Product & Technology are closely interrelated themes. We do not have a
product without technology and technology is developed according to our
product vision & design. The Working Group will not duplicate the
discussions, but ensure that different existing processes feed into each
other. In addition to that, we will work closely with Wikimedia Foundation
Product and Technology departments to ensure the value of Working Group
The question regarding time commitment is valid and we are happy to discuss
it with people interested in participating in the Working Groups. We want
everyone to be realistic about the extent of work ahead of us, but also
need diversity of perspectives in the Working Groups to have meaningful
conversations and a successful process. We have now specified the language
to expectation of “*an average* of 5 hours per week” (as Lodewijk has
already noted), which is more in line with what we have in mind.
It is also possible to state in the application form what is the working
time that one can commit to the working groups and it can be less than 5
hours. We can then note the interest as well as background and decide with
the Steering Committee about the options of including these people in the
workstreams. Also Working Groups will be working in the open and there will
be feedback cycles for including voices from the wider movement and
perspectives that are not represented in the Working Groups.
Process budget is out of my scope of work, but your question has been
forwarded to the relevant people.
Have a good continuation to your week!
On Fri, Jun 15, 2018 at 3:29 AM Pine W <wiki.pine(a)gmail.com> wrote:
On Thu, Jun 14, 2018 at 3:00 PM, Kaarel Vaidla <kvaidla(a)wikimedia.org>
Dear Pine and Lodewijk,
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feedback. I would like to comment
on some of your concerns in my role as the Process Architect.
The scope for all groups has been defined in quite a broad way, mainly to
keep the level of conversations high and mitigate the risk of too much
being spent on details and tactical issues. For
the Technology & Product
group for example, we think that there are more benefits in connecting
than separating people with expertise and
connections within both areas.
I concede that I know much less about MediaWiki than some of the engineers
who have been here for years, but I think that I know enough to say that
the scope of work for the Product and Technology group looks ambitious and
could be segmented into two or more WGs with more specific scopes that
could coordinate their work when necessary. Perhaps you could share, here
or on the talk page
your analysis that led you to conclude
that a single working group is the
best way to go for the Product & Technology group. Also, please explain how
you anticipate that the group will sync its efforts with TechCom and the
Platform Evolution initiative, so as to avoid confusion and duplication of
effort. If someone like Victoria would like to comment here or on the talk
page, I'd be glad to hear their perspective. I think that it would be good
to get clarity on these issues early in the process.
We are indeed looking for high commitment in the Working Groups as we
like the participants to be well informed and
effective in the
conversations. Working Group members will not only be participating in
discussion meetings, but reading through existing materials, research and
preparing for the meetings. In addition to that, we expect some time to
to contextualizing these materials and carrying
the conversations from
Working Groups into their “home” groups and
communities – and vice versa.
This takes time and we want to be clear about it, as to avoid Working
dropout, burnout and ensure the presence of the
throughout the process.
I am glad that you are being clear about your goals. However, I think that
they will limit the diversity of participants to people who think that they
will have lots of available volunteer time for nine months and/or are
willing to divert 5+ hours per week from other valuable volunteer
activities. I think that this goal is inadvisable for the sake of the
diversity of the WGs and also because of the potential diversion of
significant volunteer hours from other valuable activities.
For both volunteers and staff members it will mean prioritizing. That is
the reason we are encouraging discussions inside your communities,
collaboratives and organizations to decide who
are the best
of your perspectives and expertise. For many
organizations and groups,
coming year will be a transition year, with time
set aside for strategic
planning and a redistribution of responsibilities within the organization
or group. As to individuals - it is of course up to them to decide what
they can manage and not and what are the priorities in their
Unfortunately, at this point, I am not going to recommend that most people
participate in these WGs because I feel that the time commitment that you
are requesting is excessive. Of course, volunteers are free to make their
own choices, but volunteering for WGs is not a course of action that I am
likely to recommend to most people. I am not trying to undermine your good
intentions, but I think that you are requesting far too much and that you
would be more successful in encouraging diverse participation if your
requests for volunteers' time was more modest.
> Thank you so much for the feedback
targeted towards ensuring clarity
the process and some of the specific points
regarding participation in
> Working Groups.
Again, I appreciate your clarifying your expectations, although I would
encourage you to revise them.
Also, please respond to my question about the budget for this phase of the
strategy process that I made in my previous email. I would hope that WMF
made a detailed budget for this phase of the strategy, and as with other
strategy documents I would hope that it would be published.
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