Talk:2013 Activity Plan

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laptops

I've run or helped at several training events, including both ones where we had bought along the chapter's spare laptops, and ones where we hadn't. When a trainee has forgotten their laptop or the laptop they've borrowed has a dud battery and they've forgotten the charger, it is really really helpful to just be able to lend them a WMUK laptop for the session. So much thanks for buying three last year, I'd reccomend anyone who's running a training session that you have one for every trainee who books a laptop for the event plus at least one spare. But rather than describe the budget as "laptops for volunteers" can I suggest you describe it as "spare laptops for training events"? WereSpielChequers (talk) 09:59, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

Fair point as they get used in many contexts - have amended Jon Davies (WMUK)
we also have the slide scanner now that although fairly simple could be a draw to the office. Jon Davies WMUK (talk) 12:03, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

(talk) 17:06, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

WCA funding

Funding source

Please remove the sentence "This will come directly from the Foundation." No process for funding has been agreed and so this is speculative. I suggest the sentence "We are no longer being asked to provide financial support to the Wikimedia Chapters Association directly (WCA)" is removed unless there is some clarification as to who has now stopped asking for funding, and with what authority. As it stands, this may be mistakenly read as agreement or direction from the WCA. Thanks -- (talk) 13:15, 10 December 2012 (UTC) (Writing as the WCA Chair)

Noted thanks. Have amended.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 17:05, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

Representative expenditure

It's not clear to me where the expenditure that we will incur as a result of having a representative on the WCA will come from if the WCA budget is £0. As a standard chapter representative, these expenses would comprise the costs of attending WCA meetings (be it in-person meetings where travel and subsistence expenses are incurred, or teleconferences where the cost of telephone calls needs to be reimbursed), and potentially other costs such as training, attendance of Board meetings, etc. However, as our representative is also the WCA Chair, we will incur additional expenditure in situations where the WCA needs the chair to attend events in order for the WCA to be represented (as was demonstrated by the need to fund Fæ's attendance at the Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2012). In the long run, these extra costs may be covered directly by the WCA, but in the short term the costs will fall on us to cover. Please could the budget line that will cover both the expenses of our representative and the role of WCA Chair be clarified? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 21:13, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

curiosity: monuments

Just out of curiosity (I'm partially interested because of my own involvement in the project): in the ideas page WSC suggested Wiki Loves Monuments and it seemed there was support for it at the time. Does that still have a place in the revised budget? (Was it actually included in the original?) Under which topic would it fall? Lodewijk (talk) 00:50, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

First of all I'm really sad that we did not participate this year as a chapter and hope we will do better in 2013! 'WMUK absolutely loves monuments really' can come under Small Grants for volunteers to organise it, or Glam or even outreach. The key is finding some Wikimedians to drive it.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 10:03, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

Sponsorships etc

Is there a specific reason why WMUK is not seeking sponsorships as part of its income, by offering companies to sponsor conferences etc? I apologize if this was already answered at the original budget, but considering the budget cut it might deserve an extra consideration. Lodewijk (talk) 00:52, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

This is not an impossibilty. Now we have Katherine Bavage as our fundraiser we have more capacity (remember we are still quite kleine) this is a real possibility.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 10:05, 11 December 2012 (UTC)
Seeking sponsorships is a good idea, and is something we will work on. However we're not in a position to put figures in as a guestimate as at this stage we don't have a guiding policy agreed by the board (or relevant approval process), plus restrictions around trademarks make it hard to know how valuable the opportunity would be and therefore how much sponsorship we will reasonably be able to expect. I have made contact with someone at WMDE when visiting last week who I will follow up with to advise me on this with specific reference to the spring GLAM conference which would be a good opportunity to treat as a test case. Katherine Bavage (WMUK) (talk) 16:05, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

Tango's comments

Thank you for sharing this draft. The greater detail in the overviews of what each budget item is for are great, but it would be good to see more breakdowns of where the numbers come from (similar to that provided for the conference attendance budget).

The risks for each budget item are also good (in future, we'll need to start quantifying risks where possible, but qualitative statements are a good start), but you are missing the other side of the coin - successes. We should have metrics for success in the budget (I think this was on the agenda for the last board meeting, but got skipped due to time constraints).

I also notice that Daria is down as primary contact for a hell of a lot of stuff - I know she works very hard, but it that realistic? The new GLAM person could probably be the primary contact for most of the GLAM stuff. --Tango (talk) 14:05, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

I doubt that a temporary project manager on contract, intended to be in place for a couple of months, would be the best person to hold authority delegated from the board of trustees for a wedge of the charity's monies. This is a particular issue when that budget is paying for their contract, or possible extensions to their contract should expected outcomes not be delivered on time for some reason. -- (talk) 14:29, 11 December 2012 (UTC)
Chicken and egg I suppose. I want to know what is approved before adding the detail and sharing the task on success parameters with these who will be delivering and deciding. On the specific of Daria I am hopeful that if this plan is adopted there will be three other people on staff to share the project areas. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 10:25, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
The board shouldn't really be approving budgets without approving the metrics for success along with them - how do you decide that something is worth the money if you don't know what it is going to achieve? There may be some items that are not sufficiently well-defined at this point (eg. I think the Wales budget is pretty speculative at the moment), but those should go back to the board for final approval after they have been fully defined and before they are actually implemented. --Tango (talk) 12:22, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
I would say this more strongly, the board (or its delegate) must reject, and preferably have a track record of being seen to reject, funding for any project without measurable outcomes (yet) being defined and agreed so that value against the charitable mission can be assessed. I would expect this to be part of top level policy. This is a separate issue from the detail of this overarching annual plan, where most sections have yet to receive project plans or briefs (that would include definitions of specific outcomes and deliverables). I agree that this plan should have high level expectations of outcomes and value, though these expectations would probably be vague enough to be subject to significant interpretation before being incarnated as firm and attractive. -- (talk) 15:34, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
Generally, I agree, but you do need to be careful to make sure we're choosing projects based on how large the impact is, not on how easily measurable it is (and that we choose a metric that actually correlates strongly with what we're trying to do, rather than simply being easy to measure - eg. quantity of articles is much easier to measure than quality, but we don't want to use a metric that only looks at quantity because that will skew our work). There may be very good projects where the impact cannot be easily measured (or even quantified at all). That doesn't mean we shouldn't do them. We should at least have a qualitative criterion for success for such projects, though. (And we shouldn't use that excuse too often - the vast majority of what we do will have quantifiable and measurable impact.) --Tango (talk) 18:27, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
I hope I can re-assure you that there will be drill down in all these budgets, Something we were only partially successful with last year largely owing to capacity issues. The travel budget was one great example of where it worked but there is no reason at all that we don't do this for ALL areas. Quite the opposite. So process is 1. Agree global sums, 2. Look at each budget head and split onto expected spend pattern. 3. Set Expectations against those budgets and what the success criteria would look like.Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 16:27, 13 December 2012 (UTC)
I completely disagree with that order. Budgeting is an exercise in cost-benefit analysis. You can't do a cost-benefit analysis without understanding both sides of the equation. Until the breakdowns are done, it's all just arbitrary numbers. How can you know if someone is worth the money if you don't know what that something is? The budget needs to be complete before the board can approve it. --Tango (talk) 13:16, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
You made this point at the board meeting. Trustees explained that in many of our areas we decide to allocate an amount of money to an area, say digitisation, not knowing how it will be spent but judging that given the resources available we wish to apportion a certain amount to this activity. It is only during the year when the opportunities arise that we can assess the CBA. In this example we would make a judgement on a case-by-case basis based on the value of the images, their uniqueness and the digitisation costs. There is no way we can do this in advance unless you can see into the future. If you can please give us some horseracing tips? Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 14:33, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
If you follow that argument, we shouldn't have a budget at all and should just take a wait-and-see approach to everything. Budgeting inevitably restricts future flexibility, but we do it because planning things in advance helps us ensure we make efficient and effective use of our resources. We've always left a portion of the budget unallocated so we can take advantage of new opportunities, but we should be able to plan most of our activities in advance. --Tango (talk) 19:10, 14 December 2012 (UTC)
I agree Daria is the primary contact for lots of stuff - what looks like maybe too much. However, some of it doesn't represent all the work being hers e.g. Merchandise and Outreach publications will have part of the responsibility shared with Stevie and myself (membership and donor outreach). In that sense she is the primary contract, but not solely responsible for delivering all the outcomes of that budget. Also, the aim is that she be the primary point of contact but that volunteers are leading the work to better spread the load. Whether this ideal world actually happens...
On a side note, what is 'Technical development to support cultural outreach (GLAM metrics)' about? What does the £5,000 represent - contracted development work? Supporting/Coordinating volunteer development work through expenses? In either case I'm not sure why Daria is the contact (possibly because I don't know what the work will actually be and therefore how it links to GLAM) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Katherine Bavage (WMUK) (talkcontribs)
I'd agree and say that often being the contact means making sure that things happen rather than full delivery. We are also hoping that the GLAM and Education support staff, together with the developing Committees, will help. Not sure about the Technical development either, I was thinking digitisation projects but not sure. Daria Cybulska (WMUK) (talk) 16:05, 11 December 2012 (UTC)
It's the fancy name for the Europeana project that's been delayed (Mass upload tool). It may be that this can be rolled into the Europeana one - we'll check. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 16:37, 11 December 2012 (UTC)
The parts of my job that involve making sure things happen often take up far more of my time than actually doing things myself. The point of having someone specifically named as being responsible for something is to make sure it doesn't get overlooked. That doesn't work if you are too busy to actually take responsibility for them. --Tango (talk) 23:55, 11 December 2012 (UTC)
To clarify, and respond to Fae's point ("I doubt that a temporary project manager on contract, intended to be in place for a couple of months, would be the best person to hold authority") - a 'primary contact' does not (in this case) hold any delegated authority. The budget holder holds the authority and has the ability to make spending decisions: the primary contact is the person in the office who is generally organising things and doing the day-to-day work. For example, Jon may be the budget holder for office rent: but I would be the primary contact, because realistically I'm the 'first point of call' for rent queries. This is so that Jon doesn't get inundated with calls and emails. A second example is travel grants in 2012: Mike was the budget holder, but essentially Daria was the first point of contact (as she made the bookings and organised the flights). It would be appropriate for the new GLAM person to be a primary contact certainly - but possibly not to have spending authority delegated (but that's a different discussion). Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 16:45, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

QRpedia

No money for bringing QRpedia under WMUK control.2.103.219.187 23:33, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

There's a budget for legal fees. There shouldn't be any other costs. --Tango (talk) 02:38, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
There's also the developer budget/contractors for setting it up on our servers and maintaining it once the legal part's out the way. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 10:42, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

JISC Post

We are close to agreeing what will be in effect a Wikimedian in Residence post based at JISC. They have agreed to contribute £15K to create a post for six months. There is a feeling amongst those who know that this will be an immensely important step for us in the UK vis a vis our relationship with academia. There is also a fear that six months is not enough time to do much more than scrape the surface. I am therefore proposing that we match the £15k to make it a one year post. The finance from this to come from reserves. We have had some significant individual donations recently that lead me to believe that we will be able to make up the £15K during the financial year. Agreeing this in the New Year will help the negotiations with JISC and help attract candidates for the post. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 11:56, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

This would be a great step for our engagement with the academic community - JISC can open many doors for us! The Land (talk) 11:37, 31 December 2012 (UTC)
I think it would be very low risk to take from reserves which are sufficient. In addition the budget has flexibility to reduce spending during the year if the spending profile changes dramatically for the worse46.65.255.161 18:44, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Comments from Chris K

First of all, many thanks for this Jon (and everyone else involved in developing it). It's great to see our budgets becoming much more thorough every year. :-)

A few comments, apologeis for not making them earlier;
  1. Europeana project; If we only fund £60k this year is it likely the project will end up being either scaled down or delivery will be pushed back?
  2. Under Train the Trainers you have "25% for Moodle"; what would £4.5k on Moodle get us?
  3. Virtual Learning Environment; can we be clearer about what has been delivered to date and what £2k next year will buy?
  4. Technical development to support GLAM outreach; the narrative here currently reads "See International section above." - does that mean this is the same as the Europeana project / Toolserver, or something else?
  5. GLAM Scotland and WWI project (and indeed the JISC WiR). I think we need to plan what we do in case some of the prospective relationships don't work out; do we hire our own contractors to start to do these things if we don't have a deal done with a partner by mid-year, or do we recycle the money into something else (if so what?)
  6. GLAM Conference, GLAM Events, University events - It would be good to set out the annual plan for these events so we can see what kind of event is expected and how many people are meant to come, month by month.
  7. Governance. The only item here is "Board Costs" and in the narrative it says "does not cover governance costs like board training or governance advice". I think we need to budget for professional trainers/facilitators for two of our in-person Board meetings, plus a certain amount of ad-hoc support. We have used lots of this in the last year, it's been very helpful, and we will probably need to continue to do so.

Regards, The Land (talk) 11:31, 31 December 2012 (UTC)

Reply from Jon

  1. Europeana - talking to colleagues in other chapters this is probably scaleable but would be better if it proceeded on current lines. There have been some recent positive signs. The questionable aspect may be contributions from at least one other chapter who are showing pieds froid un peu.
  2. Train the Trainers - have corrected the text to offer consistency. The Moodle element is actually 2K and this would be spent on making Charles's work as accessible as possible and any tech development or hosting this needs. I will ask Stevie to send a short briefing round about progress to date.
  3. GLAM Techinical development - we, in the office, believe this is linked to Europeana but a separate piece of work supporting institutions understanding of, and links to, pages concerning their collections. Perhaps Fae can explain. There is always the chance this is a hangover from a previous idea that could be scrapped.
  4. GLAM Scotland, JISC and WWI WiR posts. All three have their risks, JISC and WW1 seem well on course with continuing negotiations. Scotland still less so but an important relationship if we can achieve it. If any of them collapse we need to assess the value of the project and whether we return the cash to reserves, employ someone to do the work on our behalf or use it in another way. I am hopeful that with a GLAM organiser in post and the work Saad has been doing we can get at least two of these posts running quite quickly.
  5. GLAM Conference and EDU conference. I am not in a position to put this detail in today but I am reassured that the Edu one will follow the pattern of last year and repeat its success and that the GLAMWIKI is now looking on target. Both will need proper plans with timetables and success criteria.
  6. Have put this under the £10K for project consultants/management. We may need more of course.

Thanks for the comments; in all of this I am seeking to deliver the biggest impact on the ground leading to an invigoration and expansion of the WMUK community. If we succeed in this much else will follow. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 12:50, 3 January 2013 (UTC)

A couple of extra comments

Thanks again for the ideas. I really think this is a programme that we can deliver in its entirety. It is not set in stone and there are some aspects of it that have been persistently difficult to spend to. But this year, with luck, we will have the staff resources to trigger and support the community activity we hope for. I now have the task of making this plan fit into the programme presented earlier to the FDC and then set up deliverable targets to ensure it all happens. In the meantime please look at our planning process for the next five years and contribute. Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 15:38, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

Budget query

On this wiki we are given an underspend of £111,000, but on the spread sheet it is £147,000. Which is correct? Leutha (talk) 17:33, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

File:End of Q1 2013-14.pdf

The PDF linked in the heading is to the quarterly planning grid, showing our progress at the end of the first quarter. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 12:29, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

File:2013-14 quarterly planning grid (July 2013).pdf

The PDF linked in the heading is to the quarterly planning grid, showing our progress at the end of the second quarter (May-July 2013).