Submissions:2016/FailFest (Solo Version) - Rocket Cats & Knowledge Engines

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Rocket Cats & Knowledge Engines
Academic Peer Review option
Type of submission
Joseph Seddon, Chris Koerner & Keegan Peterzell
E-mail address
User:CKoerner (WMF)
Wikimedia Foundation
As our movement, projects, communities, and organisations develop and grow to become more mature and complex, failure comes with an almost certain inevitability. It is the harsh reality that comes from humanity's constant battle with entropy. Failing effectively is almost as important a skill as succeeding in the first place. Before you can fail well you need to be able to clearly identify, understand and admit one's own mistakes, both to oneself and to others.
At the beginning of 2016, plans to improve the search and discovery of information on the Wikimedia projects and how they related to earlier concepts of a "Knowledge Engine", became a prime example of what happens when communication, openness and collaboration fall below a standard that is expected not just by the community, but by those who work for the Wikimedia Foundation. The project’s aim was to improve the role and function that search played in our readers’ interactions with our projects at one scale or another. Unfortunately it resulted in lost trust within the organisation and with the community, and had the potential to result in lost trust in the Wikimedia movement from our readers and external partners.
In this FailFest, dedicated to a single topic, we look at why openness, effective communication and engagement with both internal and external partners are an absolute necessity in project settings, especially when things don't go according to plan. These fundamentals when missing, for a project of any scale, play their part in creating confusion that often results in conflicting expectations; especially when projects evolve in their scope. We look at how this manifested during the course of the search project, where things went wrong, what can individuals and the Foundation learn from this experience, where we are today and how the panel hopes these mistakes can be avoided in future. The latter of these will involve discussion about work by Keegan Peterzell to establish a “Technical Collaboration Guidelines” that will allow Product teams and Wikimedia communities to work together in a systematic way by establishing best practices for community involvement in the product development and deployment cycle.
Length of presentation
45 minutes
Special schedule requests
Preferred room size
Will you attend WikiConference North America if your submission is not accepted?

Chris Koerner & Keegan Peterzell: Yes Joseph Seddon: Maybe (Based in the UK)

Scheduled: For Sunday Oct 9 2016 circa 14:00 in the Clark room

Interested attendees

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