🦉What is open working?

A manifesto and set of principles for working in the open.


In this section you will learn:

  • What we mean when we talk about "open working"

  • What weeknotes are

  • Who can benefit from open working

A definition of 'open'

📖 The Open Definition sets out principles that define 'openness' in relation to data and content: “Open data and content can be freely used, modified, and shared by anyone for any purpose.”

What is Open Working?

Every organisation is unique, and so open working can look different in different contexts. However, most organisations working in the open are dedicated to the following principles:

  • Transparency

  • Inclusivity

  • Adaptability

  • Collaboration

  • Community


The easiest way to get started with open working is through writing weeknotes. Weeknotes are short blogs that can help you to reflect on the past week, and help other people understand what you do.

Through reading other people's weeknotes, it's possible to gain insight into their organisations too. Perhaps it will give you some ideas for your own work.

This is for everyone

To build better services for those who need our help, we need to work together – and that means being open. When we share what we know, we help others learn, just as we learn from them.

Working openly means everybody benefits: you attract ideas, funding and people who can help. Others will accelerate their learning and make progress more quickly. Mistakes are avoided, work isn’t duplicated.

By sharing and reusing work, we can better help those who need us.

Make things open: it makes things better.

Just start

Share small, share often - Give short, regular updates about work that’s in progress. Working openly is about sharing the process of work as you’re doing it, not just about sharing completed pieces of work or a giant end-of-project report at the end.

Format doesn’t matter - Don’t worry about the format and polish of what you’re sharing - a word document or an image can be enough and it doesn’t need to be designed up and glossy. Focus on what you’re explaining and what you’ve learned.

Protect private details - Remember to protect any private information when you’re sharing work - being open doesn’t mean revealing identities or people’s data.

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