Greetings, Wikimedia colleagues!
In November 2014, we launched a pilot self-assessment tool for Wikimedia
organizations to help us identify areas where we as Wikimedia organizations
might leverage our strengths and address our challenges to achieve better
results. We have some aggregate data available from organizations that took
To learn more about organizational effectiveness:
Review the benchmarking research here:
Read the case studies here:
Review the results from the tool here:
*A little background on organizational effectiveness*
We are looking at how organizations are achieving impact in the Wikimedia
movement. Organizational effectiveness includes all the things that make an
organization good at what it does, from strong leadership and systems, to
how an organization chooses and does programs that lead to results. Through
this lens, we are looking specifically at groups and organizations, so we
can understand how volunteers and staff work together when they are part of
a group or organization.
*Why we care*
Improving organizational effectiveness is a way for Wikimedia organizations
to achieve results, in ways that make sense in their local contexts.
*The tool and the results, in brief*
We are exploring this topic of organizational effectiveness in order to
launch a broader conversation among Wikimedia organizations (e.g. Chapters,
User Groups) to explore areas for building capacity. We have started by
doing some initial benchmarking research and case studies to understand how
effectiveness is understood within Wikimedia and similar movements, and we
launched a pilot organizational effectiveness self-assessment tool, to help
organizations identify their strengths and challenges in November 2014.
This tool includes a questionnaire that is part of a self-assessment.
While individual and organization results are kept confidential, our
partners at the TCC Group provided us with some aggregate data based on the
first round of answers to the questionnaire that is a part of the tool. The
primary purpose of the questionnaire is to aid organizations in their
self-assessments, and not to gather data about organizations; however, the
data the TCC Group collected may be useful in launching further
conversations because it highlights where Wikimedia organizations see their
own strengths and challenges.
*Next steps for organizational effectiveness for Wikimedia organizations*
We are hosting a discussion about the organizational effectiveness tool for
Wikimedia organizations at the upcoming Wikimedia Conference in Berlin, and
will also continue a discussion there about the future of organizational
effectiveness for Wikimedia organizations. Topics to explore within
organizational effectiveness might include areas like volunteer engagement,
raising funds and other resources, supporting online contributors, media
relations, financial management, governance, etc.
*What future work are we interested in doing together around organizational
*Is a self-assessment tool useful for organizations? Should we gather
feedback and work toward improving the tool, or try another approach? Does
the tool need to remain confidential?
*Are there specific topics in the area of organizational effectiveness that
need more exploration? Are there areas where we need more resources?
*Is there anything important revealed by this research or the results of
the questionnaire that we can use to better understand how we can grow?
*Call to action:*
Please offer your feedback, thoughts, and questions on Meta, or participate
in the upcoming discussions at the Wikimedia Conference. If you are
interested in discussing this work, or becoming more involved, but are
unable to attend the session at the conference, we are happy to convene a
hangout or an IRC office hours. Please also feel welcome to contact me
directly if you have ideas about this work, or add your ideas to Meta.
Many thanks to our colleagues Marieke Spence, Rika Gorn, and Deepti Sood,
at the TCC Group (a consulting firm that specializes in organizational
assessments), who created the tool and analyzed the results. Many thanks to
the volunteers and staff who participated, and have provided feedback so
far. Thanks especially to those organizations participating in the pilot
group, the case studies, and in the ongoing conversations about
organizational development and effectiveness at Wikimania and other
We look forward to more work together in this area!
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