Wikimedia Foundation Annual Plan/Tuning sessions
The Tuning Session is our quarterly process for assessing the Foundation’s progress towards our Medium Term Plan (MTP) commitments and ongoing support for Core work. The process is scheduled to commence as close as possible to the end of the previous quarter. We will also use this process to communicate successes and misses, share what we learned from the previous quarter, and foster collaboration/alignment between teams.
Our Annual Plan is the plan of record for the Foundation’s work each year. The plan is scheduled for the fiscal year, which starts on July 1 and ends on June 30 of the following year. Departments and individual teams work towards this plan, Core daily operational activities, and additional unplanned workflows or objectives as they arise.
The MTP is a representation of how the Wikimedia Foundation intends to lead, build, design, and serve the world and the mission of free knowledge. The plan is intended to be three to five years in length, and provides a perspective of our major institutional and technical goals under the responsibility and mission of the Foundation. It establishes clear goals, areas of priority work, as well as metrics to measure accountability to the movement, our donors, and ourselves.
Tuning Session Background
In July 2019, a small cross-department team reviewed our process in which we perform a quarterly assessment of the Foundation and its work. Opportunities for improvement included:
- Shifting reviews from tactical to strategic purpose: Creating the loop to update our Annual Plan as needed during the year
- Ensuring assessment criteria are uniform and non-subjective: Establishing objectives and key results (OKRs) for all MTP Key Deliverables
- Reducing the amount of time preparing for/participating in reviews: Presenters are provided with guidelines including a templated format, length, and timeboxing to reduce the duration of our reviews from one week to 1-2 days
- Improving communications about the purpose and intention of the quarterly review exercise: We are reaffirming the need to assess the fulfillment of our commitments, and adjust if necessary
- Creating a feedback loop for improvement: Welcoming input for how we can further ameliorate our quarterly assessment processes
- Increasing visibility to staff at all levels: Ensuring presenters are varied each quarter
These efforts resulted in the creation of the Tuning Session, drawing inspiration from the tuning fork. Tuning forks work by releasing a perfect wave pattern to match a musician's instrument.
Similarly we will use the Tuning Session to finetune the work of the Foundation, and ensure we’re “pitch perfect” by meeting our MTP and Core commitments.