Contributors/FY2017H1 Retrospectives/Unteamed

Period: FY2017H1 (July 2016 to January 19, 2017)

Who: members of Editing Department who are not on a team (Neil, Brion, Volker, Guillaume), James F, Lindsey Anne, Trevor, Joel A.

Ground Rules edit

  • 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

Review Action Items from last retrospective edit

  • When failing to access help, escalate, beginning with manager.
    • Brion: I’ve been poking folks as necessary, so far so good. Made some progress on video bits that needed support from elsewhere.
    • Neil: have gotten a bit better at asking for help when needed which has helped at the margins, but overall still having this problem. Haven’t tried escalation much, but that’s because there’s no easy solution. Broader issue is being on a team by myself; would be helpful to have meta-guidance, people to tell me things I didn’t know I needed to ask for, work collaboratively on day-to-day tasks.
    • Keep this action item for next retro.
  • Neil to follow up re: pressure to give presentations even when there is nothing interesting/ready to present
    • Neil: Didn’t do anything on this, but the format of metrics meetings has been changed and I’m not being asked for presentations now.
    • JF: feedback from many people about this problem led to this change.
    • Resolved.
  • Managers to escalate encouraging the freedom to ask and have space to help cross-team.
    • Brion: I felt able to ask Trevor for things when necessary, or go straight to other teams once comms channels open
    • Resolved.

Review key events and results over the time period edit

  • Other teams (Labs, Analytics) delivered useful data infrastructure for us
  • Underlying needs for video-related infrastructure continuing on, with help from ops & others as necessary :)
  • UI Standardization established in Editing and formation of Editing Design team
    • Work on improving OOjs UI library and its adoption – bringing design and implementation on par.
    • Work on cross-vertical accessibility measurements, great feedback and seeing broad adoption on new color palette
  • Guillaume seconded to movement strategy stuff (and is now so un-teamed that he’s basically out of Editing for the next 6 months)
  • Editing Department off-site.
    • A+++ would buy again
    • Neil: normal (for the unteamed). Good experience overall.
  • How did the All-Hands go for unteamed?
    • Neil: normal.

Identify things that went well and should be preserved edit

  • Sustained, improved communications with other teams for video infrastructure
    • JF: what the structured data for commons workstream will mean for Brion’s work is yet to be decided.
    • BV: when we do do more structured data, … need to make sure the channel stay open.
  • The departmental offsite was very helpful at getting people together and understanding what we're all working on.
    • +1 +1 +1
  • More visibility established for UI Std and cross-team collaborations worked pretty well
    • Creation of Editing Design team to pool expertise.
    • VE: continue the work…

Identify things that should be changed edit

  • Some things in other teams that should have had support from Editing never got it (for instance some stuff from Discovery’s Interactive team that could use editor-focused tools), perhaps we didn’t agree on what projects belonged where.
    • Not sure if dialogue got opened in the first place…
      • [yeah that’s my impression -brion]
    • VE: Teams want the OOjs UI tools, maybe they don’t feel supported or don’t find the documentation. We should provide good ways for them to adopt our tools.  WMDE is one. re: wikidata. We need to give them more support in beginning to avoid bigger costs later.
    • JA: Any other possible issues?
    • JF: problem arises when planning process isn’t followed/in-scope (e.g. external organisations which aren't part of WMF, grants, …).
    • JA: should we make an Action Item to look for more problems like this?
    • TP: not even sure how to do that - what would we do differently?  Just a hazard of the trade.  Can’t get everybody [outside the foundation] to follow a protocol.  One thing we could do would be to say more on wiki, but people probably won’t read that.
    • JF: examples of community contributions that are very expensive to integrate
  • Neil feels that he should moderate his ambitions somewhat and focus more tightly on achievable goals. (e.g. not feel he should be doing PhD level research on the editor decline in addition to more straightforward work supporting teams with analysis, A/B testing).
    • (“Pick your battles.  No, that’s too many battles, put some battles back on the shelf.”)
    • GP: had similar problem last year, “I want to do all THIS during the quarter”, but when I started planning by month and not quarter, helped me moderate my ambitions.
  • Support for other teams relying on/planning to adapt our tools (OOjs UI, Style guide) – in prioritisation, documentation and maybe also resources
    • VE: if we want a lot of teams using our interfaces, following our style guides, there will be a need to give them appropriate support. A lot of need is unspoken.
    • JF: should followup happen through Editing Design group, [not “Unteamed” retro]
    • TODO: make sure this item makes it onto the Editing Design team’s radar and retrospective (Joel)

Discuss top items, including Actions edit

  • “Unteamed” is down to 2 people for rest of FY (b/c Volker to Editing Design, Guillaume to Movement strategy)
  • Should we have an “Unteamed” retro in 6 months?
    • BV: not big and formal, but could chat
    • NQ: could be helpful to have this “big-picture” thinking.  Could certainly be less formal.
    • TODO: JA to book followup, more casual, and have less management.
    • TODO: JA to publish notes after Friday deadline for redaction.

Next Steps edit

  • Review for publication
  • Assign Actions
  • Followup?
    • 6 months this Thursday