Process/Decision-making

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The Big Picture

Who will decide what the strategy will be, and what will be the decision-making process?

The answer is that individual stakeholders will make their own decisions using their own decision-making process. The purpose of this wiki is to help inform and coordinate decision-making.

The Wikimedia movement consists of many stakeholders, from project volunteers to the Wikimedia Chapters. Certain things are only relevant to specific stakeholders. In those cases, it's up to the stakeholder to make the decision. For example, if a chapter is trying to decide whether or not to hire somebody, ultimately, it is that chapter's decision, and it should follow its own procedures for making that decision.

In some cases, decisions will involve multiple stakeholders. For example, if the Wikimedia Foundation and the Wikimedia Chapters are trying to negotiate a fundraising agreement, then all parties must be involved in the decision. In these cases, consensus will be required. Again, the decision-making process is up to the stakeholders.

In all of these cases, what one stakeholder decides should inform what other stakeholders do. For example, if MediaWiki developers are already investing their time and resources into a supporting a specific language, then a local chapter that speaks that language might decide to spend its resources on reader education and evangelism. In order for this level of coordination to be possible, stakeholders need to be transparent in their decision-making process. This wiki is meant to be a resource for that transparency and coordination.

Showing Alignment

Ultimately, it is up to individual stakeholders to decide whether or not they support the plan that emerges from this process. Formal entities, such as the Wikimedia Foundation or the Wikimedia Chapters, can vote to show support. The individual projects could do the same.

Hopefully, the process of developing the 2010-2015 plan will lead to rough consensus and that many stakeholders in the community will support it. A simple measure for demonstrating this would be for those who support the plan to sign it.

Decision-Making in Open Groups

For some parts of the Process, small groups will take on specific tasks. (These groups are called "task forces.") Task forces come together around specific goals, and their discussions happen in the open. How will decisions be made in groups where the boundaries for participation are permeable?

Groups should generally aim for rough consensus among all participants. However, this will not always be possible, nor is it always desirable. Task forces should try to define in advance who the members are, and if consensus is not possible, then those members will have final decision-making power. It's reasonable to place some conditions on membership, such as a willingness to stay engaged in the discussions and to read the background material.