Manage Internal Knowledge
A brief video recording about this recommendation
We will make the internal knowledge of our Movement easy to capture, discover, consume, and adapt by all contributors to facilitate sustainability and resilience, individual and organizational skill development, and growth in an equitable way across all communities.
All internal knowledge produced in our Movement belongs to it. We will ensure its findability and usability by any participant to facilitate learning and growth. We will establish a base for internal knowledge (whether new or building on existing), dedicated staff for content curation (including discoverability and quality assurance), and user support, supplemented with a service/database of peers for matchmaking.
Changes and Actions
- Facilitate a culture of documentation to become integral to Wikimedia’s work and evaluation and as an outcome in itself, by resourcing its creation in key areas, such as capacity building, advocacy, partnerships, and technology.
- Establish a knowledge-base system with access to all Movement learning assets.
- Design the knowledge-base to be user-friendly, participatory, functional, multilingual, and searchable to store all the internal knowledge resources of the Movement so contributors can be aware of what exists and where to find it.
- Create clear documentation regarding infrastructure development and scalability to transparently engage more Movement stakeholders.
- Encourage the creation of metadata for every piece of internal knowledge to support its findability through search tools.
- Encourage the growth and maintenance of this knowledge-base following these practices:
- Encourage sprints with focused scope to avoid cost and time overruns.
- Adapt content, training, and learning to local contexts and involve diverse communities to ensure knowledge is accessible and available in multiple forms.
- Provide dedicated staff to assist with content curation, discoverability, quality assurance, user support, and to facilitate peer-to-peer matchmaking.
- Support the creation of reports to measure and evaluate the Movement’s progress accurately, thus creating better awareness and setting informed priorities.
Despite our Movement’s success in creating an open and collaborative encyclopedia, we have not been very successful at managing our own internal knowledge. Internal knowledge to understand and measure progress towards our goals, to acquire new skills, share best practices, or to be more accountable to each other. Available information may be outdated, incomplete, or inconsistent. This often results in duplication of effort and missed chances to build on each other’s experiences, hindering the growth of the Movement and disadvantaging some communities. It also becomes an obstacle to distributing power as access to knowledge helps in doing one’s work better (operational, technology, grants, tools, contacts, etc.).
Managing and documenting knowledge are activities that take time and the development of specific skills; doing them is less engaging than the work that frequently attracts volunteers, like editing and organizing. As a result, members of the Movement (especially volunteers) often document their activities and knowledge insufficiently or not at all. This leads to a lack of institutional memory, as their undocumented experiences, knowledge, and contacts are lost if they leave our Movement. Having good internal knowledge management is essential to onboard new contributors and help them develop skills, to allow new leaders to emerge, for small communities striving to grow, and for large ones to become more resilient and flexible.