[Foundation-l] WMF Engineering org charts

Erik Moeller erik at wikimedia.org
Thu Apr 5 01:05:26 UTC 2012

On Wed, Apr 4, 2012 at 5:45 PM, George Herbert <george.herbert at gmail.com> wrote:
> Has this been an observed issue within the WMF?

In some areas. In my view, a well-functioning agile team is
self-organizing and self-managed, and it's a manager's job to
primarily set that team up for success, hire the right people, replace
the people who aren't working out, and help escalate/resolve blocker
or coordination issues outside the team's scope. Putting so much
responsibility on the team's shoulders is in my opinion a good thing,
because it treats them as adults accountable and responsible for the
success or failure of their own work.

Where we're trying to complete complex projects with a part of a
person's time here, a part of a person's time over there, we lean
heavily on managers to help with the resource scheduling and project
organization, and that's where things are currently getting iffy at
times. In our 2012-13 hiring plan submission, we're proposing a
Dev-Ops Program Manager position to help with some of the particularly
hairy cross-coordination of complex, under-resourced backend projects
with operations implications (an example of that kind of project is
the SWIFT media storage migration).

There'll likely also be another layer of depth in the org chart as we
grow and evolve further, but that's something to do very carefully
because it increases real or perceived distance between people, and
making people managers of 1-2 people is fairly inefficient.
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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