Talk:Towards a five year plan 2013-18/Archive

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Some starter questions:Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 13:36, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

How long should the plan be?[edit source]

Comments
  • A piece of string - failing that, 6-10 pages, with some discursive commentary or notes, or 3-4 without Johnbod (talk) 16:42, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
  • One wiki page long. Mike Peel (talk) 20:05, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Should it relate to the Foundation's Strategic Priorities?[edit source]

Comments
  • Yes Johnbod (talk) 16:42, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Also yes; we know these are likely to remain an important part of the FDC process and we should build in alignment as far as we can. The Land (talk) 17:30, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
    Alignment will probably happen automatically, since we are working towards the same goal. What we need to make sure we do for the FDC process is present our priorities in such a way that the alignment with the WMF's priorities is immediately clear. --Tango (talk) 00:16, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
    For those who aren't aware or can't recall them, the strategic priorities are: Stabilise infrastructure; Increase participation; Improve quality; Increase reach; Encourage innovation. --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 10:41, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Definitely. Mike Peel (talk) 20:05, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Should it create its own strategic priorities?[edit source]

Comments
  • Yes, absolutely Johnbod (talk) 16:42, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
  • There is no point having this document if it doesn't. The Land (talk) 17:38, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
  • It should also include our vision and mission, and how it may change within the 5 years (and so would create a vision of where we want to be in the future). Daria Cybulska (WMUK) (talk) 13:16, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Yes, and relate them to our objects and the global strategy. Mike Peel (talk) 20:05, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

How do we reconcile global and local community interests?[edit source]

Comments
  • Priority to local Johnbod (talk) 16:42, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Would these actually conflict? The Land (talk) 17:37, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
  • I also don't think that these will conflict. There's a lot that can be done on a local basis that will benefit the global movement, and be globally interesting. Mike Peel (talk) 20:05, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

What sort of internal structure should it have, e.g. work areas, targets, success criteria, SWOT analysis etc?[edit source]

I would like to see the plan being placed in a context of both the Wikimedia movement (WMF) and our own strategic goals - these can be broad commitments linked to our mission and values. The plan could be broken down by operational areas; Governance, Finance, Outreach, Fundraising, Communications, Membership, Community etc and then each should have sections with SMART targets for the period. I'm not sure smaller (i.e. 1 year, 3 year) targets work as well here because there will have to be some year-to-year flexibility to accommodate the unforeseen - but the broad goal should remain)

This is much in line with the plan we've already developed, and is a conventional way of working in the HE sector - have a look at |my former employer's five year plan as an example.

The additional virtue of this is that Trustees, Staff and Volunteers can start to frame spending decisions and proposals for programmic work in the same way i.e. how to they serve the strategic goals and SMART targets within the plan. Not really rocket science, and personally speaking, I'd really appreciate having this sort of structure in which to plan the work of my role :-) Katherine Bavage (WMUK) (talk) 10:26, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

Please don't equate the Wikimedia movement with the WMF! --Tango (talk) 12:26, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
Apologies! ;) Katherine Bavage (WMUK) (talk) 12:29, 9 January 2013 (UTC)


I think the process needs to start with a situational analysis and this is something the whole community can get involved with. We should ask questions like;

  • What are we good at now? What aren't we good at now?
  • What assets do we have?
  • Where are we within the "ecosystem" of other open-knowledge, cultural, and educational institutions? What do we have a natural advantage in vs what could easily happen without us?

We then need to establish what our long-term objectives are, and build the strategy about how we can reach those goals, then set targets for each year that will serve as markers to the overall strategy. The Land (talk) 17:36, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

  • It needs to have quantitative targets that progress can be assessed against over the course of the five years, which should meet the SMART criteria. Mike Peel (talk) 20:05, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

How much depth should we look for?[edit source]

Comments
  • Not too much, especially for 2+ years ahead. We are still very much in a formative stage, with no real idea what will will look like in 5yrs time. Many key factors, above all the number of active volunteers, are still apparently out of our control. Johnbod (talk) 16:42, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
    Taking control of things like number of active volunteers is almost certainly something that needs to be in the plan... --Tango (talk) 00:19, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Another way to ask this question is: where do we draw the line between the five year plan and the annual plans? Our planning needs to go into a lot of depth, but after a certain point that depth should be in annual plans, not the five year plan. It's difficult to describe where to draw that line in the abstract, so this may be a discussion to have once we are actually formulating the plan and have specific examples to discuss. --Tango (talk) 00:19, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
  • It should have enough detail that an external person looking at the document would understand the rationale behind the targets. The targets should, however, not be too detailed (e.g. number of active volunteers and/or number of active volunteers in Scotland, but not number of active volunteers in Milton Keynes). Mike Peel (talk) 20:05, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

What should we NOT put in?[edit source]

Comments
  • Lots of detail Johnbod (talk) 16:42, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Goals that aren't quantifiable. Mike Peel (talk) 20:05, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

Who should we consult and involve?[edit source]

Comments
  • Membership & community. Donors. Some other chapters. WMF probably unlikely to want to comment. Johnbod (talk) 16:42, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
  • We can conduct most of the work in public and that's a start. We ought to consider what questions really need wide input from the community, and we could (for instance) conduct a survey or ask for input quite widely. The Land (talk) 17:37, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Everyone that is interested in our work - in particular Wikimedians, other Wikimedia organisations and other free knowledge/content organisations and contributors. A survey would be good, but shouldn't preclude freeform input. Mike Peel (talk) 20:05, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

How should we consult and involve them?[edit source]

Comments
  • Ask for comments. I'd like to see some organized events with a session discussing. Johnbod (talk) 16:42, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
  • I strongly second the above - I was already notionally thinking of having a members' 'feedback' discussion session at the AGM if possible - so we could formalise that? Not sure how we could expand this for other stakeholder groups (Donors/Volunteers) - perhaps having it raised at meetups and discussion fed-back, and alert donors to the process and their nearest meetup? Katherine Bavage (WMUK) (talk) 09:46, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Why not consider some focus groups for specific stakeholder groups? These could be run in non-London locations and target specific groups (members, donors, active off-wiki volunteers to name three). Would need developing but there's a really good outreach opportunity here. --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 10:47, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
  • A survey as mentioned above would be good. Freeform input should also be welcome. A targeted discussion at the AGM would be good, as would informally talking to community members at wikimeets around the country. Mike Peel (talk) 20:05, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

How do we make sure it reaches the widest possible community?[edit source]

Comments
  • Just off the top of my head, some available channels for this include the blog, Twitter, Facebook, geonotices / talk page notices, email lists. --Stevie Benton (WMUK) (talk) 10:50, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
  • What Stevie said. Also consider asking the Signpost to write a few paragraphs/article on it asking for input. Also ask for input on the village pumps of the relevant language Wikimedia projects. Mike Peel (talk) 20:05, 23 January 2013 (UTC)

How often should it be reviewed, by whom and in what ways?[edit source]

Comments
  • Annually is enough for the full 5yrs. Johnbod (talk) 16:42, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
  • I'd envisage a progress review exercise, involving the community and presented to the Board, each year as part of the annual planning and budget-setting progess. I would probably suggest a review for continued suitability and the like perhaps 2 years in?
  • This is a tricky one. We'll obviously be using the five year plan each year in order to formulate an annual plan and it will be necessary to consider if the five year plan is actually appropriate (we shouldn't just blindly follow the five year plan if that means writing a really stupid annual plan that makes no sense in the context its actually being written in). That means that, to some extent, there will be an annual review of the plan. However, for a long-term plan to have any credibility, the intention has to be to actually follow it. If we completely rewrite it every year, there is no point having it. A formal strategic review two years in sounds good, although any major changes should only be made if there is a very good reason (and we shouldn't mess with the SMART targets too much - that's cheating! Targets that have been met early or that are now almost completely impossible should be revised, though). A fuller review process could then start about 3.5 years in as part of creating a new five year plan (I think 18 months is probably the right amount of time - 6 months to review the current plan, 6 months to write the new one and then 6 months to write a new annual plan based on it before you need to start implementing it). --Tango (talk) 00:27, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Ideally it should be reviewed at each of the milestones that it describes. That might mean setting annual targets if it's going to be reviewed annually. Mike Peel (talk) 20:05, 23 January 2013 (UTC)