On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 5:38 PM, Yuri Astrakhan <yastrak...@wikimedia.org> wrote: > Oliver, thanks! > >> In other words, the litmus test for me is: what happens when the socially > and politically weakest person in the organisation has an idea? > > If we speak of a "product" idea, we have two groups of people - those who > can implement the idea, and those who would need to convince others to do > it. They use fundamentally different, scarcely overlapping skill-sets. An > engineer might go via the "hackathon + demo" route, implementing something > simple and showing it to gain traction. A non-engineer would start with the > social aspect first - talking to others if the idea is worth pursuing, how > hard is it to do, and eventually - convincing others to allocate their > time/resources to do it. Sometimes an engineer may go the social route > instead, but it would be very hard for a non-engineer to engage in > development. Lastly, the "designer" group has an amazing skill-set to > visually present their full vision rather than the demo, thus often having > easier time of conveying their thoughts. > > In a sense, the barrier of entry for the person in the "weakest position" > would not be as high for the "doer" as for the "inspirer". So I think the > real challenge is how do we capture and evaluate those ideas from the > second group? Also, no matter how hard we try, it would be either very > hard, or very expensive (and not just financially) to force the > implementers to do an idea they do not believe in. So in a sense, doers > need to be persuaded first and foremost. > > As with any explanation, a picture == 1000 words, so we could promote "idea > visualizers" - designers who are easily approachable and could help to draw > up a few sketches of the idea.
My email opened with "I think reducing things to engineering terms are sort of indicative of the problem here". I'm not talking about code. I'm not talking about designs. I'm not talking about software products. And thinking about it in terms of engineering projects, which is what we do as an organisation a lot, will not be helpful. If it did, then after several years of insisting that we are primarily a tech shop, we would hopefully not still be having conversations about structure and direction! What I am talking about is ideas generally. They might be about software products. They might be about social products, a la the teahouse. They might be about how to tweak our process by which we interact with the community. They might be that our hiring process is kinda weird and here's this one cool way we could look at improving it. They might be that the break room snacks _suck_ (again, hypothetical: they're fine. Sorry, Facilities). In any case, the litmus test is just that; a litmus test. Our structure should be designed cognizant to these problems, and then pass the test, but not be designed *specifically* to pass the test. And the designer idea seems pretty hyper-optimised just for the test. > _______________________________________________ > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines > New messages to: Wikimediaemail@example.com > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, > <mailto:wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe> _______________________________________________ Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines New messages to: Wikimediafirstname.lastname@example.org Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>