Lessons Learned Building a Consortium

Building Together: Part Two

Part one of my “Building Together” series, Ingredients for Successful Collaboration, covered the origin story of the Elentra Consortium, an international open-source (turned community-source) software consortium in Canada, the United States, and Singapore. I also defined what I believe are the key ingredients that made our collaboration successful in the first place. If you have not yet read part one, I recommend starting there.

In part two, I will cover the lessons we learned while building and operating our consortium for over a decade. Some of these lessons we got perfectly correct from the start, others we had to learn the hard way.

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Ingredients for Successful Collaboration

Building Together: Part One

Last year, my friend and colleague Zhen Gu and I gave a well-received presentation at the AAMC IT in Academic Medicine conference in Washington, DC, called “Building Together: Lessons Learned Building a Consortium.” Creating this talk was fun but challenging, as it forced me to distill a tremendous amount of experience gained over fifteen years building an international open-source (turned community-source) software consortium. After presenting our talk again in the fall at the Elentra Engage conference in Pasadena, California, I felt that our important work would translate beautifully into an article for my website.

In this two-part series, I will share some incredible lessons learned while building our consortium alongside 20+ universities. I will provide my unique perspective on the most significant opportunities and challenges of working together, the importance and power of building community, the balance of governance, and the ingredients we believe are necessary to collaborate successfully.

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