Organizational Growth & Development Network/Progress report (January 2011)
OGDN Pilot Project
January 2011 Progress Report
State of the Project at the end of January 2011
On-boarding meeting took place in Prague with both facilitators at the beginning of January. The pilot project was presented, explained, and discussed. The newly elected board welcomed the concept and the opportunity to participate. Also more technical questions arouse that are not part of what the pilot project intends to bring to the chapters. These needs should partly be met through workshops to be held at the WM Chapters Conference in Berlin at the end of March. The chapter seems to have successfully developed activities and projects in the past. The group of active members is fairly small though and is facing an increasing number of tasks. The board could have five members, but only four candidates presented themselves for the elections and were elected. The treasurer position does not belong to the board, the board chair and one member share the day-to-day work. The association has been successful in realizing projects but has no strategic planning so far.
The on-boarding meeting took place on the day after Wikipedia’s 10th anniversary. The chapter had a successful wikiconference with a lot of Wikimedia-external participants. The generation and gender mix seems to be higher in Wikimedia Hungary than in other chapters. The organization has implemented a number of projects and activities but--similarly to WMCZ--a lot happens reactively rather than proactively. A small number of active members carry most of the actual projects and tasks and would like very much to delegate the administrative work. The board members expressed their needs in terms of tools (project management tools, etc.) in order not to miss any opportunity, rather than in terms of priorities and strategy. The participants to the on-boarding meeting appreciated getting an external view on their activities, which helped them see their work in a more structured and explicit way. First need seems to be structuring an overview of the chapter's activities combined with planning projects and resources.
Discussions with the chapter lasted several weeks. Wikimedia Netherlands meets in a general assembly three times a year. This rhythm has a strong influence on the way the board works. The board prepares decisions to be made by the assembly and reports on ongoing projects. The decision regarding the on-boarding was taken by the board independently. The project was subsequently included in the annual budget, which was approved by the general assembly at the beginning of the year. Once the decision was taken, a series of Skype meetings started in order to prepare the first workshop at the end of February. The board sent invitations to 19 key people from the chapter and is very actively committed in designing the coming process. There's a strong desire to be quick and precise in the process.
Lennart Guldbrandsson of Wikimedia Sweden was contacted about the chapter development idea in September 2010. Confirmation that they wanted to participate was communicated on September 30, 2010. Lars Aronsson, another board member, sent an extensive mail detailing his view and experiences about the chapter. He especially noted the difficulties that have arisen with retaining volunteers and interested members. He also pointed out the lack of a long-term strategy which made getting people excited about participating difficult. Best quote to sum it all up: "Right now we are an under-sized, under-funded, starving organization, unable to plan ahead." Since his e-mail, the financial situation of the chapter has improved significantly due to the successful 2010/11 online fundraising campaign. This shifts some of the chapter's challenges from funding to strategy and execution. The initial meeting with the board on January 16 had to be postponed due to scheduling conflicts and lack of transportation options from Berlin to Stockholm on Sundays. A new date will be scheduled soon.
Starting the online Assessment process with WMCZ
Questions and tasks will be sent to the board by February 4th in order for them to work on the chapter assessment. The in-house assessment will include a review of the existing resources in 3 major fields (social – technological – structural), a stakeholder analysis, and a SWOT analysis. The board will be asked to include the opinion of key stakeholders in their analysis. Once this work is finished (2-3 weeks), the next phone conference will be held with the board and possibly further participants in order to discuss the results, to reflect upon them together, and to design next steps and priorities. The next stage will be to gather sufficient information to complete the assessment and to design the strategy development process with the chapter.
Starting the online Assessment process with WMHU
The pledge of commitment will be signed in early February. A phone conference will follow in the first half of February in order to discuss homework to be fulfilled by the board regarding the assessment. Then the process should develop the same way it does with WMCZ.
Starting the Assessment process with WMNL
The board already conducted its own SWOT analysis prior to the project's sthart. The results will be integrated in the workshop to take place on February 19th and 20th in the Netherlands. First vision statements may already be formulated at the end of this workshop. The board is preparing the process steps intensively.
Starting the On-Boarding Process with WMSE
As reported, the initial board meeting date on January 16 had to be postponed. A new date will be found, hopefully before the end of February. Some technical difficulties with e-mails getting lost have delayed these efforts.