Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Sprint/Product & Technology/5
Disseminate Product Knowledge
Q 1 What is your Recommendation?
Create an evangelism / knowledge dissemination team that is tasked with ensuring that community members and partners understand the factual basis of ongoing projects and strategic decisions. The team would make sure that the background information necessary for understanding and evaluating product strategy is available, easily accessible to the average reader, and disseminated to the communities.
Q 2-2 What is your thinking and logic behind this recommendation?
Other recommendations (Open Product Proposal Process, Deployment Council) propose giving more formal decision-making power to the editor communities. For this to work well, the community members participating in those processes must be sufficiently well-informed; that would be a challenge for anyone, and especially challenging for volunteers spending their limited free time, and should be supported as much as possible.
Community decision-making mechanisms (such as RfCs) that sometimes end up being used informally today to attempt changing product decisions impose no requirements on their participants about understanding of the factual background or strategic vision of these decisions. While in the last few years a significant effort went into improving information flow from the communities to the organizations doing the development, the flow in the opposite direction is rarely facilitated. In the absence of information and shared vision, feedback can be dominated by change aversion. If we want to avoid that, the information flow between the product owner organizations and the wiki communities needs to be improved.
Q 3-1 What will change because of the Recommendation?
Editor communities will be better positioned to shape product and technology strategy as important stakeholders. The main impact is indirect: this is necessary to enable community codecision-making, which will make the product development process more robust (being based on the discourse of a more diverse set of participants) and more predictable (as participating communities commit to the outcome).
Q 3-2 Who specifically will be influenced by this recommendation?
Directly, the affiliate that operates this team (presumably, the WMF). Indirectly, editors, code contributors and the wiki projects run by them, who gain a better understanding of ongoing work and capacity to engage with planning processes and influence their outcomes.
Q 4-1 Could this Recommendation have a negative impact/change?
No, other than maybe wasting resources and not having an effect.
Q 5 How does this Recommendation relate to the current structural reality?
It adds a new team for supporting movement-wide decision-making and encourages feedback from community members on product changes.
Q 6-1 Does this Recommendation connect or depend on another of your Recommendations? If yes, how?
Q 6-2 Does this Recommendation connect or relate to your Scoping Questions? If yes, how?
Not directly; it supports other recommendations which do.
Q 7 How is this Recommendation connected to other WGs?
It concerns a kind of internal advocacy effort. As such, it might be of interest to Advocacy.