Wikimedia Product/Technical Program Management

Not to be confused with the Program Management team.

See also: How are Technical Program Management and Program Management different, and how are they the same?

Who we areEdit

We are a team in Wikimedia Foundation's Product department dedicated to guiding delivery processes and facilitating healthy teams through good practices.


  • We believe in operational excellence and continuous improvement.
  • We uphold a culture of accountability.
  • We care about the connections between people and teams.
  • We enable others to do their best work.


  • Grace, Manager
  • Aida, Senior Technical Program Manager
  • James, Senior Technical Program Manager
  • Lani, Senior Technical Program Manager
  • Lauren, Senior Technical Program Manager
  • Mariya, Senior Technical Program Manager
  • Max, Lead Team Effectiveness Coach

What we doEdit

We help teams work better.

We promote a culture of continuous improvement and process optimization. We coordinate the delivery of projects, identify and mitigate risks, and address blockers. We facilitate Agile meetings such as standups, sprint planning, retrospectives, and backlog refinement, as well as other team meetings (and we don't limit ourselves to Agile, if there's a better fit for a team). We facilitate internal communications across teams and departments (and throughout the organization), ensuring a shared understanding of timelines and priorities.

For more specifics, see this overview of day to day work.

How we do itEdit

We improve process, communication, and understanding.

We focus on developing and supporting healthy team dynamics as well as a culture that welcomes diverse perspectives. We guide teams to find effective workflows through ongoing discussion of performance, as well as dedicated coaching. We treat all engagements with a focus on sustainability, showing teams how to be their best on their own so that we can support more teams. Sometimes this means we consult, and sometimes this means we embed on a team for a while before moving on.

How are Technical Program Management and Program Management different, and how are they the same?Edit

These teams with near-identical names and titles are, essentially, one big team with 2 managers, and we all do similar work. In instances where 2 people with program management approaches co-exist on a single team, each such instance will have its own unique delineation of responsibilities depending on needs and capacity.

Approaches and styles for specific rolesEdit

Teams we work withEdit


  • Product Technical Program Management
  • Product Leads
  • Technology Program Management







Pending Engagements

Tools, Practices, and Presentations we likeEdit

Technical Program Management Team Norms 2021Edit


  • We use our weekly team meetings to focus mostly on work. We take turns organically to host the meeting. We use emoticons to queue up to speak.
  • For deep dive discussions, we use Gramanada meetings making sure to add the topic to the agenda at least 1 business day ahead of time and indicating that attendance is optional.
  • For 1:1s, we notify the person before scheduling over or canceling.


  • We use @here judiciously in slack channels and @channel virtually never.
  • We thread conversations in slack channels to manage noise.
  • We use brackets to make it easy to identify the most important emails e.g. Subject: [Urgent] Please respond today….
  • For emails from Toby or Grace, we respond within 24 hours if there is a call to action.

Team Phabricator BoardEdit

  • The team board is for tickets that have actions items for everyone with the ticket steward added as assignee. We use checklists in the ticket for multiple inputs with @mentions.
  • We can create tickets at any time but they must be refined or resolved together in the team meeting.


  • Mark full-day out of office on our own calendars including any personal time off and any US-specific holidays.

Team ice breaker questionsEdit

Here are some ice breaker questions which intentionally avoid cultural and regional references so you can use these to connect with teammates across the globe! Please add more.

How to use these ice breaker questionsEdit

  1. Randomly pick a question to start the game. We used a randomizer found online.
  2. Starting with the last person who joined the meeting, each person takes a turn to answer the question in 2 minutes.
  3. When everyone has a turn, use the randomizer to pick another question, and pick a different person to start with.

Ice breaker questionsEdit

  • Who is someone that you looked up to as a child?
  • What is something you would like to learn more about?
  • What is a recent accomplishment that you are proud of?
  • What’s your ideal day?
  • What is your hidden talent or skill?
  • What’s an event or person that’s shaped your life in a big way?
  • What do you hope other people feel when they spend time with you?
  • What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
  • If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be?
  • If you could choose any person from history to be your friend, who would it be and why?
  • What do you like to do when you have some free time?
  • What is a book that has impacted your life?

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