Within the WMF we have recently kicked-off an initiative to update our strategic direction to ensure that we continue to operate in the best way to fulfill the Wikimedia vision.
As you may know, in 2009, the Wikimedia Foundation drafted a five-year strategy for the Wikimedia movement with significant community and staff contribution. From that, five year targets were set. Those targets drove investment in stabilizing our technical infrastructure, creating a space for innovation, and increasing investment in editing tools. The plan was bold and motivating, but the five-year time horizon proved difficult to adapt to the changing nature of the web.
The 2009 Strategic Plan was very broad and encompassing. It reflected the key issues for the Wikimedia Movement and the millions of people who are a part of it. In practice, the WMF had difficulty focusing and prioritizing its day-to-day activities in relation to the Plan. The 2012 “Narrowing Focus” announcement was an attempt to literally narrow the focus of the WMF so it could be more effective in supporting the Movement. It is now time to reconsider and update the Strategic Plan and the Narrowing Focus decision.
Going into 2015, the WMF is developing a new strategic process. Rather than trying to draft a five-year document for the entire movement, we are kicking-off what will become a discipline of ongoing strategic inquiry, assessment, and alignment. This more agile, adaptable process will directly inform and update our priorities and goals and help us maintain a strategic direction that is consistent with the Wikimedia vision, supports the Wikimedia projects, and is sensitive to the changing global environment.
The “Strategic Visioning” Community Consultation is the first step in our new strategic process. It is an opportunity for us to explore together what the future holds for the Wikimedia Movement and projects. We will learn from your ideas and use them to inform and refine our strategic thinking. From that, we will define the WMF Strategic Direction, which we will share with you in 2015. This Strategic Direction will guide us in our community support, engineering, grant-making, and fundraising and will be updated annually. We may also be reaching out on specific questions (for example, relating to technology or grants) that will also help support our strategic planning.