On 30 May 2015 at 17:03, Sam Klein <sjkl...@hcs.harvard.edu> wrote:

> <snip>
> > And also a little addition (from [1]):
> > ¬ęThe FDC would like to encourage the WMF to share more data in
> > advance, and to do so publicly as much as possible.
> Very much agreed.
> > The Board may need to adjust the
> > calendar of FDC work, but allowing for a comprehensive review by a
> > committee from the community (such as the FDC) rather than the
> > Wikimedia Foundation itself is essential, especially in light of the
> > minimal feedback from the community on the public pages.
> >
> What do you think would be a reasonable sort of review?
> Lila has mentioned the idea of moving towards updated plans every 6 months,
> with detailed reports every quarter.
> I would welcome an FDC-style review of the 'latest published biannual plan
> + report', on any timescale that works for the FDC, assessing the same
> things that it does for all annual plans.  A review of that sort in April
> or May would be timed well to influence the 'Annual Plan' discussion, even
> if it was a review of the published plan & report as of January, rather
> than the draft plan developed in April.   How would current FDC members
> feel about this?  Can we find a way to do this without obliging the current
> FDC members to do more work?  [considering that there are others with
> similar experience in the movement]
> Speaking only for myself and not for the FDC as a whole, I don't think
that the FDC has the level of expertise or frankly the amount of time
required to review the Annual Plan of the WMF, with its budget being 10x
the size of the largest chapter, and its range of activities equally more
extensive than anything else that the FDC looks at.  As a rule of thumb,
most members are spending on average between 15 and 30 hours reviewing each
submission now (including historical information), and the WMF plan by
itself would probably require at least 100 hours to really understand if
the FDC was given the same amount of information by the WMF that it expects
of the other entities seeking funds.  My brief review and analysis of this
very high level plan (including reading and cross-referencing related
documents/emails) took pretty much all the volunteer time I had between the
time it was published onwiki to the time I posted my comments - and that
was only one member, not a committee response.

Instead, I think the WMF is due for a serious third-party, impartial,
expert review of its Annual plan, with the report going directly to the
Board of Directors for its consideration. This is pretty standard amongst
many non-profits, and with its international scope and its considerably
expanded budget, it's time for the WMF to start getting this level of
feedback. It may also prove useful to demonstrate that the plans have been
reviewed by an external body when seeking out new partners and new sources
of income or endowment.  I do believe that community review is also very
important to assist in identifying priority topics, significant gaps in the
plan, and synergies amongst the entire WMF family of organizations,
projects, and volunteers.

I personally do not think that the current draft plan really explains where
the WMF leadership wants the WMF to go, or where it sees itself a year down
the road, let alone two or three years from now. While I am well aware of
the need to continuously evaluate progress against goals and to reassess
whether or not those goals are appropriate, there does not seem to be a
well-articulated long-term vision in this plan. Instead there is the
suggestion that the organization may change course quite significantly, and
that projects intended to take 3 or 4 quarters to accomplish might get
shelved before completion.

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