On Thu, May 29, 2014 at 8:52 PM, Nathan <nawrich(a)gmail.com> wrote:
On Thu, May 29, 2014 at 1:58 PM, Bence Damokos
If all the steps could happen at the same time, and decisions were made
a single person, then the process could indeed be
done in 30 minutes
ideal circumstances (a person being 24/7 online,
and all information
available at the time of application).
However, currently there are a number of checks and procedural safeguards
in place that add to the process and utilize the knowledge and wisdom of
the whole AffCom.
After taking into account such practicalities as limited and
non-overlapping volunteer schedules (i.e. non-work time, non offline time
across different time zones) of both the applying group and the group
processing the application, a few weeks seem to be the ideal we can aim
at this point without giving up guarantees of due
As a breakdown of this idealised process, see:
P.S.: I myself have argued for the 30 minute recognition process many
times, but at the same time understand that the movement relies on the
"Affcom seal of approval" to mean something, which in turn requires a bit
deeper due diligence somewhere along the line.
Is it necessary for the full committee to weigh in on user group decisions?
If you have a relatively straightforward rubric for assessment, couldn't it
be completed by a single member of the committee? Given the low weight of
consequences anticipated by user groups, you could either permit an
individual member to issue a decision on behalf of the group or ask them to
distribute the completed rubric for up/down votes by the body.
Yes - I wasn't entirely precise in my description - the process is lead by
the one or two person (confusingly also called liaisons) assigned to the
case and the rest of the committee allowed to weigh in if there are any
ambiguities or there are any concerns. In extreme cases at the end of the
process, but generally at the various intermediate stages.
In practice, the final resolution phase is where most time could be saved
as that is mostly a structural legacy of housing the process at a committee
that makes public decisions via resolutions;but we try to work out most
issues and concerns beforehand. Making sure that everyone had a time to do
the extra due diligence in addition to the liaisons themselves adds some
time, but can help us avoid recognising groups that are not made up of long
term Wikimedians, are possibly more interested in gaining money, respect or
padding their CVs than furthering the mission or groups that are not going
to stay together as a group for any meaningful amount of time.
(One has to keep in mind, that we encourage groups to contact us as early
in their group creation phase as possible, which means that the process'
time will include time spent by the applying group on figuring out who they
are and what they want to do.
And also, that my fellow AffCom volunteers are doing a lot - not
necessarily all inside AffCom -, often having multiple responsibilities
inside the movement, in addition to having demanding jobs or families. This
means a couple of things, including the fact that time is limited --- e.g.
if a volunteer sends an e-mail in the evening before going to bed, even if
there is a very quick reply, they will only be able to react the next
evening [~24 hours later] ---; the shared desire to simplify our processes,
and that we can use all the help we can get to achieve the goals we set
Again, a fuller picture with roles is given at the graph I shared in the
previous e-mail, which is as of now non-narrated, but part of the project
to increase transparency around the process and to use as a sort of metric
to aim for and improve over time.
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