[Foundation-l] More on Wikimedia strategic planning

Michael Snow wikipedia at verizon.net
Thu Apr 30 05:47:17 UTC 2009

To follow up on the board's resolution, here is some more information 
about the strategy development process we are starting. This is not 
necessarily the complete picture, that hasn't been fully laid out yet 
and you will hear more about it in coming weeks and months. We will 
share progress as we go, and discussion is welcome. I expect the other 
members of the Board of Trustees, along with Sue, will be happy to join 
in. We spoke briefly about the project at our meeting with the chapter 
representatives in Berlin a few weeks ago. They may be able to help 
answer basic questions, and I also anticipate that the chapters will be 
a good way to relay ideas from the wider community.

This is a rather unusual endeavor, as it is intended to be the world's 
first completely open and collaborative strategy development project. We 
aim to draw upon the experiences and knowledge of a wide range of 
contributors: Wikimedia volunteers, experts in various fields, the 
board, the foundation's staff, and other appropriate advisors that may 
be suggested to us. I'm excited about the possibilities in this project.

Anybody who wants to help the Wikimedia projects is invited to 
participate. I expect that the primary activity will involve working 
groups developing pieces of the strategy on-wiki. That's both because 
it's the key tool for open collaboration we're all familiar with, and 
because it would be prohibitive in time or expense to coordinate 
strategic planning through a set of meetings, as might happen in a 
normal organization. All relevant planning outputs will be publicly 
available for review, as well as reuse, so hopefully we can produce some 
thinking that other groups will also find useful.

We expect the strategic planning project to officially launch in July, 
although this is a preliminary kickoff of sorts as well. In the 
meantime, Sue is planning to hire a project manager, a research analyst, 
and a facilitator to support it. Those jobs will be posted on the 
Wikimedia Foundation site sometime during the next week. Between now and 
the launch, Sue will be hiring the project team. These positions will 
bring skills we already need, and while we want all the staff to have 
input, this will be the group designated to work particularly on this 

Sue and I will also be working through the structure and framework of 
the project: essentially, which strategic questions require the most 
focus. You will hear more about this, and I will be asking for your 
views, as we begin to make progress.

--Michael Snow

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