Learning patterns/Securing project visibility and success by having a showcase early on
What problem does this solve?
Having a breakthrough, tangible case study early enough in the project is a powerful facilitator to generating additional support for the project to carry it forward. A successful case study project helps to illustrate the aims of a partnership programme such as a Wikimedian in Residence (which can otherwise be quite opaque), especially for internal staff who are not clear about the project:
It was only towards the end of the project that we had produced a good case study, a ‘breakthrough’ with the Groam House. At that point we could have driven for more change, but the funding for the residency has run out, and the MGS’ internal champion was away. The potential and interest was there, but there was nobody to champion the results and encourage further projects. It’s felt that that moment has now passed.
-- Kelly Forbes (Digital Manager, Museums Galleries Scotland, WIR’s line manager), impact interview June 2017
It can take several months to prepare ground for a successful editathon or an image upload; however, delivering something visible and successful early on can help greatly in generating internal support for the project. This, in turn, builds a larger supporter base, increasing the possibility of the aims of the partnership project being carried forward once the intense stage of the collaboration (such as a Wikimedian in Residence) is finished.
What is the solution?
Partnerships need to be longer to achieve change - Wikimedia UK runs Wikimdedian in Residence projects for at least a year and we help partners plan for early showcase activity.
We put more time to support WIRs in their metrics and reporting work, so we get a fuller picture of their outputs - this research project would not be possible otherwise. We meet with partners more often to review, monitor, build trust and gain a better picture of what’s happening beneath the surface.
When to use
Setting up a partnership, especially an in-depth one such as a Wikimedian in Residence.