WikiConference UK 2013/Elections/Questions

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AGM: Elections (Candidate statements · Candidate questions)Resolutions
Miscellaneous: 2013 Annual Report · UK Wikimedian of the Year 2013 · Delegate list

This page has been set up to allow voters to ask questions of the candidates for the 2013 Wikimedia UK Board elections. Please add your suggested questions below but remember that candidates are not obliged to answer any question.

Further information is also available in the Candidate Statements.

Questions

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General questions

  1. To get the ball rolling, what do you see as the key challenges for WMUK over the next 2-3 years, and what approaches would you advocate to meet them? --Johnbod (talk) 15:15, 20 May 2013 (UTC)
  2. Hello! Part of our vision as an organisation is to be true to the Wikimedia ethos of volunteers freely contributing their time and knowledge freely for the benefit of others. As Wikimedia UK grows in staff and budget, maintaining this ethos is likely to pose novel challenges. What do you think will be important in dealing with this, and what experience do you have that you think is likely to be relevant? --The Land (talk) 10:21, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
  3. In your opinion is it preferable for a membership organisation like Wikimedia UK to have a large, apathetic membership, or a smaller, more actively involved membership? --Harry Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 19:55, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
  4. I am not sure whether to write this as a member or a member of staff but I think it is important to know how candidates feel about the governance review we just completed. So three questions:
    • Have you read the Hudson Review?
    • What did you make of its recommendations?
    • What are the key lessons associated with this review that we have learnt? --Jon Davies (WMUK) (talk) 09:33, 31 May 2013 (UTC)
  5. There is currently a discussion of what role metrics should play in assessing the effectiveness of the training delivered by WMUK. What do you think would be an important consideration in taking this forward? --Leutha (talk) 13:12, 1 June 2013 (UTC))

Answers

Christopher John Allen

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Ade Arogundade

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Saad Choudri

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1. Key Issues. I believe that we face the following issues: (i) the need to continue to increase our profile, membership and active volunteer base: (ii) stabilise and ensure our processes are robust to tackle all situations; (iii) managing growth and ensuring the core principles of the charity are maintained; and (iv) ensuring our current membership remains engaged and active.

I trust our profile will increase with our continued outreach programs. One of these ways is to continue the WiR program as we partner with great institutions it will help to increase our profile and potentially shine a light on WMUK to a group of members who would not normally engaged with Wikimedia projects.

Over the course of the last year we have had to manage a governance review. As we start to implement and take on board the recommendations made in the review all of the processes, the checks and balances that are either currently being implemented or considered will need to be refined in order to ensure our effectiveness as an organisation is maintained. It would be a mistake to believe that there is no need to continue to hone and amend our processes to deal with the unique set of challenges we face. I will continue to use my professional and experience as a current trustee to make sure we have a solid base to continue to do the important work of delivering our program of activities.

We need to manage growth to ensure our volunteer base is empowered to help deliver the projects and continue to move the Wikimedia projects forward.

2. Volunteers. This is an important issue that we face. We often discuss this as a board and it is clear there is a balance that must be struck. It is important that volunteers continue to contribute their time and knowledge to the organisation for free as this is the key principle of Wikimedia projects. That being said some projects are suited and will require full time support and staff are well placed to provide volunteers with this support. Having been a Special Constable I understand that having the support of full-time staff to support your volunteering efforts certainly made me, and I trust our unit, a more effective and efficient resource to the challenges the organisation faced. My experience on the board and through my own volunteering efforts means I have the requisite understanding of how to strike an appropriate balance.

3. Membership Base. It need not be either one or the other. In any organisation there is always going to be members who are more active than others. It would be preferable to have a larger membership, as with any increase in membership you will inevitably have a core set of members/volunteers who will be more involved than others. The active members will always be there and building more members around that core group is important. If I were pushed for an answer I would prefer a smaller more active membership at this point because as we continue our growth I would hope that the active membership also increase alongside the same growth pattern as our overall membership. The smaller group would hopefully lead to a larger group of active members by demonstrating to the other members that active participation provides great value to all involved.

4. Hudson Review. As a current Trustee I have read the Hudson review extensively. I thought the recommendations are generally appropriate although I do not think the review always understood the Wikimedia movement and our values. The key lessons are we must ensure we have a robust governance structure in place that allows us to manage our projects for our members. However, it is important that we ensure there is a level of flexibility to allow us to move nimbly when appropriate. It is important that we are always conscious we have the correct checks and balances in place and this should lead to a an organisation and management structure that will provide a strong platform to push our mission and projects forward. I trust we learned that it is imperative that our governance and decision making process be held up to the highest standards and how to best conduct our business.

5. Metrics. Metrics and KPIs is some thing that I deal with everyday in my job. The modern day games industry is very much data driven. The important thing that we keep in mind is that our decisions are not solely based on the metrics, as you need to consider the wider issues as well. Clearly there is a need for metrics as it is a good indicator of how we are doing and can be useful to measure success. In the training delivered by WMUK we need to know how many training sessions have been delivered, how many people have been trained, has there been an increase in users, was the training useful – follow up by looking at those that have attended training to see if edits have improved.

In taking metrics forward we need to remember we must not blindly follow the metrics and try to arbitrarily increase the numbers. That being said metrics are a great tool to make informed decisions and we should collect actionable and quantifiable data to ensure our time and efforts are well spent. -- Saad Choudri (talk) 18:32, 2 June 2013 (UTC)

Greyham Dawes

Answers

  1. What do you see as the key challenges for WMUK over the next 2-3 years, and what approaches would you advocate to meet them?
    Achieving full compliance with the charity law and regulatory constraints of the company’s attainment of charitable status since November 2011 in view of the reputational risks of any perceived failure to adhere to best practice by such a high-profile Voluntary Sector body as ours; switching over from the old hands-on management approach by our elected officials to the newly established “delegated management” structure needed for our growing team of permanent staff led by an experienced chief executive; developing relationships with our volunteers for further expansion of existing and new ‘open-access’ project activities now that these are largely funded out of charitable resources; restoring the company’s good standing for fundraising purposes with the Foundation and helping to develop the Chapters Association into a thriving family of independent bodies to complement the Foundation.

    My preferred approach to meeting these challenges would be to ensure adequate Board skills to enable us to be ‘fit for purpose’, to upgrade our internal financial reporting system for fully delegated charity management and for our Board to encourage and facilitate the setting up of a full range of advisory committees by our most active volunteers to lead the work of the key projects we will be funding in the coming years under the new Strategic Plan we are now developing.

  2. Part of our vision as an organisation is to be true to the Wikimedia ethos of volunteers freely contributing their time and knowledge freely for the benefit of others. As Wikimedia UK grows in staff and budget, maintaining this ethos is likely to pose novel challenges. What do you think will be important in dealing with this, and what experience do you have that you think is likely to be relevant?
    A sharp and clear perception of the benefits and obligations of the company’s charitable status within what since the 1990’s has become the world’s leading regulatory regime for charities and of the distinctions between (i) delivering the public benefit for which we have been established as a charity and (ii) helping our volunteers to identify and engage with the kind of project we can properly support in line with their own altruism and aspirations. My experience of setting up the regulatory regime for UK charities in the 1990’s and as a professional adviser to the Sector since then has also included the special needs of charitable societies and associations concerning the interface between membership aspirations and the statutory obligations of the governing body. Wikimedia UK is a prime example of this.
  3. In your opinion is it preferable for a membership organisation like Wikimedia UK to have a large, apathetic membership, or a smaller, more actively involved membership?
    Neither: In my view it needs a fully committed voting company membership who identify with and actively support our charitable aims and therefore appreciate our need for a Board with the skills that enable it to be ‘fit for purpose’, but at the same time it also needs a close but informal relationship with the wider community of volunteers whose enthusiasm for the open-access ethos and dedication to realising are essential for our current and future volunteer-led charitable projects.
  4. Have you read the Hudson Review, what did you make of its recommendations, and what are the key lessons associated with this review that we have learnt?
    As a co-opted Board Member, the honorary treasurer and a member of the new Governance Committee set up in implementing the Report generated from that Governance Review, I have not only read the Report but am fully committed to the principles it embodies, which I recognise as the hallmarks for charity governance. We are already working our way through the Compass Partnership Report’s 50 separate recommendations, studying each one to see how best to implement it and thus upgrade our governance accordingly.

    In my view the key lesson is the need for the Board to adapt from the old ‘hands-on’ style of management by the elected officers to the new fully delegated charity management that we have already put in place as appropriate to the use of a permanent staffing led by a Chief Executive, and which needs to be supported by a robust internal financial management system – as is now under development for use by the new and larger Board post-AGM.

  5. There is currently a discussion of what role metrics should play in assessing the effectiveness of the training delivered by WMUK. What do you think would be an important consideration in taking this forward?
    The provision of training to equip volunteers to be able to edit to the standard needed by our charity in pursuit of its public benefit purpose is hard to measure quantitatively as regards its effectiveness. Qualitative assessments can be obtained as trainee-feedback from training courses, as well as trainers’ assessments of the improvement they can discern in terms of edits before and after the event. Perhaps more important than trying to gauge how effective the course is, its ongoing popularity with volunteers in the longer term could provide a useful guide for us to decide whether to continue spending money on such a project and on what scale, etc.

Vasileios Kospanos

  1. Key challenges
    Wikimedia UK needs to manage growth effectively - this is the main challenge for us in the coming years, in my opinion. We should partner with more education organisations (schools, colleges, universities) and demonstrate the value of membership and volunteering towards future career prospects. We should attend events as exhibitors to increase brand awareness for the charity and recruit more members and volunteers. We could launch more fundraising initiatives to fund these growth activities. We need to improve governance and separate the volunteer and member roles from trustee/board positions i.e. I am not an author on Wikimedia UK but understand the satisfaction and fulfillment members get when authoring because I do blog a lot on fundraising and charity finance, CRM and IT, plus music. Governance members must understand the charity's mission and objectives but at the same time we should be critical on processes and procedures, and suggest ideas to improve these on a strategic level without taking a hands-on approach on implementing our suggestions.
  2. Volunteers
    I think the Volunteer Support Organiser role is key for managing this change, if maintaining this ethos is likely to challenge us. As Wikimedia UK grows in staff and budget, the role is about to change radically so how we manage and make the volunteering experience better will be key to achieve successful growth and actually increase volunteer engagement and volunteer numbers. My experience of working with volunteering charities is technology-related and having experienced the Olymipics last year and how technology enabled volunteers to do a better job, I can make recommendations on how Wikimedia UK can make the volunteering experience something members will enjoy even more and recommend to their peers, so we can see a return on our "investment".
  3. Membership
    "Apathetic" is a tough word. A good balance between the two is the obvious answer here. I do not expect all our members to be as switched on as the actively involved core of our members, however we have to take into consideration our members' life outside Wikimedia UK. Membership levels should be introduced where there is something more for active members and something less for our least active members. We will need to review how we welcome new members to Wikimedia UK - my personal experience of becoming a Wikimedia UK member is not great, compared to other memberships I hold so this is something we need to pick up and improve.
  4. Hudson Review
    I did read the review and I'm not surprised with the findings and recommendations for a new charity like Wikimedia UK - it is a transitional period and many charities experience similar challenges as I've read in many tenders and official documents related to systems' change driven by governance processes and membership challenges. The key lessons as I briefly outlined in the first question is to distinguish between the role of a member as a trustee and as a volunteer. Sentiments aside, governance members should be honest and critical of procedures and processes within the charity that need improvement. In addition, their role should be more strategic and giving direction rather than lending a helping hand implementing suggestions (which even though is appreciated it is not what a governance member should do). My background and experience, plus the fact that I am not an active Wikimedia UK member (yet) should help me have a better judgement on governance matters and managing issues that could affect the charity's reputation.
  5. Training
    We need to take into consideration how important our Training programmes are for the charity to define what metrics need to be in place. Numbers and stats are important in every aspect of charity and business operations however when it comes to training it is more important to focus on quality rather than quantity. It would be terrible to report in 2014 that we trained 1,000 people in authoring/editing articles but only 10% of them are satisfied by the training and 90% are not active following the course (simple numbers for the example to make sense). Metrics play a very important role in every organisation and should therefore be in place for training delivered by Wikimedia UK. It is the thought process behind it and the objectives we want to achieve by delivering training that will drive the nature and importance of specific metrics.

Michael N Maggs

Answers

As an update to my candidate statement, I should mention that my previous bureaucrat status at Commons has recently been restored. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 09:53, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

1. Key challenge: WMUK's main challenge over the next couple of years will be to establish its position as a substantial national charity having a respected and leading position both within the UK charity sector and also within the international Wikimedia movement. Building reputation requires an effective board operating to the highest standards of probity that works well with the staff while avoiding the temptation to micromanage the charity's day to day operations. Building a substantial national organization requires focus on enunciating and disseminating both our vision and the benefits of membership throughout all areas of the UK, including the encouragement and support of local groups. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 12:40, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

2. Maintaining ethos: I agree that this is likely to pose an an ongoing challenge, and I think it important that the board maintains a very active brief in keeping an eye on the developing relationships between volunteers, board and WMUK staff, and on their respective areas of activity/responsibility. There is currently only a very rudimentary policy in this crucial area, and I would like to see the board give consideration to the development of some general (and obviously flexible) principles that could guide the organization going forward. The board can and should provide a lead where necessary, while being very clear that the purpose of WMUK is to support the community and not vice versa. My experience as a Commons bureaucrat of developing and drafting general principles for community discussion and agreement could well be useful, as could my experience of helping to guide and manage the inevitable changes that were needed in my law firm as it grew from 30 people to around 150. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 08:30, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

3. Membership size & attributes: If forced to choose I would prefer the latter, definitely. I've no idea what the actual statistics are, but I'd venture a wild guess that 10% of the members in any volunteer organization make 90% of the contributions. Given that our aim is to make free content available to all, spending time encouraging potentially active members who can truly help us achieve that is a more efficient use of limited resources than just trying to make up numbers. On the other hand, we should not ignore numbers entirely, as a large membership provides at the very least a pool of supporters who can spread the word, some of whom might well become active when they see something that grabs their interest. Also, a large membership helps to boost the standing of the charity, its income, and its overall clout. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 09:44, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

4. Hudson Review:

1. Yes of course (first thing I did!)
2. The report is in my view a sensitively written and balanced response to some of the problems that arose during what was evidently a difficult bedding-in period for the charity. None of the principal recommendations were surprising to me, as they follow generally-agreed points of good practice which were familiar from my own previous governance roles. The level of the reviewers' concern can be seen from the fact that they felt it necessary to make some recommendations that should go without saying, for example that all communications should be 'respectful and professional'. Following publication of the report the board seems to have made good progress in dealing with many of the issues that were identified, but this must clearly be an ongoing process. Although not an area stressed by the reviewers I would also like to see more discussion of the relationship between the board and the wider membership.
3. The primary lessons in my view are, in no particular order:
  • the need for the board to include trustees with a deeper and wider range of outside skills and experience, particularly governance and legal experience;
  • the need for the board to step back from micromanaging and to adopt a more strategic and leadership-focussed role;
  • the need for a better understanding of the detailed requirements of English company and charity law and good practice, especially relating to potential as well as actual conflicts of interest; and
  • a recognition of the great care that has to be taken in such a high profile and open charity to avoid accidental reputational damage (especially given the level of external scrutiny). --MichaelMaggs (talk) 18:17, 2 June 2013 (UTC)

5. Training metrics: Measuring the effectiveness of training is an area in which reliable quantitative metrics are difficult to come by, and in practice a mixed approach will probably work best. Relying entirely on quantitative measures would risk an undue focus on 'getting the numbers up' rather than seeking the optimal outcome for the charity (the widest possible dissemination and use of open content). Two very obvious metrics that have not yet been mentioned are the number of users trained per year, and the level of external demand for more training sessions. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 09:57, 2 June 2013 (UTC)

Alastair Sasaki McCapra

Answers

1. The key challenges over the next 2-3 years are, I think :

- To remain focused on the strategic objectives of the organisation and not get bogged down in endless governance-tweaking. Some organisations get lost in a maze of this stuff for years on end. Clearly there are changes to be made and embedded in the culture of the organisation but these things are means, not ends. Some organisations lose sight of this, to their cost. I would advocate steady, measured, change, with a minimum of EGMs and other special measures.

- To maintain the Board focus on strategy so that trustees are looking forward and outwards, not backwards and inwards. (I’m not suggesting that current trustees are backward-looking, but I’m conscious that in many organisations trustees can too easily get drawn into competing with the salaried staff to see who can run the organisation best. As a trustee I would resist this loudly and consistently). Wikimedia UK does not need two managements working at cross purposes. It does need trustees thinking and planning ahead and identifying key priorities for the organisation to focus its efforts on. I would advocate that Board agendas which keep trustees focused on the future, discussing opportunities and challenges.

- To build and expand the network of partner organisations to spread the Wikimedia ethos in ways which become mainstream. I won’t advocate anything specific on this for the time being as I am not familiar enough with how prospective partners are currently identified and cultivated. If there is not a pro-active programme for doing this however, I would advocate starting one.

- To be a learning organisation in every sense, actively drawing on and incorporating appropriate lessons from the wider Wikimedia community worldwide, and indeed from other organisations in different sectors. Having a worthy ideal and committed people is not a guarantee of success. I would advocate a range of measures involving Board and staff training, formal horizon-scanning and inviting external speakers to Board meetings, assuming these things are not already in place.


2. My experience first. I am currently a volunteer for two very small organisations which have no staff, and have previously been a trustee for a larger organisation (a college) which had a large staff. I have also spent the last fourteen years on the staff of membership charities.

Most membership organisations start small and are 100% volunteer-run. The two I currently volunteer for are like that and always will be – they are small communities with very specific activities and no aspirations to be big national players. When membership organisations grow to a certain size it becomes impractical, and increasingly risky, to run them on an entirely voluntary basis. Colleges were originally run as student collectives but there was not much mileage in that organisational model past the high Middle Ages.

The organisation I currently work for has an income of £1.7m and it estimates the value of its volunteer contributions to be about the same amount. This means the value of volunteer input is about 3 times the cost of staff. If those staff were not in post we would not get £1.7m in volunteer inputs, because the activities they are working on would not exist without staff to sustain them. The purpose of employing staff should be, in my view, to enable and support volunteer effort rather than to downplay it.

For this reason I don’t think employing staff should undermine the ethos of Wikimedia at all. What it should do is release volunteers from relatively mundane operational tasks so they can concentrate their efforts where they will have the maximum impact. The challenge is to manage this transition thoughtfully and sensitively, and to make sure that the deployment of paid and voluntary inputs is best calibrated to give the organisation the most positive results.


3. Funny to see these offered as a choice! Large passive memberships are generally a feature of mature charities, so it may not be a prospect Wikimedia UK has to face for some time yet. It may be, anyway, that the day of organisations with large, passive memberships is over – nowadays people are much less inclined to join things unless they want to get involved. The key thing for me is the fulfillment of the charitable mission. Having lots more members isn’t necessarily the best way of achieving this.


4.Yes I have. The recommendations it makes are pretty standard as far as charity governance are concerned. Indeed I think much of their advice simply restates what is already set out in the guidance on the charity commission website. It is important to recognise that having registered as a charity, Wikimedia UK must now treat these as compliance matters. If the recommendations of the Hudson Review are to some extent at odds with the custom and practice of the Wikimedia UK community, it is not charity law and regulation which are going to be changing as a consequence.

I also think it is important to maintain some perspective and realise that the issues it raises are not unique to Wikimedia UK - many well-established charities would score no better than Wikimedia UK on the traffic light system. Clearly work needs to be done to get rid of the reds and move from amber to green, and the key thing is to embed the right behaviours in the organisation’s culture.

I strongly agree with the point that the Board needs to focus on strategy, rather than trying to manage the organisation operationally. This is a source of conflict in many organisations, and a major drag on their effectiveness. One thing I particularly liked was the emphasis in the Review on behaviour. Some charities spend a great deal of time tweaking and retweaking their structures, not always to good effect, in the hope of conjuring up the right sort of behaviour. Structures and procedures are designed to promote and foster good behaviour, but it is the behaviour which the real goal.

I’m afraid I don’t really feel able to say yet what I think the organisation has learned from the review. The impression I got from the weekend I came to some time ago was that questions about conflict of interest are taken very seriously, and of course I responded to an advertisement for external trustees, so I know that part of the recommendations at least is being put into effect.

5. This is an interesting question because it is exactly the kind of thing which can lead trustees to becoming involved in lots of operational detail, getting drawn into discussions about whether one set of metrics or another is most appropriate, never agreeing, taking up lots of Board time, and driving each other hairless.

My answer is that as a trustee I would be responsible in law for ensuring that the funds of the charity are being spent in a way which is furthering the mission of the charity. I therefore need the management of the charity to provide me with a set of indicators which will enable me and my fellow trustees to judge whether that is being achieved or not, and, if not, how it might be improved.

On this basis I would clearly need to have some metrics in order to do my job. I would expect the staff to propose a set of metrics with a rationale, possibly with some options for the Board to consider. They would not all have to be hard metrics and indeed some of the softer ones might be more useful. So long as we were getting consistent and meaningful metrics which enabled us to make decisions on future resource allocation, that would be sufficient for trustees to do their jobs.

Geri McLeary

Answers

Answer 1

I believe that the challenges include:
  • increasing our level of engagement amongst Wikimedia’s target audience and stakeholders;
  • ensuring that Wikimedia is accountable for its increasing spend on project work;
  • encouraging more people to contribute to Wiki content; and
  • assuring Wikimedia's infrastructure (people, staff, finance and systems) so that we are all confident that the enterprise is fit for purpose.
In my view the key to achieving these four things include improving Wiki’s relationships with its stakeholders, marketing of its events and raising the awareness of the Wikimedia brand more effectively. This includes running events in concert with target organizations (e.g. museums, libraries, DCMS, local authorities, etc.) that must add value to Wikimedia and the aims and objects of these stakeholders organisations.

Answer 2

To answer this question, I would like to pose two questions.
  • Do members really do things for others for free?
  • Or, do members do free things for non-financial returns?
If the former question is true, then perhaps Wikimedia has nothing to worry about it just has to continue doing more of the same thing (assuming of course that the volunteers’ work is adding value). If the latter question is true, then Wikimedia must engage more with its current and potential volunteers in order to understand the motivation driving people to contribute to its project work so that it can ensure that its projects continue meet the expectations of its volunteers as well as its other stakeholders. However these actions may not be enough because as Wikimedia increases the number and size of its projects more resources will be needed to orcehestrate this input effectively and efficiently. So, in addition to focusing on the needs of its volunteers and stakeholders Wikimedia must ensure that it has the capability to manage its programmes, projects and business risk which should not only improve its capability to deliver positive results it will also place in it a better to allow it to choose between competing schemes.
It should be noted that the above actions may require greater organizational regimentation/bureaucracy within Wikimedia and this may conflict with its freethinking culture. Consequently, I would counsel toward adopting an evolutionary approach rather than an a revolutionary one. And so, I would not necessarily expect Wikimedia to fundamentally reengineer the manner in which develops, runs and completes its projects. Instead, it may need put in place steps to grow its volunteers, risk management systems and staff capability organically so that it retain the best aspects of the enterprise’s values and culture. My background in business development, risk management and delivering a wide variety of complex projects in large and small organizations means that I’m well placed to assist Wikimedia in improving its programme, project and risk management capabilities.

Answer 3

I'm not convinced that correct response is as clear-cut as the question suggests. In my view it is more important for Wikimedia to comprise a membership that is committed its values and objects and who are willing to contribute to its thinking and project work. This principle applies equally to a Wikimedia comprising a small cadre of active members as it does to a larger Wikimedia. This trick is for Wikimedia to take steps to ensure that membership get something back for their contributions and for this consideration to be meaningful to the majority of members. I believe that challenging Wikimedia’s executive to show how its projects and other activities will take it a step closer to meeting its strategic objects - this includes increasing its membership and member participation rates.

Answer 4

Yes, I have perused the report and found it interesting and unsurprising. It held no surprises with regard to its findings and recommendations given that in my experience the robustness governance arrangements in many other organisations are not too dissimilar. While the hue of the RAG rating of the report is largely red/amber this needs to be viewed within Wikimedia’s context of it being relatively new and fast growing organisation, which is why I do not view the recommendations too negatively. Nevertheless, there is much work to be done to improve governance within Wikimedia if a subsequent governance review is going to be largely green in hue. For me the key to delivering positive results in the governance arena is getting the board to:
  • focus more on getting involved exclusively in strategic decision making,
  • get more intimately involved overseeing Wikimedia’s risk management arrangements and those known risks impacting on the delivery of its key business objectives,
  • allow the Wikimedia executive to manage the enterprise on a 'day to day' basis once it assured that it has the capability and capacity to do so.
I have not formed any views on just how successful the implementation of the Report’s recommendations has been to date because its too soon be certain that the changes suggested in the reported have been fully embedded within Wikimedia. I would need to be more familiar with the executive and board to understand the dynamics between them to allow me to formulate my own conclusions about the key lessons learned.

Answer 5

In my experience the adage ‘what gets measured gets done' is apt and true. Consequently, I believe that metrics have an important role in helping enterprises to manage and control their work and project outcomes. For Wikimedia its performance management metrics should include the value-add of training to those partaking in it and the contribution this training makes to helping it meet its business objectives. Having robust and relevant metrics in place would make reviewing the effectiveness of training much more straightforward. This is why I believe all training should have training objectives that are clearly stated with a clear line of sight to Wikimedia’s strategic objectives; and of course, the metrics must also be ‘SMART’.

Joseph Seddon

Answers

  1. In your opinion is it preferable for a membership organisation like Wikimedia UK to have a large, apathetic membership, or a smaller, more actively involved membership?
    As with any volunteer group or organisation, you will always have a core group of people who are extremely active and a much larger base who have minimal participation or extended periods of inactivity. The key is to maintain or better even better to strengthen the size of this core group. One way of doing this is to encourage and maintain a growing membership. Failure to encourage growth of a broad membership would simply see in the slow erosion of our core group through burnout or simply as a result of the transient nature of many of those involved in our movement. Across the somewhat short life of the chapter, we have historically been bad at engaging with both our core and wider member base. We recent filled a dedicated role to support and communicate with our membership which hopefully will be a step towards fixing this longstanding issue but it still remains a pressing matter and always will given the voluntary nature of our organisation..