All --

As a matter of strategy we should be leveraging our open-source roots more
as we grow. This means distributed, loosely-coupled teams. We know from
software industry history that distributed teams work best when they are
*entirely* distributed.  We are working on some structures that will allow
teams to either be entirely distributed or mostly co-located, consistent
with what we know about best outcomes. In SF, remote working is not very
common as the software companies demand people to be on-site and we have an
advantage with remote talent, but it is also not for everyone as it can be
isolating. Net-net.. before we worry about growth and costs we need to
worry about effectiveness, but we are thinking about this.


On Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 9:02 AM, Fæ <> wrote:

> On 9 April 2015 at 16:47, Garfield Byrd <> wrote:
> > Hi Fae,
> >
> > We have 215 staff in total, with a hub of activity in San Francisco and
> > other staff in several other states and 18 countries.  So I agree
> talented
> > people can be found globally and WMF does hire the best talent it can
> find
> > wherever they are located.  At this point adding offices in other
> locations
> > add cost without any benefits to the community or the Wikimedia
> > Foundation.  We also do not have the luxury of Mozilla's $300 million
> > budget that can support a London office or Microsoft's billions to have a
> > globally distributed workforce with offices.  So we are not closing the
> > door to anything. Based on our test project of trying to develop centers
> of
> > activity in other parts of the United States there is no need for
> > additional offices. We do need and will continue to hire a globally
> > distributed staff of talented people to support our global community of
> > talented volunteers.
> Thanks for the response, it makes sense to me.
> I agree with avoiding additional offices unless there is a very good
> business case. Back in the late 1990s I was part of a small
> consultancy where we chose to eliminate having a central office
> altogether. It was a strange thing to try back last century, but
> moving more of the administrative functions into the virtual working
> space, and arming employees with excellent teamworking tools they can
> use from home (or bookable office spaces locally) has become part of
> the ordinary world of work these days.
> WMF development happens this way already, and you writing here shows
> that management/executive level folks are comfortable and skilled with
> virtual spaces. It would be jolly interesting if the WMF were seen to
> try out more virtual methods in other parts of its operation, and find
> meaningful ways of reporting on benefits or avoidable costs. I see
> this as part of the learning organization... Maybe a topic for another
> thread at some point. :-)
> Fae
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