Free Software Case Studies/Template

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The following is a guide to help you write your case study. Not all sections and notes will apply to your particular situation, and you are free to change the format completely. Edit the text below (and ultimately delete this paragraph).


Subtitle ... by <authors>


Write a short overview of what will be covered in the document. This may be edited later as the case study develops, ultimately becoming the "executive summary" (if applicable).


Provide some background about the organisation/project and context to orientate readers and arouse their interest.


  • Historical & organisational context
    • About the organisation
    • Vision, mission, values, ...
  • Technological context

Goals and Requirements

Given the context, what were the goals and requirements? These are likely to be more specific than the vision, mission and values of the organisation and have some link to the use of free software.

Rationale for free software adoption/migration

Why did the organisation/project go for free software? for example, one or more of the following may apply:

  • Policy
  • Pragmatics
  • Customisability
  • Costs
  • Best solution available
    • What alternatives were considered?
  • ... other reasons.


In brief, learners want to know "what does it take?", what were the challenges, how were they overcome, what did you do right, what would you do differently? If possible, include examples of planning, analysis, design, monitoring and evaluation documents/reports.

This section will vary according to the nature of the case study. For some, a "Design" section might be appropriate along with coding, testing and/or systems integration activities ("Implementation"). For others, it might be all about "Deployment", etc. The following suggest some aspects to consider:

  • Planning/ Implementation strategy
    • Costs/benefits
    • Technical: hardware, software (development/ installation/ ...), connectivity
    • Change Management
    • User Acceptance Testing
    • Training
  • How did it go? As planned?
    • Progress Reports
    • Evaluation Measures and Impact
    • What worked, what didn't and how was (or may) the process be improved?
      • What would you do differently if asked to do it again?

Current status

Outline the current situation if the project is on-going emphasising the continuing role of free software.

Future prospects?

Any plans?

Lessons Learned

Are there any general principles which may be derived from the experience of this case study?

  • Which lessons learned may apply more generally?
  • Best/good practices, dos and don'ts.
  • Cross-reference similar experiences.

Create a link to your new case study from this page.