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Departments reorganized at Wikimedia Foundation, and a month without new RfAs (so far)

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By Altercari
Interim Vice-President of Product Toby Negrim (pictured) made the announcement alongside CTO Victoria Coleman.

Wikimedia Foundation changes

Victoria Coleman, Chief Technology Officer

The Wikimedia Foundation has announced a reorganization of the Product and Technology departments. The re-org is expected to deliver better product development with community engagement and an audience-based approach, a more efficient pipeline and to "better prepare our engineering teams to plan around the upcoming movement strategic direction". In the new organization, the Product department will be renamed the Audiences department. The Editing team becomes the Contributors team; the Reading team the Readers team. The Discovery team will be distributed to the Readers team and the Technology department (but will still work together on various projects). The Fundraising Tech team will be moved to the Technology department. Team Practices group members working directly with teams in the Audiences and Technology departments will move into those teams, and the rest will move to the Talent & Culture department, under the newly-appointed T&C Chargée d’Affaires Anna Stillwell. Four audience verticals will be condensed into three: Readers, Contributors and Community Tech. The Design Director role will be reintroduced.

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You can't use a linear extrapolation. The number of active administrators is proportional to a Poisson point process and is a subset of active editors, which have stabilized over the past five years. (talk) 10:50, 24 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Linear is simplistic, what fits better? The annual losses of active admins since 2008 are: 42, 86, 88, 33, 81, 30, 50, 1, 53 (a mean of 51.5). A simple linear regression of active totals since 2008: r2=0.96, standard error = 32, 50 loss a year., extrapolation to 0 takes 9 years, the year 2026. An exponential decay model visually fits (unlike linear), and r2=0.98, the trend halving the active admins per decade, henceforth "active admin attrition (AAA) rate" (so 1000 ten years ago, 500 now, predicts 250 in 2027).Widefox; talk 09:59, 26 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Here's a graph with better analysis (exponential regression fits only from mid 2011, total has r2=0.989 but a linear is similar) predicts less active admins than semi-active in a year from now, and total admin numbers 50% down from the peak by 2027:
Widefox; talk 21:37, 30 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Vertical market probably, and yes, the announcement is very heavy on Silicon Valley biz jargon. - Bri (talk) 21:26, 23 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
It wasn't entirely clear in the announcement and there was no time to get clarification before the publication deadline, so I thought it would be best to stick to their lingo. I'd like the record to show that I did try to figure it out though!!! —A L T E R C A R I   10:08, 24 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
The term "audience vertical" was introduced in the 2015 re-org. The idea is that job functions (like coding or testing) are horizontal slices through an organization, while products and features are vertical slices. In the foundation, each "vertical" focuses on a specific audience (e.g. Readers), and at least in theory each one contains personnel of all the disciplines it needs to be relatively self-sufficient. Each "vertical" is smaller than a department, but usually larger than a team. KSmith (WMF) (talk) 18:42, 26 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
(This was attributed to Gaius Petronius Arbiter (c.27-66 AD) by Robert Townsend in his book Up the Organization (1970). The original source appears to be Charlton Ogburn, Jr. writing in Harper's magazine (1957). --Guy Macon (talk) 07:38, 28 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]


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