Wikimedia Deutschland/Data Partnerships Model/Roles and Responsibilities

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Roles and Responsibilities

The purpose of this part is an overview of roles and responsibilities from Wikimedia Deutschland side on typical partnership projects. At WMDE we are always trying to support our partners as much as possible with positive attitude and with a desire to learn more about the topic and the goals of our partner. Here is also presented the RASCI matrix concept which we are using in our projects. RASCI matrix is used for the allocation and assignment of responsibilities to the team members in the projects and helps to eliminate any confusion and questions “who can help me with my question about…? ”.

RASCI is an abbreviation where:

R - Responsible, who is responsible for carrying out the entrusted task;

A - Accountable (Approver), who is responsible for the whole task;

S - Support, who provides support during the implementation of the task;

C - Consulted, who can provide valuable advice for the task;

I - Informed, who should be informed about the task progress.

Depending on the outcomes and a project duration, it can be different set of roles for each project. We are describing here the maximum set of possible roles and responsibilities of WMDE members. The roles and responsibilities of our colleagues from the partnership side can be different to WMDE set of roles. Involvement of WMDE members can be changed at the initial phase (III phase - preliminary discussion) of the project and after the scope of the project is defined (IV phase - assessment/demand analysis). We are trying to keep the same project team from the beginning to the end of a project.

Project Sponsor (PS): Project Sponsor is responsible for initial communication, decision making process, approving and authorizing the funding for the program, discussion and signing all necessary documents for making a project happen. Project Sponsor is resolving possible cross-program issues, supporting the program and its team, confirming outcomes and sign-of the program closure. Project Sponsor can also play a role of a Project Consultant in case of decision making on the high level. Usually the role of the Project Sponsor plays the Executive Director or the Heads of departments.

Project Manager (PM): Project Manager is responsible for planning all necessary project work packages, and keeping the project on track according to the scope. Project Manager has to be sure that all necessary team members and stakeholders are involved and aware about their tasks/responsibilities in this project. Project Manager is responsible for achieving all goals of the project on time and according to all agreements. Usually the role of the Project Manager plays the Program Manager for Wikidata, who is responsible for a program in which this project is involved.

Product Manager (PRM): Product Manager is responsible for guiding the success of Wikidata/Wikibase and leading the cross-functional team that is responsible for improving it and adjusting it to the Partner’s goals if necessary. Product Manager is responsible for the product roadmap, features definition, and the product strategy, so this role is involved in the project from the very beginning for checking the alignment the project goals with the Wikidata/Wikimedia strategy goals. Product Manager can play a role of Project Consultant on the level of product expertise.

Engineering Manager (EM): Engineering Manager is responsible for analysis of technologies involved in the project, analysis of resources and necessary people involved, as well as deployment of features. Engineering Manager helps to organize workshops and provides help in case of questions about possibility to implement new features. Engineering Manager is responsible for coordination of the team of developers and providing to Project Manager all sensitive information for risk management purposes.

Developer (D): Developer is responsible for developing and deployment all described features according to work packages descriptions provided by Engineering Manager and Product Manager.

UX Manager (UM): UX Manager is responsible for recommendation of best approaches for implementation of user experience. UX manager also helps to organize workshops, prepares all necessary surveys and templates according to WMDE standards. UX Manager is a main connection between UX Designer and Project Manager.

UX Designer (UD): UX Designer is responsible for gathering and evaluating user requirements in collaboration with the Product Manager and the Engineering Manager. UX Designer is setting up, running, and reporting all aspects of qualitative and quantitative user experience research, designing graphic user interface elements according to Wikimedia standards.

Communication Manager (CM): Communication Manager is in charge of all internal and external communications between WMDE and Partners. Communication Manager is often responsible for pre-contact phase and publication of project results (blogs, articles, papers). The role of Communication Manager at WMDE can play partially the Partnership Manager, partially the Software Communication Strategist, and partially the Project Manager Community Communication for Wikidata.

The RASCI matrix can vary for different types of project, so here we demonstrate an example of a big program with many work packages, which can include, for instance, an evaluation process of software and data model compatibility, several Wikibase instances, mass data import, development of new features, linking data, and several workshops and learning sessions.

Partnership Phase Project evaluation phase Example of activity PS PM PRM EM D UM UD CM
I - Pre-contact - Communication with potential partners during conference/meetup R
II - First contact - Email/call I C C R
III - Preliminary discussion Pre-Project Evaluation Product roadmap analysis A C R
Resource analysis A I R C C
IV - Assessment/ Demand analysis Planning Resource allocation A R C I
Budget planning A S R
V - Implementation Implementation Wikibase Instance A R
Data import S A R
Project Monitoring and coordination activities
VI - Completion Completion Documentation
Announcement publishing A R
VII - Sustainability Post-evaluation Lessons learned