The Hydra governance model is shown in the diagram below.

Essentially there are three functional groups with overlapping membership.

The Hydra Partners consist of institutions that have formally signed up to further Hydra’s aims and objectives including maintenance and growth of the community.  They shape and direct work on their own Hydra Heads and feed back to the community appropriate parts of their work – which may include code, documentation, design patterns and more; experience of work on their own Heads allows them collaboratively to steer Hydra’s developmental roadmap.  The Partners grouping naturally includes Hydra’s founding institutions.  The Partners have a monthly on-line conference call and meet annually at Hydra Connect whilst smaller regional groupings meet, generally once or twice,at other times each year.

The Steering Group consisted originally of representatives from Hydra’s founding institutions; the current membership can be found here.  In addition to normal Partner functions, the group accepts additional responsibilities in respect of Hydra’s legal and administrative needs as well as stewardship of the Project as a whole.  The Steering Group has monthly on-line conference calls and meets face to face twice or more each year.

The Hydra Developers group consists primarily of those who are actively writing and maintaining Hydra heads for their institutions or customers.  Between them they define the technical architecture for Hydra and manage the integration and release of new code.  Technical managers at institutions indirectly feed into this group by way of steering the development of their individual Hydra head(s).    All developers must have a Contributor Licence Agreement in place before the Project will accept code from them, and all new code is subject to a peer review process.  The developers generally have a conference call each week and many attend partners’ meetings where they have their own breakout sessions; in addition, the developers have a busy IRC channel.  Fall 2012 saw the first ‘stand-alone’ developers meeting.

Beyond the governed structure there are Hydra Adopters and Hydra Solution Bundle users.