On Wed, Dec 19, 2012 at 7:31 PM, Steven Walling
<steven.wall...@gmail.com> wrote:

>> - Discussion of proposed changes (e.g. resourcing, targets) and other
>> action items

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

Ultimately the shape of these reviews is really up to Sue, but I'll
give you my quick take on it.

In general, a project team needs to take ownership of its commitments,
and should come into a review with a realistic and honest assessment
of where things are, and be prepared to bring clear recommendations
and questions, such as:

- We won't be able to hit target X unless we get resource Y;

- We set a target on the basis of unrealistic assumptions, we're
proposing the following new projections;

- We've dropped X deliverable because relative to our core commitments
it was lower priority, let us know if you need us to put it back on
the list.

But let's not pretend that things are always a straightforward
sign-off process. Sometimes there may be a disconnect where a project
team thinks a project is just about to turn the corner, but the
organizational leadership isn't buying it, or where there are major
concerns about some choices a team has made.

This may lead to challenging questions, suggestions ("you're welcome
to drop X deliverable if it'll help you make Y commitment") or
concrete asks ("please bring us a set of recommendations to address
Z"). The point would typically be to explore issues in an honest way
as early as possible and set the stage for changes driven by the team.
Where that's not possible (i.e. because fundamentally a project is
doomed, or a team structure doesn't make sense), at least the
quarterly review process should foreshadow these concerns and support
honest and direct communications.

Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

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