[Foundation-l] THE SWOT (the return)

Anthere Anthere9 at yahoo.com
Sun Oct 29 00:38:22 UTC 2006

Hmmm, this was unsufficiently explained. With the help of other 
participants, here is a more complete explanation of what we did.
One of the methods we used at the board retreat to try and define
strategic actions was a SWOT (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWOT)
analysis, as Oscar mentionned in his report.

The idea was to answer a set of questions to help identify the
Strengths, the Weaknesses of the organisation (internal level) and  the
Opportunities and the Threats that the organisation faces (external
level). and then combine all of these to define strategic objectives.

All participants were asked to list what they identified as SWOT for the
organisation and we then compiled all answers to try and identify those
which came under different forms but actually tackled the same subject.

These are the topics that came out of this analysis.

Numbers represent number of people who listed this (or something
approaching), no numbers means that these came out of the general
discussion afterwards. They were for some points listed by one person
and were accepted by the group as worth mentionning.

Reminder: this is the SWOT of the Wikimedia Foundation (not of a project)

*people (23)
*mission/vision (Jimmy in particular-3) (15)
*outside perception, recognised brand, market leader (15 )
*organisation (13 )
*multiculturalism/lingualism (11 )
*content (9)
*technology (6 )
*financial - donations easy and reliable (5 )
*less reflection as an organisation
*less communication

*lack of structure (management not adapted) (24 )
*poor processes/delegation/decision making (15)
*communication (13)
*lack of trust (8)
*unfocused direction, lack of planning or strategic vision (6)
*finances, donor relationships (6)
*divided opinions on board members
*lack of responsability
*reflection of organisation

*money (18)
*internet penetration (more users coming) (9)
*good will (7)
*free culture mouvement success (7)
*educational penetration (6)
*global village (6)
*support of free culture mouvement (5)
*media and political interest (4)
*content liberation (4)
*technology (3)
*hiring pool (2)

*legal (16)
*unmanaged growth (12)
*fragmentation of the general organisation (9)
*financial stability (6)
*competition (6)
*internal communication

It is difficult to convey here the exact meaning that is put behind
these words that may look random at first, as they were the result of
discussions and brainstorming but it was a starting point for us to go
on with strategic objectives. These are part of a process that is long
and implies lots of discussion and should not be taken at face value. In
order to be able to list the strategic objectives, the participants are
then asked to cross the different categories (Threats with Weaknesses,
Opportunities and weaknesses for example and come up with a set of
strategic objectives.

As Oscar mentionned, we then compiled the strategic objectives into  7
categories: ''organizational, operations, finances and fundraising,
program development, public relations and messaging, technology, and

The strategic objectives were then detailled and presented as
recommandations to the board from the group, which the board needs to
review and reassess, confronting them with the reality of things, the
ressources and manageable timelines, so as to present their final
strategic objectives and their course of action.
The final strategic objectives will be the last part of the report, and 
they will take a little time to put together. We also need to agree on 
which information to publish and which not to publish. Do not expect 
final outcome tomorrow, nor in the following days.

Again, please be patient.

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