Open Operations Manifesto

Building a community of practice and transparency for Operations

We – the founding and supporting organizations – proclaim our primary objectives to be transparency along with the sharing of knowledge and are in the process of building a community of practice – Open Operations.

Open Source technology has become increasingly mature. However, the greatest software is useless if it cannot be operated with full confidence. For this to happen, it is imperative that skills and knowledge be built up, fostered, and retained. In an increasingly competitive market for skilled people and increasingly complex IT systems, this is becoming an ever greater challenge for governments, institutions, and companies. How can we operate digital offerings in a self-determined, secure, and supremely excellent manner?

The answer to this must be the collectivization of operational knowledge, just as it has been practiced for many years with software code. This manifesto provides the foundational principles for the above goals and invites other organizations to join this movement.

We are building a community of practice

From time to time, we can become mentally stumped and may need a sparring partner to think in other, more innovative ways. Open Operations is building a community of practice to keep the barrier to market entry low and create a thriving environment for easy and convenient exchange. Regardless of the individual level of knowledge, everyone is encouraged to contribute and thereby enriches this community of practice with their knowledge and individual views. Communities of practice connect through various channels, serving both asynchronous and synchronous communication needs in the form of pair operating or on a larger scale to solve these challenges cooperatively. We are hence building a network by encouraging organizations to foster and connect internal and external communities of practice.

We share knowledge

The availability of knowledge and skilled engineers is the limiting factor for many organizations to adopt, leverage, and successfully operate complex technology. For true self-determination in the ever-growing digital domain, we need to build skills and share the gained knowledge freely and in unlimited ways, including in the realm of operational knowledge — which is exactly the way we started with software code almost half a decade ago. We encourage organizations to collectivize operational knowledge and share it with the entire Open Operations community.

We are transparent about our incidents

We firmly believe that failures make us experts. In the principle of learning from our mistakes the lessons learnt add to our expertise. Thus, the way we handle errors is how we become better. We feel that handling our mistakes in the best way possible means communicating about them openly and without shame. We are convinced that the culture we build around failures is fundamental for an innovative environment: not being afraid of making mistakes opens the door to trying out new approaches, without fear of failing. We encourage people to speak out – not just when they are successful, but also when they fail. We are sure that this is indeed one of the best ways to prevent ourselves and others from making the same mistakes. We hold that to achieve the state of complete transparency, the history of failures and incidents should be recorded and preserved. Our goal is that others can truly experience trust in this way, rather than just being told they can.

We are transparent about our operational processes

We share our internal processes for the sake of transparency. We firmly believe that transparency leads to better and more reliable processes. We are convinced that publishing well-documented operational processes offers a great opportunity to gather feedback and gain inspiration from the wider public.

Likewise, we are convinced that by sharing our operational experiences, we can be of inspiration and benefit to others. In today’s business environment, most companies face the same challenges. By sharing knowledge the same way the Open Source community shares software, we are turning a common knowledge base into a reality, allowing everybody to benefit.

We aim to get away from being a big black box and seek to become a source of shared knowledge. We consider the disclosure of internal processes to be an essential step in this direction.

About this manifesto

The Open Operations Manifesto is initiated by the Sovereign Cloud Stack Community to foster transparency, share knowledge, and build a community of practice within the domain of IT operations. It invites organizations to adhere to these priniciples and to take an important step forward both in their current operations and into the future.

We encourage you to join our mailing list and attend our regular meetings. If you want to contribute to our manifesto or spread the word by signing it, please read through the README or reach out to us at

Founding Organizations


  • Friederike Zelke
    Editor in Chief


  • Christian Berendt

plusserver GmbH

  • Ralf Heiringhoff
    Cloud Architect

Sovereign Cloud Stack

  • Kurt Garloff
  • Maximilian Wolfs
    Knowledge Management Engineer
  • Eduard Itrich
    Open-Source Community Manager
  • Felix Kronlage-Dammers
    Product Owner Iaas & Operations


  • Cemil Degirmenci
  • Katharina Heinritz
    Student Trainee – Marketing & Communication