[Wikimedia-l] WMF work environment

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[Wikimedia-l] WMF work environment

Pine W
Hello,

Something I am sensing from multiple sources, sometimes more through
implication than specific statements, is that there is a sense of turmoil
in WMF. I think that some amounts of internal politics and staff turnover
are normal, but over the past few months I am sensing an increase in
internal turmoil. I am noticing the departures of some staff people that I
personally like and respect. I am wondering if WMF Talent and Culture or
maybe someone on the ED's office would be willing to comment regarding
these issues. I'm not intending to add additional stress to people who are
generally competent and are trying to do good work. I would like to better
understand the degree of turmoil (perhaps my impressions are incorrect),
what might be causing the turmoil, and whether the turmoil is good or bad.
Hopefully any increase in turmoil is temporary, but I am somewhat
concerned. If staff are focused too much on internal WMF issues then this
may affect their productivity on projects that support the community, and
having highly stressed or discouraged staff would be a problem.


Thank you,
Pine
( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF work environment

Henry Wood
Pine

What exactly do you suggest that you or the rest of us could actually
do with a "better understanding" of these issues?  Without taking any
position on whether there is some form of stress, is it likely to be
anything other than exacerbated by exposing it in public, with no real
prospect of that exposure leading to any kind of amelioration?

Henry

On Wed, 2 Oct 2019 at 21:09, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Hello,
>
> Something I am sensing from multiple sources, sometimes more through
> implication than specific statements, is that there is a sense of turmoil
> in WMF. I think that some amounts of internal politics and staff turnover
> are normal, but over the past few months I am sensing an increase in
> internal turmoil. I am noticing the departures of some staff people that I
> personally like and respect. I am wondering if WMF Talent and Culture or
> maybe someone on the ED's office would be willing to comment regarding
> these issues. I'm not intending to add additional stress to people who are
> generally competent and are trying to do good work. I would like to better
> understand the degree of turmoil (perhaps my impressions are incorrect),
> what might be causing the turmoil, and whether the turmoil is good or bad.
> Hopefully any increase in turmoil is temporary, but I am somewhat
> concerned. If staff are focused too much on internal WMF issues then this
> may affect their productivity on projects that support the community, and
> having highly stressed or discouraged staff would be a problem.
>
>
> Thank you,
> Pine
> ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF work environment

Paulo Santos Perneta
In reply to this post by Pine W
A surprising amount of staff turnover, and the relation between WMF and the
communities extremely eroded by a row of bad moves and general bad attitude.

I was told I'm too new to this, and it was worst during superprotect, but
it's still mind-boggling why what was supposed to be a symbiotic and happy
relation ends up being a sort of intermitent nightmare.

I guess that ultimately the fault and responsibility is ours, as a
community, for failing to elect BoT members in the last years more
competent in directing the ED and avoiding those situations (which, for the
most part, seem to be generally avoidable in an aftermath analysis, though
lessons seem to be hard to learn).

Best,
Paulo


Pine W <[hidden email]> escreveu no dia quarta, 2/10/2019 à(s) 21:09:

> Hello,
>
> Something I am sensing from multiple sources, sometimes more through
> implication than specific statements, is that there is a sense of turmoil
> in WMF. I think that some amounts of internal politics and staff turnover
> are normal, but over the past few months I am sensing an increase in
> internal turmoil. I am noticing the departures of some staff people that I
> personally like and respect. I am wondering if WMF Talent and Culture or
> maybe someone on the ED's office would be willing to comment regarding
> these issues. I'm not intending to add additional stress to people who are
> generally competent and are trying to do good work. I would like to better
> understand the degree of turmoil (perhaps my impressions are incorrect),
> what might be causing the turmoil, and whether the turmoil is good or bad.
> Hopefully any increase in turmoil is temporary, but I am somewhat
> concerned. If staff are focused too much on internal WMF issues then this
> may affect their productivity on projects that support the community, and
> having highly stressed or discouraged staff would be a problem.
>
>
> Thank you,
> Pine
> ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF work environment

Antoine Musso-3
In reply to this post by Pine W
On 02/10/2019 22:09, Pine W wrote:

> Hello,
>
> Something I am sensing from multiple sources, sometimes more through
> implication than specific statements, is that there is a sense of turmoil
> in WMF. I think that some amounts of internal politics and staff turnover
> are normal, but over the past few months I am sensing an increase in
> internal turmoil. I am noticing the departures of some staff people that I
> personally like and respect. I am wondering if WMF Talent and Culture or
> maybe someone on the ED's office would be willing to comment regarding
> these issues. I'm not intending to add additional stress to people who are
> generally competent and are trying to do good work. I would like to better
> understand the degree of turmoil (perhaps my impressions are incorrect),
> what might be causing the turmoil, and whether the turmoil is good or bad.
> Hopefully any increase in turmoil is temporary, but I am somewhat
> concerned. If staff are focused too much on internal WMF issues then this
> may affect their productivity on projects that support the community, and
> having highly stressed or discouraged staff would be a problem.

Hello Pine,

[turnover] rate i  a measure of how many employees leave an organization
compared to the total number of employees. It greatly varies by season,
sector, type of organization, area, country etc. See the wikipedia
article for more details.


 From a [board meeting public report, page 18]:

Turnover rate per fiscal year:

| Year      | Rate
|-----------|--------
| FY14-15   | 15,40%
| FY15-16   | 16,80%
| FY16-17   |  7,30%
| FY17-18   |  7,00%
| FYTD18-19 |  3,54%

The last line might be based on Dec 31 2018, and maybe can be
extrapolated to 3,54% x 2 = 7,08%.


For more recent numbers, the list of staff and contractors are listed
publicly. That has long been on a wiki [staff history] and is now on the
[official website].

It is thus not too difficult to grab those data and make them machine
readable, which is unofficially available at:
https://github.com/thcipriani/wmf-staff-and-contractors


June 27 th: 367 persons
October 2nd: 375 persons

29 people joined
21 have left

Which based on the Wikipedia article calculation would gives:

  Turnover rate = 21 left / ( (367 + 376) / 2 )
                = 0,0565

Which would be 5% since July 1st.  Remember that turnover is often
seasonal, but linearly expanding that quarter to a full year assuming
the three other quarters would be similar:

29 join on Q1 * 4 quarters = 116 join
21 leaves on Q1 * 4 quarters = 84 left

Delta 32
Total 399

And the formula would yield:

  Fictional turnover rate = 84 leaving / ( ( 367 + 399 ) / 2 )
                          = 0,219

Or slightly less than 22%. But again, turnover is often seasonal and the
foundation headcount (and thus rate of leaving/joining) grows.  So that
number is pure fiction.  One would need to:
* do some backtracking over the actual data for the last few years to be
able to draw any conclusion as what those 5% for FYQ1 mean or the
fictional 22% I have made up.
* analyze who and why people left during Q1, which might well be
independent from the WMF and just be conjectural.


Again that is situational and I am not sure whether one can draw any
conclusion from the numbers I am indicating here.

The board of trustee report indicates that they turnover rate is
reported to them which probably implies it is a key indicator.



As for the claimed internal turmoil, you might want to give details
about what leave you to think there is any turmoil.  Having some view
from the inside (I am a contractor to the WMF), I don't have that feeling.

cheers ;]


References:

[turnover]
* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turnover_(employment)

[staff history]
*
https://foundation.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Template:Staff_and_contractors&oldid=116650

[wmf-staff-and-contractors]
* https://github.com/thcipriani/wmf-staff-and-contractors

[official website]
* https://wikimediafoundation.org/role/staff-contractors/

[board meeting public report, page 18]
*
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/foundation/c/cb/January_30_2019_Board_of_Trustees_Meeting_-_public_version.pdf


--
Antoine "hashar" Musso


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF work environment

Antoine Musso-3
On 03/10/2019 12:47, Antoine Musso wrote:
<snip>
> [wmf-staff-and-contractors]
> * https://github.com/thcipriani/wmf-staff-and-contractors
>
> [official website]
> * https://wikimediafoundation.org/role/staff-contractors/

As a follow up, note that this source of data is most probably
inaccurate. The website might not be always up-to-date, and might not be
immediately updated when people join and leave.  So all the analysis is
to be picked with a large grain of salt ;-]

In the end, that would be better address by board/T&C which have the
accurate data.

--
Antoine Musso



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