Monthly Archives: tammikuu 2019

Crafting the first strategy

Heikki going through SWOT analysis in one of the two strategy wokrshops in the Spring 2018.

Heikki going through SWOT analysis in one of the two strategy wokrshops in the Spring 2018. Photo: Olimar CC BY SA 4.0

In 2018 Wikimedia Suomi created its first strategy. The work was carried out in four workshops: two of them were organised in the Spring and two in the Autumn 2018. Based on the workshop discussions we created a draft document, which was published for comments in the association’s wiki. After minor adjustments, the stategy document for years 2019–2021 was approved in the Autumn meeting.

In the workshops we followed general guidelines for planning strategy. We did a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) and examined critically our current state. We figured out what is our purpose and what we want to achieve – both visionary and more conrete goals were discussed. The strategy draft was also evaluated in both Spring and Autumn meetings.

After the SWOT analysis was carried out, participants used stickers to mark the keypoints they thought were the most important.

After the SWOT analysis was carried out, participants used stickers to mark the keypoints they thought were the most important. Photo: Olimar CC BY SA 4.0

Several documents from earlier years were combed through to distill their relevant points and good ideas – why throw away good work someone else has already done? We also looked into other Wikimedia affiliates’ strategies for inspiration (to name a few, especially the strategies of WMSE, WMUK and Wikimedia movement were insightful).

We also asked suggestions from the community with a simple Google Form in the Spring and later in the Autumn via the draft page and Facebook group Wikipedian ystävät. In the end though we received hardly any feedback this way (neither negative nor positive). It could mean that we were on the right track all the long, but nevertheless it would have been nice to get more publicly expressed approval for our ”new direction”. Of course tackling strategy is a daunting process; maybe we should have splitted the draft for comments in smaller parts.

The results

So what about the final product? Our strategy is divided into four priority areas:

  1. Vital Association
  2. Synergistic Cooperation
  3. Easy Participation
  4. Versatile Content.

Wikidata acts as a central theme connecting all the priority areas.

At the end of the day our new strategy doesn’t make a huge shift in our operations, but it provides a useful framework for looking ahead and planning for coming activities. In the last few years we have sometimes struggled with what to focus on – and when we committed to something, it wasn’t always clear why we were doing it. Hopefully the new strategy will make planning easier and decisions more impactful.