Movement roles/Working group meeting 2011-1-29/roles matrix

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This page contains notes on a matrix of needed roles and responsibilities in the movement, from the Frankfurt meeting in January 2011. Please refer to this page for the full notes and context.

To imagine how the movement should look in the future, the idea was to discuss which movement roles should involve which organizational partners. First we made a long list of topics that should be taken care of by someone in the wider organization, then we clustered these (thank goodness they were not all unique) and these clusters were identified. Then we had a discussion to identify for which clusters it was unclear or undecided which organizational entity (including individual volunteers) should take care of it.


This list is incomplete, drawn from a brainstorming session with many ideas for topics. Please help improve the current list at Movement roles/Roles matrix#Topics.

This is a list of important topics that the Wikimedia projects and communities address all the time. The roles matrix aims to help visualize the role each type of group in the movement plays (or should play) in addressing these topics.

External organizational topics[edit]

Some topics appear both here and as non-organizational topics

- increase
- support
- relations [b/t community and movement organizations]

- smaller meetups - larger conferences


- Coordination



- use of marks and brand
- brand development and drection
- trademark defense

- [see also internal communication]

- see also below

- managing, responding to threats


- site performance
- servers

- current: usability, improvements
- new software
- related tools

- movement expertise? see below.

- for free knowledge

- organizational
- community
- outsiders


- [related decisions on movement priorities]

Non-organizational topics[edit]

This parallel matrix is needed, but we are not covering it in this meeting. These topics were left out of discussion.

- [and dozens of subtopics here]

- [and dozens of subtopics here]

- [implementation, not support as above]


- [possibly organizational also]

Internal topics[edit]

This parallel matrix is needed, but we are not covering it in this meeting. See also the list of topics under OPEN ISSUES below and at the bottom of the spreadsheet.

- [of organizations]


- within the movement
- within the free knowledge/education movement [may be organizational also]

Group types[edit]

After many minutes of discussion, we settled briefly on using "[Wikimedia] Foundation / All chapters / Some chapters / [Other] Groups / Individuals" as five different group types to use for the roles matrix.

You can find additional notes from our discussion in our notes on tough topics.

Draft matrix of roles[edit]

This matrix is the one that came out of the meeting, it's a draft, Please help fill one out at Movement roles/Roles matrix.

The following table was developed collaboratively at the January meeting; several issues remain open. This is a direct transclusion from the Google spreadsheet. Austin 13:04, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

The colors are indicating whether said group is/should or isn't/shouldn't (ideally) be directly involved with a group of activities. Green reads as YES, red reads as NO. Yellow reads as MAYBE, meaning that involvement will depend on particular circumstances. The las column was one where we recorded disagreements about the colors inside the matrix. orange is not really defined, probably somewhere between red and yellow, or a typo at the time of working on the matrix.

A possible color key to the matrix
Fully engaged in this role, responsible for it. Partly engaged in part of this role, supporting. Engaged in this role in specific cases. Not engaged in this role.
Foundation All chapters Some chapters Individuals Groups Comments
Increase participation Research drivers of participation; design global outreach program Design and execute outreach programs direct personal outreach. present about the WM projects. execute outreach programs Develop and execute outreach programs
Editing community support Systems and tools that enable editors; research/learning about community dynamics; design programs that support community health Organize social activites/meetups/conferences; provide access to resources (e.g., books) that help editors Mentor new editors
Trademarks/brand usage (excluding business partnerships/use by third parties) Set global standards for use of marks and brand dev; global merchandise; defend marks Merchandise design, manufacture and distribution - non-commercial by default. selling requires permission? limited use (i.e. for events) D: Question of whether commercial usages (particularly direct, not in partnerships) should be permitted more by default
Reader relations Set standards worldwide; create tools; support as needed Set local standards, support volunteers as needed Maintain, participate in OTRS Maintain, participate in OTRS disagree about wmf - ideally it is a chapter issue. better an indiv/group issue -- see OTRS
Legal issues Defend content; protect WMF; prosecute copyright/trademark vios. Needed: global legal strategy Most legal issues within their country; Protect community/chapter members. National/ regional legal strategy. Copyright enforcement Provide support to WMF on legal issues and vice versa (e.g., EFF, Creative Commons, Internet companies); Some organizations might support individual Wikimedias who may face legal prosecution Note - Need to spec this one (BN)
Institutional partnerships Yes - country-dependent Yes No Maybe clarify overlap b/t wmf and chapters.
Business partnerships Yes In coordination with WMF No No in coordination with the chapter?
Technical infrastructure Yes - primary responsibility rests here Maybe Maybe Maybe via partnerships
Strategic and organizational development Yes - support global strategy development; design/support programs that have global value Yes - Drive local strategy/org dev; participate in global Design and execute initiatives/build systems that support global/regional development/capacity building Active role in strategy dev wherever it happens Yes for WMF mandated groups Discussion about the roles of individuals + groups. Historically strategy has been driven by individuals and groups. Back to the question of "how do you define a group?" Important role and semantic discussion
Advocacy/Lobbying Some advocacy, rather not active lobbying Maybe (all, can, but can choose not to) Yes No Support groups working with like-minded lobbyists Revisit definition of groups here.
Events (meetups, conferences) Limited to funding? Meetups, conferences Meetups Mania, meetups, conferences D - on the role of the foundation.
Fundraising Global role Yes, in area Support Support
Public Relations Yes, in coordination with local groups Yes, in coordination globally Active contributors by region with no active PR group When they are the focus of a story; as with individuals Some confusion about global/local coordination.
Software development Yes - primary responsibility rests here Yes Yes, details needed YES (for supported groups); Potential for partner orgs to help with dev Collaborative questions.
Supporting innovation and research Yes - Research, data provision, funding new initiatives Yes (diversity) Yes Yes, as with software development much innovation starts here maybe
Decisions on allocation of money Yes Yes Yes Yes
Language/translation Yes Yes Yes Yes details needed
Quality of content Yes As support for local quality projects - yes Create and improve materials Yes what is the 'movement role' of individuals-groups? indivuduals here are acting in their role as editors. isn't there an entire separate infrastructure with 'editing role' of community members? WMF - help articulate global standards? controversial.
Quality of atmosphere on the projects/community health Set global standards Support community in area - yes Engage Engage
Volunteer skill building Develop global understanding; Design programs that can be implemented globally Lead in area Yes Yes Yes

Creators and editors[edit]

The movement roles process and working group are focused on organizational groups and structure, not on editor and contributor groups. This primarily means legal entities such as Chapters and the Foundation, formally organized groups such as local associations, and individuals in their roles as volunteers (as event organizers, drafters of proposals, &c.)

The bulk of existing community structures are built around on-wiki editing groups and individuals as creators and wikiproject founders. These structures support and maintain most aspects of creation and review of new pages and knowledge, community management, and related support. This working group has tried to separate organizational from editing initiatives. A separate discussion of the movement roles of editing and knowledge-creation groups is important and needed, but separate from this more limited effort.

So in the matrix above, aside from a few shared/borderline cases (innovation, editing-community support, community health, content quality), roles focused on were those that need organizational/institutional effort. Internal roles (conflict resolution, policy creation, community identity, &c) and content roles (new content gathering, editorial review, accessibility of knowledge, ease of editing, &c) were generally left out. Creation of new code, extensions, and other tools is a gray area; currently the WMF only addresses a part of this, and some of it looks more like broad-community content creation.

For more on the scope of the working group and what it is not, see organizational scope).

Discussion notes[edit]

Further discussion about this matrix as an idea / visualization technique is important.

There are definite gaps in the list of roles and topics; this was a quick draft trying to cover some but not all essential topics.

There are also gaps in the list of 'group types'. Non-Chapter groups need to be better defined, and no specific attention was given to the role of committees or working groups even though this work is seeded by such a group.

We spent some time adding color to the cells to indicate whether a group would ideally have a primary focus on the role, would support it, or would not be involved in it.

In theory, there was agreement that in a good division of labor, no group would have too many primary focuses, and there would be clear areas that each group did not feel responsible for. This was hard for many roles, perhaps because they were defined in the abstract. One suggestion was to add detail to roles that seemed they were essential to all groups, until reaching a level of detail at which it was clear how focus was divided.

On types of groups[edit]

what is the difference between 'some' and 'all' chapters? ('some' could mean that 'some chapters' should take on and share a responsibility for the whole movement. 'all' means that every chapter should individually take on some of this responsibility, say within their geography.) Should we distinguish the roles of boards v. staff within these groups?

Do we need 'some' v. 'all' other groups? should we consider committees, other official groups, ad-hoc groups that are organizational but focused around a time-limited project? What about 'some' v. 'all' individuals, say for issues of leadership? should we distinguish 'legal entities' from other groups? What sort of entity is ChapCom?