[Wikimedia-l] Office hour inside out (program evaluation)

ENWP Pine deyntestiss at hotmail.com
Thu Mar 21 04:48:12 UTC 2013

> Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2013 13:31:57 -0700
> From: Frank Schulenburg <frank.schulenburg at gmail.com>
> To: wikimedia-l at lists.wikimedia.org
> Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Tomorrow: Office hour inside out (program
> 	evaluation)
> Message-ID:
> 	<CAKooBQbK6rCui1BThp41MBvjTdzDQVvsJRLGsFYwXUUoGApSxQ at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> Hi folks,
> Tomorrow at 17:00 UTC, I will be holding an office hour about program
> evaluation on #wikimedia-office. The target audience for this office
> hour will be chapter representatives and volunteers who are currently
> running (or planning to run) programs and programmatic activities.
> You'll find some background information about why program evaluation
> might be worth talking about in my most recent blog post on the
> Foundation's blog:
> https://blog.wikimedia.org/2013/03/01/lets-start-talking-about-program-evaluation/
> As we all know, most office hours follow a certain rule: there's one
> poor staffer who is getting grilled by the people on the IRC channel –
> people ask a variety of questions and the staff person tries to answer
> every question in a limited amount of time. It's a lot of fun (I
> guess, at least for the people who're asking the questions) and it has
> been a good way of direct communication between WMF employees and the
> community.
> Now, this office hour will be different. Not that I don't enjoy being
> grilled for one hour :-) I've done IRC office hours several times
> before and I always enjoyed answering questions. The reason for this
> office hour to be different is that I want to _listen to you in the
> first place_. I would like to learn more about
> * _your_ thoughts about why evaluation might be important
> * _your_ experiences with making evaluation a part of program design
> * _your_ hopes and fears when it comes to increasingly evaluating
> programs and programmatic activities in the future
> * _your_ ideas and feedback on evaluation practices
> Ideally, we would have some people in the room tomorrow who have done
> some kind evaluation in the past or who are planning to embark on
> evaluation work in the near future. With that said – if you have no
> idea about what program evaluation is and you'd like to learn more
> about it, you're invited as well! Or maybe you're just curious to see
> if this "office hour inside out" is going to play out well ;-)
> I'm looking forward to meeting you tomorrow at 17:00 UTC,
> Frank

I'd encourage people who are interested in this subject
to read up on program management and related subjects. 
This sort of management has been studied extensively in 
academia and in business, and in some ways I feel that
WMF has catch-up work to do and lacks expertise, 
although I'm hopeful that WMF is trying to improve
in this area.

I'd also suggest that people read the report about 
projects that encountered significant problems at 
WMF, particularly the IEP, and a more recent example 
is the mixed reception to AFT5. I hope that program 
managers at WMF learn both good practices and what 
to avoid. I also hope that WMF ties program metrics 
to evaluations for the responsible supervisors when 
considering whether to continue or renew 
employment contracts, as well as when
considering promotions.



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