Contact us

The Growth team


History and Objective


A Growth team existed from 2013–2015, see Growth/Growth 2014 .

The current Growth team was formed from the Collaboration team.



The Growth Team formed in July 2018.

In 2018-2019, the team supports the Audiences department's "New Content" program, and, in turn, the Wikimedia Foundation's long-term goal of "Knowledge Equity". Those initiatives are about building strong communities that bring broad and deep content to people all over the world. One way to accomplish this is by engaging new contributors in Wikimedia projects. Unfortunately, very few people who start contributing continue to contribute in the days and weeks after they begin. This is because contributing requires many cultural and technical skills that are difficult to learn. The Growth Team's objective is to address this problem through software changes that help retain new contributors in mid-size Wikimedia projects, starting with Wikipedias.

As stated in the Audiences department’s 2018-2019 annual plan, the Growth team’s goal is:

Increase retention of new contributors in the target wikis, Czech and Korean Wikipedias.

To determine whether we’re meeting our goal, we have specified metrics and set targets for them:

Metric Target
New contributor retention in target wikis 10% increase
Mentor retention in target wikis Sustainable rate

The first metric, “new contributor retention”, is the main metric we use to measure our impact.  The second metric, “mentor retention”, will be relevant for interventions that involve mentorship. As we focus our work, we will consider whether that second metric is the right fit for the team at this time.

We need to create a more specific definition of “new contributor retention” in order for it to be useful.  See the section below on “What does it mean to ‘retain new contributors’?” for our team’s thinking.

We began our work with mid-size Wikipedias for a few reasons. Those projects have a lot of potential for growth, but also have challenges that may be helped through software. Much of the motivation for this team's work comes from the New Editor Experiences research project, which was undertaken in 2017. In the research, the Wikimedia Foundation worked with the Czech and Korean Wikipedia communities to understand the challenges that stand in the way of new contributors. Continuing that relationship, we will be testing software changes on a few pilot Wikipedias (see the table ) before deploying to other mid-sized Wikipedias.

Our software changes will usually fall into one of these categories:

  • In-context help - changes to the Wikipedia editing experience to surface helpful guidance around technical and conceptual challenges.
  • Human-to-human help - forums and programs that connect editors to each other so that experienced contributors can help newer contributors succeed.
  • Task recommendations - suggesting edits that will help newcomers learn wiki skills.

How we work


The Growth Team follows several principles as we work toward our objective.

  • We keep in close communication with the communities our team affects, so that our work remains grounded in reality.
  • We start with small interventions, learn quickly, and adjust our approach.
  • We make decisions based on evidence from experiments, data, and user research.
  • We take the time to equip ourselves with the tools we need to be flexible and work quickly.
  • The software we build gives flexibility to the communities who use it, so they can modify and improve it on their own.
  • When we know something doesn’t work, we remove it cleanly and learn for the future.
  • We follow the Wikimedia Product Guidance for working with communities.

How we do things


This page contains information (and subpages, mostly) on how the Growth team does things. Growth/Team/Task Completion Definition