Community Relations/Community collaboration in product development
Wikimedia communities and individual volunteers still struggle with following and participating in the Foundation’s product development activities. On the other end, many Foundation teams working on product development still struggle with their community engagement activities. In practice, only a very small and committed portion of volunteers are able to follow and have a good view of the Foundation’s plans and ongoing projects. The Community Liaisons (CLs) have been helping to bridge this gap.
As part of the previous Annual Plan, CLs started to organize their support to product development teams more flexibly than before, focusing on Product goals. However, this setup still left the Technology department out of CL’s scope, even if some of their teams also work in projects requiring community engagement. CLs and product managers are also driving the creation of the Technical Collaboration Guidance (TCG), a compilation of best practices for inviting community involvement in product development. One lesson learned was that the TCG was best applied to projects that had adopted these best practices since their inception.
After these initial steps, now it is time to standardize the CL support to better serve Product and Technology goals and to harmonize community engagement practices across product development teams. The TCG offers a starting point that is expected to improve as we apply these best practices and we learn from the consequent results.
The goal is to increase the awareness and participation of Wikimedia communities in our product development projects. A higher quantity and diversity of participation through our planning and development process will result in a better common understanding, a better collaboration, and better products.
A requirement to achieve this goal is to offer to our communities a simple and predictable way to stay informed about and to participate in our product development projects. For this, our current reliance on CL support will be increasingly complemented by harmonization of community engagement practices across Product and Technology teams.
This shift will be based in these principles:
Lead team: Community Liaisons
Zero unanticipated clashes with the communities related to goals or tasks where CL support has been committed, or where TCG best practices have been followed by the Foundation teams. CL will ensure that development teams are aware of potential and emerging points of conflict.
At least three wiki projects requesting beta features and early deployments (where applicable).
Top 25 wiki projects in terms of active contributors have at least one active tech ambassadors and one translator identified (could be the same person).