Special projects committee/strategic goals

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Background:[edit]

There will be a Board Retreat at the end of October. We have been working on the agenda of the retreat. This page is for input in terms of GOALS. For example, building a collection of 10 goals, to focus on in the future and to build our action around. For example, list of 8 goals for the Millenium (UN goals).

Pat (the facilitator) has rephrased this, and is quoted below:


goal language and structure[edit]

I also want to address goal language. This is typically an area of different perspectives, so it will help us have a shared understanding of the level of specificity we are talking about. Florence shared examples of organizational goals from the Millenium Development Group. These are what I'm calling in the agenda "Target Objectives." We could also call them Strategic Goals. Regardless of what we call them, the idea is that they are fairly high level and directly achieve the mission, whereas action steps are much more numerous and specific. Notice how broad the goals are for the Millenium Development Group. They form a blueprint for STRATEGIC action, that probably aligns into a few key projects or lines of business:

  1. eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  2. Achieve universal primary education
  3. promote gender equality and empower women
  4. reduce child mortality
  5. improve maternal health
  6. combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  7. Ensure environmental sustainability
  8. Develop a global partnership for development

I'd like to take your strategic goals a step further by making them SMART: Specific, measureable, acceptable, reasonable and time-oriented.

An example of SMART Strategic Goals or Target Objectives for Wikimedia Foundation might look something like: 1. Establish strong board of 10 and staff of 5 by December 2007. (action items might be: board recruitment expanded to Africa, interview board members by May 2007, etc. )

2. Create products that grow our marketshare in Europe by 20% by Dec 2007. (action items might be: (1. Have a Wikipedia DVD for en, de, fr, ja by 2008, At least 5 african languages above 10 000 articles by 2009 - these were from Florence's list)

3. Create educational events for volunteers and potential partners (action items might be: host one annual conference, create online workshops....

4. Secure global technological expertise/market share in the open encyclopedia market (action items might be: Tms secured for 20 countries by 2007, Set up of a new GFDL licence for wiki by 2100, Network with 5 locations, and database entirely duplicated for safety by end of 2006)

My plan is to review SMART goals and share several examples at the retreat so participants know what type of goal level we're creating and can generate the best possible results.

smart goals[edit]

  • Specific:

Provide enough detail so that there is no indecision as to what you will do. A goal of: “collaborate better” is poor. How will you do this? A much better goal would be: “clarify decision making process for staff meetings.”

  • Measurable:

Your goal should include tangible evidence of completion. It feels good to see something accomplished. Equally important, you will be able to prove to yourself (and others) that you were successful and your time wasn't wasted. The end result of the goal “clarify decision making process” is not easily assessed. How will you know if others are on board? A more measureable goal is “clarify decision making process, resulting in 95 percent adherence to the decision.”

  • Acceptable:

Your goal should be set by you rather than by someone else. You know best your strengths and weaknesses, and can use this information to maximize your chances of success.

  • Realistic:

Don't plan to do things if you are unlikely to follow through. Better to plan only a few things and be successful rather than many things and be unsuccessful. Success breeds success! Start small, with what you can do, experience the joys of meeting your goal, and gradually increase the amount of work that you ask of yourself.

  • Time frame:

Say when you plan to work at your goal, by next Tuesday, by the end of first quarter, etc. Anything that will take more that two hours can be broken into smaller chunks.

examples[edit]

  • Arena of Goal
  • Goal Category
  • Measure of Goal Outcome


  • Human Relations (how people work together to accomplish the work)
  • Improve conflict management process
  • 80% reduction in grievances filed by second quarter


  • Human Relations
  • Wider participation from work groups
  • Work teams have decision authority over 50% of their work 3 months after training


  • Work Process (systems through which work gets accomplished)
  • Quality level of service
  • 30% reduction in employee turnover


  • Work Process
  • Institutional capacity
  • Place in top 10% of customer satisfaction index


  • Bottom-Line (why the business exists)
  • Budget
  • Have a balanced budget by year-end


  • Bottom-Line
  • Quantity of programs, customers
  • Maintain current programs; 30% more members

List of possible goals[edit]

ground rules[edit]

A rule to absolutely mandatorily respect:

The idea here is only to set up lists of goals. Not to discuss them and NOT to criticize other people list, even though the goal seems stupid or irrelevant to you. That's brainstorming. People should feel free to do that.

example[edit]

An example of SMART Strategic Goals or Target Objectives for Wikimedia Foundation might look something like:

1. Establish strong board of 10 and staff of 5 by December 2007. (action items might be: board recruitment expanded to Africa, interview board members by May 2007, etc. )

2. Create products that grow our marketshare in Europe by 20% by Dec 2007. (action items might be: (1. Have a Wikipedia DVD for en, de, fr, ja by 2008, At least 5 african languages above 10 000 articles by 2009 - these were from Florence's list)

3. Create educational events for volunteers and potential partners (action items might be: host one annual conference, create online workshops....

4. Secure global technological expertise/market share in the open encyclopedia market (action items might be: Tms secured for 20 countries by 2007, Set up of a new GFDL licence for wiki by 2100, Network with 5 locations, and database entirely duplicated for safety by end of 2006)

add your own[edit]

Add your own sets of goals below


1. Operational sustainability for the near to medium term

Action items, measures:
  • clearly define the minimal level of operational goals that need financial support
  • define other "nice to have" areas that could be supported with fundraisers
  • have enough operating capital to maintain minimal levels of operation over the next 1-2 years (e.g., keep up servers, buy extra hardware, pay office expenses and maintain current staff levels)
  • endowment/sufficent funds in the bank to cover operating expenses if donations dry up or expenses go up

2. Improve effiency and accountability of WMF operations

Action items, measures:
  • Additional office staff to cover workload
  • possibly additional accounting & legal staff
  • improved reporting: quarterly board reports to the community; committee reports to the board; clear and complete financial records; reports on partnerships and outside contacts to the committee; updating the foundation wiki
  • ethics: forming an ethics committee; having conflict of interest disclosures for all staff & board & committee members
  • get every committee active, with clearly defined mission; make sure there are enough members on each committee to cover the work & split off subcommittees if necessary; make sure each committee knows who they're reporting to
  • expand the board
  • bi-annual board (& committee?) retreats

3. Increase outreach to the community and world at large

Action items, measures:
  • annual event support -- make wikimania great; begin year-round wikimania committee to provide support to local team; make sure there are lots of scholarships to attend the international conference
  • local events: increase regional meetups, and provide Foundation help; provide support (supplies, how-to) for wikimedia booths at other events
  • targeted outreach to specific groups (educators, librarians, free culture, open source, publishers, press)
  • produce better swag & literature for outreach & distribution at events
  • outreach to researchers: make research raw materials (dumps, statistics) more accessible, provide a space for research coordination on meta & during the conference(s)

4. Developing partnerships and mission

Action items, measures:
  • develop clear guidelines on WMF partnerships -- under what circumstances partnerships are developed, why and how
  • define the types of groups that are aligned with the mission of WMF (and develop lists and contacts for same)
  • discuss, with the community, the types of charitable missions WMF might be involved in (e.g., educational content distribution, technology support in the developing world, free knowledge evanglism, rare language fostering, etc).
  • further differentiate operations from the work of the board (the board shouldn't have to answer the mail, the office staff shouldn't have to set organizational direction)

N.B.: many of these things may already be happening or planned; many others may simply be clarifications of already-occuring things; regardless, I think they should be foundation-wide goals. phoebe 05:54, 11 October 2006 (UTC)


5. Provide our content with a reusable format

Action items, measures:
  • release as often as possible a _reusable_ (with third application) HTML dumps.
  • release a synchronized (with the HTML dumps) dump of pictures, sounds,... including commons for each wiki.
  • work on commons to have a clear description (author, license, ...) for each picture in the manner that a computer can treat them (for example, remove copyright protected pictures). That's mean modify Mediawiki.
  • internationalize commons mediawiki to allow having descriptions in many languages.
  • offer the ability to make customized dumps : you give a list of article with revisions, and you get the HTML.
  • To achieve that : survey efficiently the static committee and insure that there is progress. Kelson 07:38, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Also see Three-year_plan, One-year_plan, and Five-year_plan for older collections of goals & similar notes.