Thursday, August 12, 2010

Using Wikis: Project Process

In my current role as the Project Manager, Bookshelf (Wikimedia Foundation), we use wikis (obviously!) for project management, content development, and testing. As we charged ahead with the first deliverable, I found myself struggling to define a project process that included the Wikipedia community (particularly in content development) and manage risks associated with everyone editing the same content with the need to control the overall product quality and minimize communication overheads between teams. 

Here is the summary of the overall project process that I created and currently use (think funnel):
Step 1: Content collection, where everyone is welcome to edit, contribute, and help us define the content elements for that deliverable. The project team needs your perspective and knowledge (and access to information sources)
Step 2: Structure and initial drafts, where the page is edited by the copyeditor, writer, and the key stakeholders. Everyone is welcome to review the page but please use Discussion to post your comments and ideas.
Step 3: At this final stage, only the copyeditor and the lead writer edit the page.
For all the stages, you will find the writers/leads on the deliverable communicating with you using a banner at the top of the page.

Why this process?
We are trying a fine balance between leveraging crowd knowledge and ensuring high quality of deliverables.

  • Project process, schedule, managing risks and stakeholder expectations: Project Manager
  • Deliverables: Lead assigned to each solution
  • Wrting styleguide: Copyeditor
  • Design: Graphical designer
Also published here.

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