Klaas-Jan* wanted to know how open-source developers pick their tools, and for that used the Delphi method, which involves setting up a panel. 21 panelists were selected out of 429 nominees, by recruiting people via mailing lists. The pool was then thinned into 21, by taking into account 4 dimensions: work in teams, versus alone, the diversity of tasks and tools and their interest in workflow improvement.
Delphi works as follows:
1) Brainstorming. Participants had to identify at least 6 factors that influence their decision. It was done over email and resulted into 3500 lines of text in 15 categories.
2) Enrichment. For example refute factors, identify links and provide additional information.
3) Instantiation. Provide stories from the trenches, and select the 3 most important factors.
4) Reduction. Merging related factors.
This resulted into 15 factors, from that, an innovation model of 7 stages was created, with mappings to the factors.
A preprint is available!
* The work was mainly done by Martin Krafft, Klaas-Jan’s student.