Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Iteration 1/Product & Technology/2

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The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it.
Most likely, new comments will not be taken into account by the new three Working Group members in their work of developing the final Recommendations. You are free however to continue discussing in the spirit of "discussing about Wikipedia is a work in progress". :)

So you're doubling down on Flow Structured Discussions?[edit]

What part of "no" do you not understand? MER-C (talk) 15:58, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

And that too amidst an ongoing t/p consultation .... *Sigh* Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 16:04, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
The recommendation is agnostic about how (or where) the discussion platform(s) get implemented. --Tgr (talk) 11:10, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

On Q 3-2 Who specifically will be influenced by this recommendation?[edit]

I'd recommend not using "or maybe some other large chapter" but something more generic, to indicate that any other (fit) entity might have to take this on. Siebrand (talk) 21:16, 11 August 2019 (UTC)

Fair point, thanks. --Tgr (talk) 11:10, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

Community approaches[edit]

I think this recommendation would be improved by starting with community decision making norms (addressed in other recommendations) which can be supported by new and existing tools rather than starting with the tools. I think the issue here is more of a community/social than technical -- there's no magic tool that's going to take the place of collaboration and mutual trust building between Foundation and the communities.

Happily, on the implementation side, the resources for this recommendation probably exist inside the Foundation already in some combination of the product and community engagement departments. I do feel like the Foundation has recently (last couple of years) invested a lot of time and energy using existing channels like for discussions about specific features as well as outreach on mailing lists and village pumps and have been able to find consensus and make decisions in a distributed and community oriented way. We’ve also looked at a few different platforms over the years (, but neither has gotten a lot of traction on the internet in general.

Another concern about an overly technical focus here. The Foundation’s talk page consultation *strongly* advised the Foundation to make incremental changes and not make wholesale changes to the software itself so any development here should have a strong stakeholder component. Tgr has pointed out that this discussion is independent of implementation and my point is that we've been able to make progress on community decision making without wholesale tool changes. TNegrin (WMF) (talk) 23:10, 2 September 2019 (UTC)

Thanks Toby, good points! We changed the language a bit to be more about the social features we want and less the technical tools commonly used to achieve them. Wrt the risk of disruption, the recommendation had a note on "developing the new platform in parallel to current key discussion spaces so that people can fall back to those in case of problems"; changed that to say work in parallel or incrementally, so it doesn't presuppose whether to use a new or existing space.
Re: the past, I agree the WMF (and especially Product and CE) made great strides in the last few years in managing software consultations, but also I think that an open process for prioritizing between a diverse set of projects with different target audiences, and shaping product strategy, is a far harder problem than getting feedback on already fairly well-formed product plans. This recommendation is not so much a reflection on problems with current product-related community discussions (although I think even there's some room to grow) as an expected dependency of the recommendations on open product governance. --Tgr (talk) 07:27, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
I think we are in agreement :) If you went even further and changed this to "investigate software to support new community decision making structures", it might be a more accurate description of what you are trying to achieve. --TNegrin (WMF) (talk) 14:08, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

From Catalan Salon[edit]

We are worried that every WG asks for dedicated teams for things that doesn't need so much people (...)

Is this an attempt to disempower existing decision making structures[edit]

This proposal sounds to me like the WMF doesn't like the decisions that are produced by the current process and wants to change the decision making structures in a way that they approve what the WMF wants. It seems very dangerous. ChristianKl❫ 11:47, 25 September 2019 (UTC)

The working-group has published a second iteration of the recommendations − see Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Sprint/Product & Technology/2 − maybe the amended version alleviates some of your concern.
Also, you mention “the WMF” − just to be clear, this proposal does not come from the WMF but from a working group of which most of the members are not affilated with WMF.
Personnally, if anything I read the proposal the other way around: the WG recognizes the fact that some of the software/product decisions made my WMF were not alway optimal, and tries to devise a way to have co-decision making with the stakeholders (in particular the online Wikimedia communities).
Also, to better understand your point, what are you referring to exactly by “the current process” and “existing decision making structures”?
Thanks, Jean-Fred (talk) 20:26, 25 September 2019 (UTC)