Jump to content

Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Working Groups/Procedures

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

Structures within the working groups[edit]

Each Working Group decides how to organize their work, and the core team provides guidance and support on a process level.

Set up[edit]

  • Size: 10-15 people
  • these people have to represent diverse perspectives and roles within our movement (e.g. organizations and/or groups of different types, sizes and geographies; staff, board members, movement volunteers etc.)
  • working group members should be able to commit the required time over the lifetime of the group
  • the group selects two co-chairs who will take over a supporting and coordinating role for each group 1
  • guiding principles that are common to all the WGs (to be created)
  • functional roles within the group (communications, facilitation, etc.)
  • clear process defining each phase of the work
  • As long as the total number does not exceed 15 people, Working Groups can appoint new members if they agree that there are specific competences and expertise missing or if a member drops out before the finalization of recommendations
Photo: Habib M’henni, Wikimedia Conference 2018, GFDL

Tasks and workflow[edit]

  • map the present situation of the thematic area, the obstacles and opportunities as well as needed change
  • create recommendations for the movement and provide guidelines for movement entities and individuals to implement the recommendations by
    • including community feedback cycles
    • developing different realistic scenarios for the movement to support the decision making
    • accommodating different needs and working styles of team members (stay flexible)
    • soliciting expert advice and commission research projects for areas in which we lack knowledge
    • Ensuring new insights and perspectives (from within and outside of our movement) are a part of the process and influence the final recommendations
  • We predict an average of 5 hours per week time investment in the Working Groups from each individual, but that might vary depending on the workflow that each group agrees upon. We hope that the Working Groups will have people who can commit more time beyond the 5 hour minimum, to cover tasks that take more time.


  • continuous communication (online meetings, face to face meetings, written communication)
  • report to the movement and to the other groups via a reporting template about every step of the process
  • consultations with experts and (potential) partners outside the movement
  • constant consultation with the other working groups in order to proactively identify and address interdependencies in recommendations
  • publication and dissemination of research results to the movement
  • publication of draft recommendations based on research input to the movement

Decision-making about recommendations[edit]

  • the appropriate decision-making process will be proposed by the WG in consultation with movement stakeholders
  • decisions can for example be made by common consensus, a defined group/team decision or a resolution by the WMF Board of Trustees (as it is currently the only global decision making body)
  • together with the Working Groups, the members of the Board of Trustees will explore and agree upon the different models for ratification of the recommendations that each group will develop

The Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation is committed to the Movement Strategy process and each of them has joined one of the Working Groups. 1 Coordinators will be mainly responsible for the internal workflow and management of the Working Group and any project management beyond that scope (such as coordinating with external vendors/researchers) will be responsibility of the Core Team.

Membership criteria[edit]

Members of the Working Groups (WG members) are expected to act in the interest of the movement, not in the interest of their own organization or community. In July 2018, applications for Working Group members were assessed by a Working Group Steering Committee that decided upon membership in close coordination with the Core Strategy Team. The decisions were based on a set of criteria:

Photo: Habib M’henni, Wikimedia Conference 2018, GFDL
Photo: Jason Krüger, Wikimedia Conference 2018, CC BY-SA 4.0


  • Strong interest in strategic discussions and/or strategic planning
  • A good understanding of the landscape of the Wikimedia movement and its structures
  • Competences and expertise in or related to the determined thematic area
  • Experience in working with diverse stakeholders on the determined field OR deep local or organizational perspective that can enrich the discussions
  • Effective communication and teamwork skills
  • Where applicable, ability to work with colleagues who do not have English as primary language
  • Comfort in English (written and spoken) (If this is the only expectation stopping you from signing up, please still sign up, and we will assess the possibilities for translation/interpretation)


  • Region, country
  • Language
  • Gender
  • Role in the organization or community
  • Emerging communities / established communities
  • Voices that are not yet included in strategic discussions

Movement background[edit]

A healthy mixture of different roles and functions per group:

  • Affiliates
    • Board members
    • Staff members
    • Different size and type of affiliates
    • Regional and thematic
  • Communities
    • Projects
    • Languages
    • Photographers
    • Developers
  • WMF
    • Board members
    • Staff members
  • ED group
  • Chairpersons group
  • Committees
  • Regional collaboratives
  • Informal organized groups

Guidelines for replacement of inactive WG members[edit]

  1. Core Team member attends the call or follows the online/written conversation
  2. Core Team checks and documents attendance of members
  3. If WG members miss two calls (continuously) or don’t provide input as requested, the Information and Knowledge Team send an email to these members, CCing the interim coordinator.
  4. This email is a confidence and care building measure and will consist of three questions:
    1. Question on wellness
    2. Question on availability (time zone, tech problems, social challenges, etc.)
    3. Question on future participation.
  5. Core Team and coordinator consult how to move forward according to the answers provided.
    1. If the WG member has health issues, we request participation in future.
    2. If WG member brings up ‘availability or social challenges’ coordinator to bring it up in the next WG meeting.
    3. If WG member is non committal about future participation, CT to initiate replacement process.
  6. If the person misses another call without explanation after the reminder a replacement process will be initiated due to inactivity.
    1. Announcement to the person
    2. Announcement to the group
    3. Removal from meta pages and mailing-lists
  7. WGs should be given the first chance/priority to search and replace members.

Guidelines for representation at events[edit]