IRC office hours/Office hours 2015-12-10

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Time: 20:00-21:00 UTC
Channel: #wikimedia-office
Timestamps are in IST.

[20:00:16] <rdaiccherlb> #startmeeting Office hour with Wes Moran, VP of Product
[20:00:16] <wm-labs-meetbot> Meeting started Thu Dec 10 20:00:16 2015 UTC and is due to finish in 60 minutes. The chair is rdaiccherlb. Information about MeetBot at
[20:00:16] <wm-labs-meetbot> Useful Commands: #action #agreed #help #info #idea #link #topic #startvote.
[20:00:16] <wm-labs-meetbot> The meeting name has been set to 'office_hour_with_wes_moran__vp_of_product'
[20:00:26] <legoktm> o/
[20:00:31] <rdaiccherlb> Hello everyone :)
[20:00:50] <rdaiccherlb> Welcome to Office Hours
[20:01:10] <Keegan> Yes, legoktm?
[20:01:18] <rdaiccherlb> Today Wes Moran will be joining, say hi :)
[20:01:23] <legoktm> I was waving hello :)
[20:01:58] <rdaiccherlb> Oops, wrong command.
[20:02:26] <hashar> o:
[20:02:27] <rdaiccherlb> Hi Wes!
[20:02:33] <westonnh> Hello! I'm excited to chat and hope to do this on a regular basis!
[20:02:35] <Trey314159> Hey Wes!
[20:02:39] <hashar> should we keep a log with meetbot ?
[20:02:40] * brion waves
[20:02:48] <rdaiccherlb> I believe we are doing so
[20:02:51] <James_F> hashar: It's logging. It just broke the legal notice, as you saw.
[20:02:58] <hashar> ok ok :)
[20:03:04] <James_F> (Meetbot is terrible, etc.)
[20:03:23] * Krenair waves
[20:03:31] <westonnh> I'll start off the hour mentioning we setup a page for product -
[20:04:44] <westonnh> We hope this helps improve visibility into the specific product audiences. A starting point.
[20:05:09] <rdaiccherlb> It has a running list of the product verticals and current information in one space
[20:05:37] <westonnh> very open to changes, want to make it as useful as possible
[20:06:32] <westonnh> Good path way to take a look at the product goals for January - March and beyond
[20:07:44] <westonnh> The draft goals are up now for discussion so please engage with the teams on the specifics
[20:09:52] <westonnh> We also have been making progress on having monthly showcases across the audiences. Members of Discovery, Editing and Reading teams show off new work and experiments in these showcases.
[20:10:30] <rdaiccherlb> Something I hope everyone will feel welcome in doing is giving feedback on is whether the product page is informative.
[20:10:53] <westonnh> Next one: December 14, 2015 11:30 - 12:30 pm PST - We post a video on youtube shortly after. It is an ongoing thing, so open to feedback of course.
[20:10:55] <rdaiccherlb> When is the next showcase, westonnh?
[20:11:01] <rdaiccherlb> I asked that just a moment too late :)
[20:11:27] * tfinc waves to westonnh
[20:12:14] <rdaiccherlb> Has anyone watching today been able to take a look at the current *high level* product development process? It's here:
[20:12:18] * westonnh waves to tfinc
[20:12:44] <westonnh> you beat me that time
[20:13:06] <westonnh> This is also under development across a number of teams
[20:13:42] <westonnh> I need to be a bit more active on the talk page in responding to some of the questions but appreciate all the interaction so far
[20:13:59] <westonnh> sometimes the delay is due to trying to get input
[20:14:14] <rdaiccherlb> Something that comes up in there, and something we've been hearing for some time is about how prioritization is factored in. I know that communities want a say in what gets built.
[20:15:10] <tfinc> westonnh: since your pretty new to the community at large what areas have your found effective for online communications ?
[20:16:42] <westonnh> Surprisingly I have been told that we should explore things like video, I don't mind IRC but I generally enjoy the talk pages as well
[20:16:54] * guillom waves, apologizes for the tardiness.
[20:17:22] <rdaiccherlb> For community members here right now, do you have an opinion around joining informal hangouts with product teams?
[20:17:47] <westonnh> I think consistency is the key so having each product group and subsequent feature have a clear page, contact and communication channel is a good start
[20:17:53] <James_F> "Hangouts" like the Google tool, or more generally.
[20:18:14] <James_F> We used WebEx for VisualEditor hangouts for a bit, but stopped as they were a tad clunky.
[20:18:29] <guillom> rdaiccherlb: We used to open VE meetings to anyone, but after a while it was only WMF employees who were coming.
[20:18:43] <rdaiccherlb> Setting up informal google hangouts might be a good way to have more collaborative conversations, as long as they're scheduled well
[20:18:52] <James_F> guillom: They're still open to anyone, promise. :-)
[20:18:57] <westonnh> I'm open to all methods, the common ask was a place to show things as well as discuss them.
[20:18:58] <guillom> James_F: :)
[20:19:10] <James_F> But yeah, only a couple of community members have shown up to them in the past few months.
[20:20:11] <guillom> Sorry if this has been asked before, but Question for westonnh: How much interaction do you expect to have with communities? Do you expect to only keep a high-level view and let the verticals do the interaction, or do you expect to be more hands-on, or something in the middle?
[20:20:38] <westonnh> I'd love much more
[20:20:53] <Volker_E> As we've been ensured another time yesterday in the "meeting skills" meetings work much better with a clear agenda -- from my experience that is true in working with anybody (stakeholders, customers, respectively our community)
[20:21:42] <westonnh> Hackathons, Wikimania, regional visits, etc - I like the teams to hear the feedback as well so keeping it close to their development cycles is really a good thing
[20:22:25] <rdaiccherlb> Volker_E, certainly! Triage meetings for VE were pretty specific.
[20:22:39] <Volker_E> rdaiccherlb: thanks for clarification
[20:22:52] <guillom> westonnh: Do you expect your role to focus more on strategic guidance and long-term product thinking? (something we've lost a bit since Erik left)
[20:23:05] <westonnh> with the teams yes
[20:23:33] <westonnh> and more importantly with a lot of user feedback idealy
[20:25:11] <bd808> westonnh: Vice President of Product is a fairly new position in the Foundation. Can you give an overview (or point to a wiki page) that describes the role you hope to play?
[20:26:55] <guillom> In my experience, user feedback tends to work best for short term questions. i.e. if you say "in 6 months we'll work on X, please contribute", you'll get a lot less input than if you say "Your interface is changing next week". Of course, that's a problem, because if it's next week then it's too late to change it. rdaiccherlb's team is great for this, but they still need someone to provide the long-term thinking so they can properly plan for
[20:26:55] <guillom> and execute their consultations. Hence my concern about having someone (probably you) whose job focuses on long-term product thinking :)
[20:28:26] <guillom> (I guess my question sort of echoes bd808's in that I'm wondering "how similar / different is your role from erik's")
[20:28:31] * guillom stops talking now.
[20:30:31] <rdaiccherlb> guillom, funny because people consistently say they want to be involved early on in product process, and it would be great to have that involvement. I wonder how we could get more involvement early on from broader groups within communities
[20:31:05] <westonnh> bd808 I hope to help work with the Product Audiences to align and prioritize feature development, help facilitate strategy, enable resource allocation, communicate all of that better and consistently. I should create a page so that is all spelled out better since it is a new role. We really need to get to a point where our roadmap is out there early and we provide space in the right place for feedback. Ideally I'd like to get a
[20:31:05] <westonnh> annual roadmap as a way to help with that quillom.
[20:32:02] <bd808> thanks westonnh that's helpful
[20:32:41] <hashar> westonnh: hello! Will you take in account "killing products" ? It seems we keep adding to the plate and are terrible at disbanding old code/features.
[20:33:29] <hashar> a typical example is the threaded discussions features. We have LiquidThreads (abandonned but still in prod) supposed to be replaced by Flow which is apparently on hold and barely deployed.
[20:33:56] <James_F> hashar: Umm. It's not abandoned and it's barely in production.
[20:34:48] <hashar> to say it otherwise, in the product phase I was expecting a step after 'Maintain' that would be 'disband' / 'retire'
[20:34:53] <brion> westonnh: how can we get involved in building out a roadmap?
[20:34:57] * James_F nods.
[20:37:12] <westonnh> brion, working with each team is great to start with their goals, I am working on putting the roadmap on the product page and keep the discussion in a consistent clear and public spot, hope that sys ... YES
[20:38:04] <mutante> most people want to be just involved in adding new stuff, that's considered fun and challenging, removing old things that you didn't make is not very rewarding, you will get a lot of "shrug, don't care
[20:38:12] <mutante> but if you remove it, there will be complaints
[20:38:30] <mutante> i see the same pattern in other code repos too
[20:42:39] <Deskana> What we do in Discovery is encourage everyone in the team to add proposed goals to the goals pages, at least a quarter in advance.
[20:42:46] <westonnh> hashar as for ending projects ... we hope the focus of the teams on some data awareness on performance of features, usage and interactions can help us in deciding some of that. There of course needs to be more than just data considerations but it is a good signal for us to use/
[20:42:46] <rdaiccherlb> For community members wanting to be involved in roadmap activities, one way you can do that right now is with the Community Tech survey that is going on through 14 Dec:
[20:42:47] <Deskana> That way anyone can propose goals, and everyone can see us doing it out in public.
[20:43:15] <Deskana> About half the goals in here were written by team members, not by the product manager:
[20:43:17] <westonnh> great point rdaiccherlb
[20:43:37] <hashar> westonnh: make sense, thanks :)
[20:44:16] <brion> Deskana: nice! I'll have to start making some goals for my one-person "crazy stuff & architecture" subteam in similar style :D
[20:45:07] <James_F> brion: Tsk. :-)
[20:45:44] <brion> westonnh: awesome, I'll make sure any goals i propose get upstreamed, either through one of the other teams in Editing or by direct poking :)
[20:47:15] <rdaiccherlb> When it comes to goals, roadmaps, prioritization, should those things be contingent on a go/no-go decision?
[20:48:33] <rdaiccherlb> or might the go/no-go come as a decision to be made when it's proposed as part of the roadmap or as a goal?
[20:49:14] <James_F> I worry that turning things into "goals" and "go/no-go" squeezes out the non-'cool' stuff like hashar mentioned – cleaning up after ourselves, decommissioning, etc.
[20:49:33] <James_F> Building things should be a joy but it should also be iterative and gradual.
[20:49:39] <James_F> No big-bangs if we can avoid it.
[20:49:53] <James_F> How do we make roadmaps reflect direction of travel rather than "events"?
[20:50:09] <rdaiccherlb> We have about 10 minutes left, if anyone has questions for Wes that are on these topics or any other topics
[20:53:39] <hashar> I am not going to open the mediawiki core product can of worms :-]
[20:53:51] <tfinc> :)
[20:53:52] <James_F> hashar: If not you, whom?
[20:53:53] <westonnh> I think having people engage with teams focused on the respective product areas, proposing goals or challenging the goals puts the effort in the proper, public channel and context. Each team has a page, each team posts the goals and calls for feedback ideally on their mailing lists and other channels in draft form. Ideally a longer roadmap, iterative joyful development, listening to user feedback, exploring the development process
[20:53:53] <westonnh> and refining that to show the points of decision making and development can contribute to prevent the big bangs.
[20:54:07] <Deskana> westonnh: What are some of the challenges you think we have ahead of us?
[20:54:11] <Deskana> Let me be specific. "us" being the Wikimedia Foundation.
[20:54:16] <James_F> westonnh: Thank you.
[20:54:57] <hashar> rdaiccherlb: if WMF could include a few of in their roadmap that would be very very nice. Seems lot of our projects are internally driven instead of driven based on actual community requests. But that is just a personal feeling
[20:55:22] <hashar> James_F: still thinking about an appropriate response for mw core :-}
[20:57:01] <rdaiccherlb> hashar, not to speak for Community Tech, but I believe that is how they are considering their roadmap :)
[20:57:28] * rdaiccherlb also could be a bit wrong on the details around that
[20:57:48] <rdaiccherlb> And if individual teams bubble up into the core roadmap....well...
[20:57:54] <hashar> ragesoss: what I meant is community tech should be able to borrow people from other team / insert goals to other teams
[20:58:16] <hashar> to scale. Cause they are only 3 devs and 1 pm. That is not a lot given the number of whishes
[20:58:28] <hashar> anyway, no complains I am just thinking out loud
[20:58:42] <James_F> hashar: So people ask for goals from (say) Editing, and then CT come along, steal devs from Editing, and now Editing don't deliver on their promises to users? I'm not sure that's better.
[20:59:03] <James_F> hashar: Who decides which goals are 'more important'?
[20:59:11] <hashar> Community Tech could advocate a community whishlist to the rest of Product
[20:59:13] <rdaiccherlb> Prioritization!
[20:59:33] <hashar> and have the community idea to be better prioritized compared to some other Editing project which is likely internally driven
[20:59:54] <James_F> hashar: So… all of the PMs are sacked except CT's? ;-)
[20:59:56] <rdaiccherlb> That seems to be the hour for today
[21:00:11] <rdaiccherlb> Just as a can of worms gets opened :P
[21:00:11] <James_F> Thanks, westonnh!
[21:00:40] <Keegan> #endmeeting
[21:00:41] <wm-labs-meetbot> Meeting ended Thu Dec 10 21:00:40 2015 UTC. Information about MeetBot at . (v 0.1.4)
[21:00:41] <wm-labs-meetbot> Minutes:
[21:00:41] <wm-labs-meetbot> Minutes (text):
[21:00:41] <wm-labs-meetbot> Minutes (wiki):
[21:00:41] <wm-labs-meetbot> Log:
[21:00:49] <westonnh> Challenges is a broad subject. Product wise I'd like to get prioritization, goal planning a bit further out, keep improving the feedback and communication of what we are thinking. Really get the base solid so we can make decisions for all the things ahead. Gah - 1 hr heh. Look forward to more everyone.
[21:00:55] <James_F> :-)
[21:01:05] <hashar> James_F: na merely PM discuss the different needs but make sure community wishes are properly taken in account (even if they end up being low pro)
[21:01:08] <rdaiccherlb> Thank you westonnh!
[21:01:17] <brion> yay!
[21:01:54] <hashar> maybe "bubble up" was the proper term
[21:02:12] <rdaiccherlb> We can of course continue the conversation (though the next meeting is nigh!)
[21:02:19] <James_F> hashar: PMs' jobs are to represent users' needs, though, right? If the PM for CTech can over-ride their judgement they might as well not bother.
[21:02:38] <rdaiccherlb> But here, onwiki, on mailing lists, etc.
[21:02:42] <James_F> hashar: Something to talk about next month, or at MWDS. :-)
[21:02:56] <hashar> James_F: so PM from CTech already expose community wishes/needs to the whole product team ?
[21:04:27] <James_F> hashar: Yes, that's the point of the current survey being run