program is to provide conformance support to entities that explicitly ask for this type of support.
To prevent any confusion or impression that a partner’s services are required to conform, one of the requirements for any entity applying to be part of that program is that they “may not represent to any clients that [their] service is necessary to comply with OpenChain Project and that [they] must make the interested client aware of the option of the education materials and the self-certification process.”
We also received some great usability suggestions.
And finally we had some useful suggestions for improvement in the future.
The OpenChain Project is owned by and made better each day by its community. We would like to express our thanks to everyone who took the time to fill out this survey and to provide some insight into where we should focus resources in 2019.