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Hewlett Packard: Owen Firmware Cooperative

Owen is a community of firmware development teams from HP product divisions in two states in the USA; they produce firmware for a number of printers and printer/copier/scanner/fax devices. Participating teams contribute to the cooperative by producing assets conformant to the Owen architecture, and benefit from other teams’ contributions. Owen is unique because of its strong cultural aspects. A steering team, firmware architect, firmware asset lead, and “cooperative steward” roles provide the overall direction. There are cooperative operating principles, and members (while first and foremost turning out their own products) have explicit responsibilities to the coop. Owen products have been produced using 1/4 of the staff, in 1/3 of the time, and with 1/25 the number of bugs of earlier products.


Peter Toft, Derek Coleman, and Joni Ohta, “A Cooperative Model for Cross-Divisional Product Development for a Software Product Line'” Patrick Donohoe (ed.) Proceedings SPLC1, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2000.


About This Product Line

Hewlett Packard was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the First Software Product Line Conference (SPLC1).

Cited improvements to HP’s Owen Firmware Cooperative include products built with less staff, in less time, and with fewer bugs.