Wikimedia Eesti/Third interim report on professionalization

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Wikimedia Eesti began its process of professionalisation in the second half of 2013. The first outcome of the process was the hiring of two employees (a board assistant and a project writer) in October. Since June 2014 initial positions have been restructured to positions of assistant and executive director.

Aims of professionalization:

  • Increase the efficiency of the operations of the organisation
  • Support the initiation of new projects
  • Diversify financial resources
  • Administration of documentation necessary for operations of the organisation
  • Cutting down the number of obligations of board members

This document is the result of mid-term evaluation results of the third quarter (April-June 2014) of the professionalisation process of Wikimedia Eesti.

General evaluation by members of the board[edit]

In general the board of Wikimedia Eesti evaluates the process of professionalisation to be successful, although it admits some miscalculations in the initial planning of the professionalisation process, which are related to needs assessment of involving professional competences for an effective operation of the organisation. Namely, during the professionalisation process it has become evident that the board needs a broader support in quotidian executive management of the organisation, which initiated a restructuring process of professional positions in the third quarter of professionalisation of the organisation.

Apart from the restructuring, the board acknowledges the contributions of their employees in daily activities and in planning future activities. Tasks presented by the board have been completed and the employees have continuously shown initiative, which have made great ongoing contributions to the operational efficiency of the organisation.

The administrative capacity of Wikimedia Estonia is well on track, the documents related to and important for the activities of the organisation are prepared accurately and in due course, and glitches in the period before professionalisation are generally fixed.

Procedure of restructuring of professional positions[edit]

During the mid-term evaluation of the professionalisation process it became evident that the contribution of the project writer to project management and other activities of the organisation clearly exceeded contractual obligations described in the job description, but at the same time this excessive contribution had an important role in guaranteeing and growing operational effectivity of the organisation. As a result it became more and more clear that for the board and for the organisation as a whole, employing a full-time executive director would be more useful than employing a part-time project writer, especially when taking into account the ability of the project writer to create funding for new projects that needed management.

As a result, the board of Wikimedia Eesti decided in May 2014 to propose to the members of the organisation a restructuring of the professional positions in the organisation and creating the position of an executive director. It was also suggested that the person hired to fill the project writer position during the initial recruitment should be named to this newly created position, as the first two months of his work had proved his actual capacity and competence to work in Wikimedia movement on a position with such responsibility. During internal discussion, members of the organisation supported the suggestion of the board and as no objections were made, the idea of extending the annual grant for the year 2014 with introducing the position of an executive director was made to the Project and Event Grants team of Wikimedia Foundation and Grants Advisory Committee.

This step was followed by a public discussion with the Grants Advisory Committee, for which a short overview of the need for restructuring and board position was stated. The candidate to the position of the executive director also presented his vision and scope document for evaluation. In general, the committee understood the necessity for restructuring professional positions in the organisation, but it was considered important to organise a public recruitment to ensure the openness of the restructuring procedure. Nevertheless, the board of Wikimedia Eesti remained convinced that the candidate for the position of the executive director is the best possible one and therefore the public recruitment process would be superfluous. As a result of the discussions, the Project and Event Grants team of Wikimedia Foundation approved the restructuring plan of professional positions of Wikimedia Eesti as part of the 2014 annual grant and also agreed to name the proposed candidate to the position.

Content of restructuring of professional positions[edit]

Executive director[edit]

As a result of restructuring of professional positions, a new position of an executive director was created. The task of the executive director is to ensure good daily functioning of the chapter by securing financial and human resources for its activity, supporting the execution of projects and programs of the chapter, overseeing accounting and other reporting activities of the chapter and supporting the development of the strategy of the organisation.

The job functions of the executive director are following:

Task Result

Creating the agenda and budget of the organization in collaboration with the Board of the organization.

Organisation has clear agendas and budgets supporting execution of these agendas.

Charting possible funding opportunities for the projects and programs of the organization and introducing them to the Board.

Possible funding opportunities charted and information forwarded to the board.

After the decision of the board, creation of funding applications with all related documentation and communication with possible partners.

Funding applications created and necessary information communicated to possible partners.

Communication with the funding organization during the preparation of the application, implementation of the project/program and reporting and communicating relevant information to the Board.

Donor and the board informed of the advancement of the project, interim reports presented in time and the progress of the project easily observable for all interested parties.

Developing the structure of volunteers in the organization and recruiting volunteers to support the activity of the organization.

Organisation has a clear structure of volunteers and volunteers needed for carrying out project activities.

Supporting the execution of the projects and programs, including the support to the project team, support in creation of project agenda, budget and reporting related to the project, active participation in project discussions.

Projects executed in time and in foreseen scope. Project team has clear tasks, interested parties have a possibility to follow actual expenses and activities of the project in comparison with planned ones.

Creation of general reports of the organization (quarterly and yearly) in collaboration with the Board and accountant.

Reports accessible for interested parties and published in time.

Creation of the contracts and discussing the details of the contracts with the Board.

Organisation has well formed contracts for employees, agents, volunteers and partner organisations.

Creation of the policies of the organization in collaboration with the Board.

Organisation has necessary policies for quotidian operation.

Analysing prior strategies and strategic needs of the organisation and creation of new strategies in collaboration with the Board, members of the organisation and the community.

Strategic document funding future activities of the organisation has been created.

Representing the organization in various meetings, seminars, conferences both on the local level and internationally.

Organisation represented at various events and conferences.

Preparing possible partner relations and communication with partner organizations.

Partnerships that support quotidian activity of the organisation and achievement of general goals created.

Communication with members of the organisation, incl. conducting project discussions and spreading information about different activities of the organisation.

Important information shared with members of the organisation.

Preparing general assemblies and other community events in collaboration with the Board, assistant and members of the organisation.

Events of the organisation well organised.

General counseling of the Board, including participation in Board meetings.

Board sufficiently informed about quotidian activities of the organisation for making decisions.

Assistant[edit]

As a result of restructuring of professional positions former position of the board assistant became the position of an assistant. The task of the assistant is to increase the effectiveness of the organisation through administrative, communicative and organisational assistance to the Board and executive director of the organisation.

The job functions of the assistant are following:

Task Result

Protocolling Board meetings of Wikimedia Eesti (held once a week).

Board meetings correctly protocolled.

Protocolling General Assemblies of Wikimedia Eesti (held twice a year).

General assemblies correctly protocolled.

Disclose aforementioned protocols in a foreseen manner.

Aforementioned protocols disclosed in a foreseen manner.

Composing and publishing the newsletter for Chapter members (MTÜ Teataja).

Newsletter properly and duly published to the members of the organisation.

Assisting the executive director in performing his/her tasks.

Executive director gets the needed support for completing his/her tasks.

Ordering translations of documents, if necessary.

Texts have been translated.

Administer correspondence of Wikimedia Eesti.

Correspondence administered.

Administer blog and Facebook pages of Wikimedia Eesti.

Blog has posts of most important events and developments in the organisation. Facebook level updated with interesting and relevant information.

Arrange meetings with partners.

All necessary meetings have been arranged in a foreseen manner.

Arrange community events.

All planned events take place as scheduled.

Arrange public appearances (if not a direct task of the project manager).

Performs activities needed for arranging public appearances or makes sure the activities are coordinated.

Arrange exhibitions (if not a direct task of the project manager).

Organises activities related to exhibitions (preparation and transportation of the exhibition, finding locations for the exhibition etc.)

Arrange trips of chapter (board) members and staff.

Ensures a good arrangement of necessary trips.

Order memorabilia of Wikimedia Eesti and Wikipedia

Memorabilia available when needed.

Arrange publishing of booklets and other printed works of Wikimedia Eesti (if not a direct task of the project manager).

Booklets published timely and in a correct form.

Organize media coverage of the activities of Wikimedia Eesti.

Important activities and developments related to Wikimedia Eesti and Wikipedia have been covered by media.

Motivate and support members of the community in their actions.

Community feels the support of the organisation to its activities.

Changes in structure of the organisation[edit]

With the restructuring of professional positions also the structure of the organisation changed. In general the situation where two employees are subordinated to the board with the mandate of the general assembly was preserved. In addition, the executive director now has authority to manage other employees and volunteers and personnel management is no longer an obligation of the board. Nevertheless, the opportunity for the board to intervene in questions related to the staff and volunteer management remains.

Previous structure

WMEE old organogram (before restructuring)

New structure

WMEE new organogram (after restructuring)

Summary[edit]

Based on the activities and results of the third quarter of professionalisation, Wikimedia Eesti will continue with the process, but in a restructured way.

With the restructuring the initial miscalculations made in the description of job functions have been eliminated and new job functions corresponding better to the actual needs of the organisation have been introduced. The board of Wikimedia Eesti will continue with mid-term evaluations of the professionalisation process in order to evaluate the actual results to the restructuring.

The board estimates that professionalisation has substantially increased the efficiency of the operations of the organisation, as well as the variety of financial sources and the reporting capability. Communication with project partners and donors works well and the workload of the board has been reduced. Due to involvement of paid employees, Wikimedia Eesti is able to execute its statutory aims more efficiently.

As the result of the evaluation of the third quarter of professionalisation, the board of Wikimedia Eesti finds the hiring of professional employees continuously justified and greatly values the contribution of the employees to the activity of the organisation.