Contributors/FY2016 Retrospectives/Multimedia

FY2015-16 (July 2015–June 2016) Multimedia Team RetrospectiveEdit

Ground RulesEdit

  • Conversation this hour is confidential within the group
  • Written notes to be published to Editing and to general public after a review pass
  • Purpose of Retrospective
  • Format
    • What did we accomplish last year?
    • What was great about the way we worked, or the org, or anything else job-related?
    • What was not great about the way we worked, or the org, or anything else job-related?
  • Incorporation of Team Retro outputs
  • Review key events and results over the time period
  • Add a +1 to any “important” items by including your initials
  • Heavily upvoted items will be percolated up for larger department discussion; notes contained here will stay as-is and confidential to team

Identify things that went well and should be preservedEdit

  • Team
    • Kept the team together through a time of tremendous organizational strife
    • Acquired a new manager (yay)
      • Acquired a new team member (not this FY)
    • [JF][PS] Held a team offsite
    • [MH][PS] Team stand-up process enacted/improved
  • [MH][JF][BD][LA] Ability to quickly respond to critical issues (production and community)
    • We were able to get urgent/important things done, alongside the goals (see below)
  • Achieved most of our quarterly goals
    • Q1: In-VE/WT uploading inc. drag-and-drop
    • Q2: UploadWizard bug fixes, modernisation and OOUI conversion; and prototyped image editing (but not yet deployed)
    • [MH] Q3: Gathered some key top-line metrics for the first time(!) like how many unique uploaders per month
    • Q4: New gallery type
  • [MH][BD] Able to cope without Community Liaison support as most of our product work is with just one community (Commons)

Identify things that should be changedEdit

  • [LA][PS] Limited Resources + Constant Fires = :-(
    • We can’t really accomplish set goals for a three-person dev team which is mostly busy responding to on-coming issues
    • Matthias’ presence as 4th developer will likely help, but won't solve
    • Firefighting can be exhausting, but also risk of burnout and unhappiness when not as much concrete production results despite a lot of effort
  • [MH][PS][LA] Lack of user testing, design research before we deployed cross-wiki uploads
    • Even though we did a soft launch by not advertising the feature much, the launch was not soft enough to not cause problems at Commons
    • The feature was "too" successful, and we didn’t have “required secondary features” like proper AbuseFilter support for uploads lined up to take the strain
  • Lack of community support and resources (compared to history and also rest of org at present)
    • Very few community developers around working on our area
  • [MH][BD] We still have almost no way to notice things going wrong automatically, before they’re reported by users (BD has some SQL queries and an Excel sheet…)
  • [JF] Sometimes confusing to have "goals" that are about changing/new things, and not the "most important" things like keeping production up/running
    • Also++ the goals are thrown together and may or may not be in line with grander organisational strategy, which makes for a confusing dichotomy
  • [MH][JF][LA] Lack of broader organisational/movement strategy makes it hard to work out what the direction for MM should be
    • "Mobile" – OK, so what bit of it? Videos? Voice memos? Text-to-speech? Playback or upload? Editing or capture? All?
    • "Interactive" – For whom? Don't we care about low bandwidth/non-JS/etc. users too?
  • [MH][BD][LA] Available Product Manager support is low
    • ~10% of James's time; might not be enough, though we seem to cope-ish(?)
  • [JF][PS][BD] Team has very little knowledge about upload backend (we’re mostly frontend, maybe except for Mark) (whoa, don’t put that on me  —Mark)
  • Was working on ImageTweaks even a good idea, with Thumbor still not being deployed. Lack of foresight?
    • Mark: while it won’t be deployed yet, it is ready except for the one blocker, so the same amount of time would have been spent either way
      • Prateek: Makes sense, we can get rid of this
        • James: Eh, leave it. :-)
          • Mark: Definitely leave in the five sub-items of meta-discussion for sure
  • [JF] The two daily stand-ups, though good, …
    • are at wide apart hours (which means Mark has to work ~10 hours a day), and
    • … the afternoon one conflicts with the SWAT in which urgent things normally get deployed (new hours will 'soon' be 06:00/11:00/16:00 SF)
    • Maybe move to 08:00 & 15:00 SF for saner hours and less clashing?
      • Does that work for people?

Discuss top items, including ActionsEdit

Yays:

  • Ability to quickly respond to critical issues (production and community); we were able to get urgent/important things done, alongside the goals (see below)

Nays:

  • Lack of broader organisational/movement strategy makes it hard to work out what the direction for MM should be
  • Available Product Manager support is low
  • Team has very little knowledge about upload backend (we’re mostly frontend)

Next StepsEdit

  • Action items for team
    • Consider moving stand-ups (to 08:00 and 15:00 SF)? Or keep them the same. Or don't.
    • Consider adopting a weekly "triage" meeting where James decides to accept or back-burner tasks against a pre-agreed priority list, and people petition us to change our minds. Or don't.
  • Action items for department
  • Read other retros
  • Followup