Coordinate Across Stakeholders
A brief video recording about this recommendation
We will enhance existing and establish new organizational structures and practices that ensure comprehensive information exchange, learning, knowledge transfer, and networking opportunities with all Movement stakeholders as well as partners who share our vision. By coordinating resources and ensuring decision-making is equitable, these structures and practices will facilitate better engagement, faster reaction, and greater support across our Movement.
Changes and Actions
- Create and keep updated shared documents defining clear responsibilities and expected capabilities for specific activities like advocacy, capacity building, partnerships, product, and technology, among others. These documents will reflect common shared values, needs, principles, and accountability and facilitate growth and inclusivity.
- Create spaces for communication and collaboration between and with technical contributors to increase the scale and impact of our work and infrastructure sustainability:
- Create a space for partners and other collaborators on specific content area workflows that require tools, updating, and improving.
- Create a space for participation and communication for third-party developers.
- Identify and resolve core barriers to make way for collaborative work on modern technologies, creating new interfaces, and improving our user experiences.
- Create a Technology Council to establish processes for introducing new functionalities onto Wikimedia platforms and tools. The aim is to improve communication between staff developers and other technical contributors to better network, coordinate innovation, provide and obtain support, and foster input on decisions and resource allocations that impact communities.
- Improve communication channels and spaces between developers and communities to receive feedback as well as to create processes for mentoring, training, and organizing code review and documentation writing, among others.
Lack of clarity about the roles of various stakeholders, ineffective communication channels, and differing prioritization systems have created points of conflict, perceptions that decision-making occurs without consultation, and lack of unity. To improve understanding and engagement between volunteer communities and other parts of our Movement, attention, resources, and supporting structures need to be put in place.
Many significant software changes are approached without consultation and therefore lack buy-in and understanding across projects. This lack of coordination is worsened by inadequate support and ineffective communication with volunteers, technical contributors, partners, and developers in the community. They are often left at their own discretion in terms of maintenance and improvement of their tools, and both users and partners can experience many barriers (e.g. when sharing content). Establishing a central structure such as a Technology Council can guide the focus and coordination of developing new technology. Similarly, regional and thematic structures can facilitate coordination among diverse Movement stakeholders with greater clarity and shared understanding.
The need for better mechanisms to connect people with similar topical interests is evident at all levels in the Movement and with our partners. The importance of coordination will become more relevant as our Movement grows larger and more diverse, and creating solutions will have multiplier effects in the quantity and quality of free knowledge we can create and share.