Capability Owner

Technical ownership and accountability is important at all stages of the inner source pyramid. At stage 1 or 2 the owner is the leader of the maintaining team. At stage 3 the owner isn’t obvious from the org chart, and it helps to recognise a named individual as a Capability Owner.


The Capability Owner is a hands-on technical leader who supports their capability by driving its technical strategy and being a role-model for the capability maintainer and contributor community. They also act as a capability maintainer – a technical expert who helps others.


A capability owner has 3 key objectives:

  1. Use community leadership, process design and automation to improve the quality & efficiency of maintainer collaboration.
  2. Define, agree, communicate and action the capability’s technical and functional strategic path.
  3. Promote and action the tasks and projects required to optimise the capability sustainability and success in the longer-term.

You can understand the need for an owner by considering what happens without one:

  • Without (1) the expertise required to guide change is unavailable or can’t agree and delivery timescales are slow and unpredictable.
  • Without (2), each division pulls the capability in different directions, or it’s left with no direction at all. It has no benchmark purpose against which to accept or reject change.
  • Without (3), the capability is a shared resource that’s incrementally ruined by all divisions acting rationally but purely in their own interests.


The Global Betting Platform core team define the purpose of a capability owner as:

  • Be the first SME (subject matter expert) on technical matters of a capability.
  • Be a role model for and of the maintainer community.
  • Be a change agent focused in continuous improvement.
  • Drive and align the technical strategy of a capability.