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The 10% Plone Manifesto

In the last years many of us have started Plone consulting or development companies with roots in the Plone community. To most of us it was a dream come true — being able to make a living from writing free software and working with this great community at the same time.

But… time takes its toll, and everyday life, mortgages, money, administration and having to earn to feed the kids, all push us further into the tunnel of dull office-people rather than cool free software developers.

Sure, we publish free software, more than just occasionally, but most development is steered by what our clients need, not what we think Plone needs or what we want to build.

Take control!

We want to stay ahead of the curve. We want to stay updated. We want to keep contributing, even in a world of building software for a living. Inspired by the practices of the amazing Google, we came up with our own pre-emptive strike; The 10% Plone Manifesto.

We don't know if it'll be the miracle medicine, but we sincerely believe it will be a major step in the right direction, and encourage other companies to adopt a similar policy.

The 10% Plone Manifesto

  • We will dedicate 10 percent of our employed manpower to Plone directly — unencumbered by customer requests, deadlines, bosses or other similar outside factors.
  • We will use the effort on add-on product development, core Plone development and bug fixing, and whatever else we can come up with that is useful and fun.
  • Every employee will decide for himself what to work on, related to Plone. Focus will not be influenced by managers, customer projects or deadlines. Management will just have to plan for this as a part of everyday life.
  • To be able to keep track of this time, we will do this development in full days, not in fractions or hours.
  • To not forget or down-prioritize this, the development days will be scheduled in advance.
  • We will try, where possible, to coordinate so that everyone has their manifesto-days of development at the same time, to get the advantages of teamwork or at least shared state of mind.
  • We will not save the days up for a lump to be used at some indeterminate point in the future. We will strive to have even coverage of our 10% within each month as well as within the year.


We started with The Manifesto as a secret experiment. It seems to be working pretty well, but it takes a bit of effort to get used to the scheduling. Our experiment was enough of a success to make it a permanent policy.

Forward, comrades!

Until now, we have just cared about ourselves (and Plone) for this. It would be interesting to hear how many other Plone consultancies that might want to join it. Given enough interest, we can make it a worthwhile movement with real impact. Send us an e-mail or just grab hold of us at the conference in Naples. :)

Geir Bækholt

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