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

Samuel Klein meta.sj at gmail.com
Thu Mar 21 05:33:44 UTC 2013

I hope the Grants Retrospective comes up as one possible model for
evaluation.   Its output had some useful features and side effects.

On Thu, Mar 21, 2013 at 12:48 AM, ENWP Pine <deyntestiss at hotmail.com> wrote:
>> 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.
> Cheers,
> Pine
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Samuel Klein          @metasj           w:user:sj          +1 617 529 4266

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