Kompass 2020/Entstehung/en

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Compass 2020, the strategic plan for Wikimedia Germany, will be developed over the course of seven phases. The methodology is oriented towards standard practices as they are applied in many organizations and firms. An essential aspect of the planning methodology is going from the large to the small, from the abstract to the concrete, from the long-term to the short-term: starting from an abstract and long-term vision that towers over everything medium-term and long-term goals will be set which, in turn, will contribute to letting this vision become a reality.

File:Strategische-Planung eng.jpg


The starting point for Compass 2020 is the stakeholder analysis. Stakeholders here encompass all of the individuals and institutions that have a substantial interest in or a substantial influence on the association. Identifying them is important because the association’s work can quickly lead to bigger problems and ultimately to the inability to accomplish anything if the desires and expectations of our stakeholders are not taken into account. This would certainly be the case if the important class of stakeholder donors is not taken into consideration, although the vast majority of the revenue (and thus resources) of the association is provided by the donors. The analysis itself occurs in two steps. First of all, all the persons or groups will be identified that are known or are reasonably believed to have an interest or influence. They will then be classified based on the two dimensions of interest and influence. A high interest exists if the stakeholder is keen on learning about the activities of the association and who, in principle, would be willing to contribute their own work. A low interest exists if the association is hardly known and also if there is little demand to know more about it. A great influence also assumes that the desires and expectations of stakeholders are very directly reflected in the association's activities. A low influence exists if the association's activities are tailored only in very small measure to the desires and expectations of the stakeholder. An essential factor in the stakeholder analysis is the fact that a person or institution can simultaneously become stakeholders through different roles in different ways. Employees who are also members are stakeholders, on the one hand, in their role as members and, on the other hand, in their role as employees. Board members who also write articles are both stakeholders in their role as members of the board as well as in their role within the community. Likewise, many community members are readers at the same time and, associated with this, have at the same time a very different interest in and influence on the association. It is thus not the case that every person or institution can only be of importance in one way to the work of the association.

Low Moderate High
Influence high low need for information

low need for participation
desires and exspectations are communicated and heard

moderate need for information

moderate need for participation
desires and exspectations are communicated and heard

strong need for information

strong need for participation
desires and exspectations are communicated and heard<br

Moderate low need for information

low need for participation
desires and exspectations are occasionally communicated or heard />

moderate need for information

moderate need for participation
desires and exspectations are occasionally communicated or heard

strong need for information

strong need for participation
desires and exspectations are occasionally communicated or heard

Low low need for information

low need for participation
desires and exspectations are hardly communicated or heard

moderate need for information

moderate need for participation
desires and exspectations are hardly communicated or heard

strong need for information

strong need for participation
desires and exspectations are hardly communicated or heard

Based on this assessment, the six stakeholders will then be selected on whose desires and expectations the association would especially like to focus. For Compass 2020, this analysis took place at the first executive board meeting in May 2009. As a result, the following key stakeholders of the association were recorded:

  • Education: people and institutions that actively and purposefully participate in educating the population (e.g. teachers, school administration, schools, educational politicians, etc.)
  • Community: people who actively participate in the collection and spreading of free knowledge, for instance, as authors, photographers, developers, observers, fighters of vandalism
  • Law-makers: people and institutions who actively participate in setting standards (e.g. parliaments, governments, judges etc.)
  • Readers: people and institutions that use free knowledge for their own purposes
  • Media: people and institutions that produce their own work for the general public independently of the topic (e.g. journalists, editors, publishing houses, radio and television broadcasters etc.)
  • End users: people and institutions that want to use and publish free knowledge in their own work


Along with the previously determined stakeholders, a vision will be developed: an idea of how the purpose of promoting free knowledge, which underlies everything about our association, should be realized in the long-term (a time frame of 10 years). The six most important stakeholders are the starting point for this because taking into consideration of their desires and expectations is seen as being essential to the ability of the association to promote free knowledge. In its form, the vision is very abstract. It consists of statements describing a future state. It serves as a basis for determining the short-term and medium-term goals in the next step. Therefore, it makes sense that this vision determines things in a general way but is brief yet rich in content. For the association, this vision was developed by the board directly after the stakeholder analysis:


1 The media makes free content available and shares our ideas.
2 Free knowledge is present in the media.
3 Journals dealing with themes relevant to Wikimedia have a direct line to Wikimedia Germany.

End Users

4 Free content can be found everywhere and it is easy to use.


5 It is a matter of course that law-makers in certain political spheres (e.g. copyright law, education, knowledge, information policy) will consult the association as experts.


6 Everyone who wants to know something goes to Wikimedia.
7 The content is high-quality, sound and unsurpassed.
8 All Wikimedia brands are established.


9 The community finds, uses and values the backing and support in the association.
10 The community is open to everybody who can and would like to participate in it.
11 Involvement with free knowledge is attractive because it is valued and appreciated.


12 Widespread acceptance and use of free knowledge in education –we promote the collaborative method of working.

The order of these individual statements only serves as a simple reference and has no further meaning. Specifically, it does not represent any weighting or ranking. What is important is realizing the entire vision, not the individual statements. This vision should be the overriding mission of the association. Each one of our activities must ultimately trace itself back to this vision. Likewise, we must also completely deal with this vision in the totality of our activities. How this will look in the particular will be determined in the next step.


From the vision, a series of departments will be developed which will approach this vision within their respective professional dimension. This professional division serves, on the one hand, the division of labor and, on the other hand, it should also make effective use of the particular professional skills and experience of the people involved in the planning process. For Compass 2020, the following departments were thus created:

  • Promotion of Volunteerism
  • Lobbying
  • Marketing (later combined with Public Relations)
  • Public Relations
  • Quality
  • Usability and Technology

One or more board members will be assigned to these departments according to professional qualifications and interest for developing the strategic goals. The assignment can be inferred from this page. The following belong to the tasks of the departments in the context of the strategic planning:

  • Development and communication of strategic goals
  • Assessment of operational goal proposals from management
  • Assessment and inspection of their implementation

Strategic Goals[edit]

To make the vision also be practically significant, they are first roughly broken down into medium-term strategic goals. These goals serve as milestones by which the achievement of visions can be measured. Medium-term means here from three to five years.

What is a “strategic goal?” A strategic goal answers three questions:

1 What should be achieved and by when?
2 How will success or failure be measured?
3 How does achieving this goal contribute to realizing the vision?

Strategic goals are thus realizable statements, whose achievement can be measured and which bring the association one or more steps closer to realizing its vision. Designs for these strategic goals of the association were developed at the board level and at the second general meeting in September 2009 and decided upon. They are published in this wiki and are divided up by department, published and were submitted for discussion:

Operational Goals[edit]

From the strategic goals, detailed operational goals will be derived. The term “operational” refers to the fact that these goals have immediate, practical benefit for daily work. They have been created with the short-term in mind (a period of 12 to 24 months) and are more concrete than the strategic goals, to which they are to lead. Operational goals can be viewed as being milestones on the way to achieving the respective strategic goal.

Operational goals answer three questions:

  • What should be achieved and by when?
  • How will success or failure be measured?
  • How does achieving this goal contribute to the achieving the overarching strategic goal?

They are thus the short-term equivalent to the medium-term strategic goals. The management of the association is responsible for the development of these goals. To this end, in September 2009 planning teams will be made use of by the executive director, which will be composed of staff members and interested stakeholders. This will ensure that the development of the operational goals will take place to a great extent with the participation of important stakeholders and thus they will take into consideration the result as well as their desires and expectations. Operational Measures

On the basis of the operational goals, concrete measures will be developed which will contribute to achieving the particular goal. Measures are specific actions, projects, programs, events etc. which are undertaken by the association. These include, for instance, the Wikipedia Academy, the Literature Scholarship and the Toolserver. These individual initiatives will be embedded in a general context along with the strategic plan, which will especially be able to answer the question of how they will further develop over the course of the coming years.

Operational measures thus answer the how-questions of each operational goal:

  • How will the goal be achieved? How will we go about doing so?
  • How will the resources of the association be used?
  • How will the measure be communicated?
  • How will stakeholders be involved?

Just like the operational goals, the development of the appropriate measures also lies in the responsibility of management. The planning teams mentioned above are also used here. Until November, the planning teams will thus develop operational goals as well as suitable measures for them.

A Plan[edit]

The results of the planning team as well as the discussion about the strategic goals will be brought together at the beginning of November and presented at the third executive board meeting. The various proposals will be discussed and incorporated into the decisions concerning which strategic and operational goals will be pursued along with which operational measures. The result of this meeting will be a strategic plan that will answer completely the core issues of What do we want to achieve? and How do we intend to go about doing so? It will be the blue print for the fundamental action of the association for the next ten years.


The plan at this point in time is, however, not fully complete: if the strategic and operational goals together with measures have been determined, then the focus will turn from the essential questions to the infrastructure, thus the departments, which are available to the association for doing its work. In other words: while the main focus up to this point was on the goal, now it will be about the means which will lead to the goal.

The following departments concerning infrastructure were created:

  • Equipment
  • Finances
  • Fundraising
  • Organisational Development
  • Personnel
  • Internal Communication
  • Wikimedia international

It is thus about all the activities of the association which have a primary, supporting function. They are means to an end and not an end in itself. That this area is first playing a role here has to do with the fact that infrastructure issues inevitably have to be subordinated to the previously considered core objectives and measures. It only makes sense, for instance, to talk about fundraising strategies when the anticipated financial resources required are evident. Similarly, the question of whether and how we invest in additional hardware is dependent upon which strategic goals we would like to pursue.

The meaning of this differentiation from the previous points lies in the fact that infrastructure lets itself be centralized well due to the associated specialization and repetition. It is, for instance, a general rule that it is much more effective to bundle up fundraising activities and to carry them out as a whole rather than leaving such tasks to each business unit itself. It would also be nonsense if public relations, promoting volunteerism and quality were to have separate ideas about processing the data of the association and if they were to create the infrastructure required for that instead of having such tasks centralized in one place.

In strategic planning, there is the sequence Strategic Goals -> Operational Goals -> Operational Measures. This also makes sense in infrastructure since it is also important, for instance, to think long-term when it comes to revenue generation or IT systems. For the development of strategic goals, the board departments were responsible in the first run. This was also the case in regard to infrastructure. This is thus accompanied by an expansion of the departments so as to better reflect the new professional requirements. In the new departments, strategic infrastructure goals will then be developed which will be discussed and decided upon at a subsequent board meeting. Afterwards they will go, just like the core objectives, to management and their planning teams that will have the task of developing appropriate operational infrastructure goals and measures. These will then be presented to a board meeting, where they will be discussed and decided upon.


The “grand finale” for the development of Compass 2020 is the general meeting of 2010. The complete strategic plan will be presented to all members of the association already before the meeting and brought up for discussion. At the meeting itself, it will be one of the most important points on the agenda and thus the members will have the opportunity to determine the direction of the association for the next ten years.