On Wed, Dec 19, 2012 at 6:49 PM, Erik Moeller <e...@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> Hi folks,
> to increase accountability and create more opportunities for course
> corrections and resourcing adjustments as necessary, Sue's asked me
> and Howie Fung to set up a quarterly project evaluation process,
> starting with our highest priority initiatives. These are, according
> to Sue's narrowing focus recommendations which were approved by the
> Board [1]:
> - Visual Editor
> - Mobile (mobile contributions + Wikipedia Zero)
> - Editor Engagement (also known as the E2 and E3 teams)
> - Funds Dissemination Committe and expanded grant-making capacity
> I'm proposing the following initial schedule:
> January:
> - Editor Engagement Experiments
> February:
> - Visual Editor
> - Mobile (Contribs + Zero)
> March:
> - Editor Engagement Features (Echo, Flow projects)
> - Funds Dissemination Committee

We've been talking about this on the Editor Engagement Experiments team,
and within the wider product group in WMF engineering, for at least a
couple weeks now. I just wanted to say that this is a great step forward,
and that the E3 team is quite happy to be first in line. It's great to have
a chance to put our experimental data and analysis in front of both the
people doing the review, and anyone who might read the public notes. An
enormous amount of work goes in to data collection and the production of
reliable, understandable results, so it's good to have another venue to
discuss it.

> We’ll try doing this on the same day or adjacent to the monthly
> metrics meetings [2], since the team(s) will give a presentation on
> their recent progress, which will help set some context that would
> otherwise need to be covered in the quarterly review itself. This will
> also create open opportunities for feedback and questions.
> My goal is to do this in a manner where even though the quarterly
> review meetings themselves are internal, the outcomes are captured as
> meeting minutes and shared publicly, which is why I'm starting this
> discussion on a public list as well. I've created a wiki page here
> which we can use to discuss the concept further:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Metrics_and_activities_meetings/Quarterly_reviews
> The internal review will, at minimum, include:
> Sue Gardner
> myself
> Howie Fung
> Team members and relevant director(s)
> Designated minute-taker
> So for example, for Visual Editor, the review team would be the Visual
> Editor / Parsoid teams, Sue, me, Howie, Terry, and a minute-taker.
> I imagine the structure of the review roughly as follows, with a
> duration of about 2 1/2 hours divided into 25-30 minute blocks:
> - Brief team intro and recap of team's activities through the quarter,
> compared with goals
> - Drill into goals and targets: Did we achieve what we said we would?
> - Review of challenges, blockers and successes
> - Discussion of proposed changes (e.g. resourcing, targets) and other
> action items
> - Buffer time, debriefing

One quick item of clarification here Erik: does "Discussion of proposed
changes" mean proposals by the team, or proposals by those on the review

> Once again, the primary purpose of these reviews is to create improved
> structures for internal accountability, escalation points in cases
> where serious changes are necessary, and transparency to the world.
> In addition to these priority initiatives, my recommendation would be
> to conduct quarterly reviews for any activity that requires more than
> a set amount of resources (people/dollars). These additional reviews
> may however be conducted in a more lightweight manner and internally
> to the departments. We’re slowly getting into that habit in
> engineering.
> As we pilot this process, the format of the high priority reviews can
> help inform and support reviews across the organization.
> Feedback and questions are appreciated.
> All best,
> Erik
> [1] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Vote:Narrowing_Focus
> [2] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Metrics_and_activities_meetings
> --
> Erik Möller
> VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation
> Support Free Knowledge: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
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