Sprint 2 – Maximizing output by giving lots of input

The start of sprint 2 was all about giving the teams as much input as possible to create a productivity boost for the weeks to come. Based on the needs of the teams we invited experts to inspire and give workshops about their topics. We will present some of them and how they pushed the projects forward here in this post.

  • WMDE allgemein
  • 24. August 2021

Getting new impulses

Our colleague Ivana Madžarevi from Wikimedia Serbia gave input about the different aspects of community management. She made clear that it’s super important to have a solid foundation where you can build your community up on. For engaging communities these foundations are knowing your values, defining a target group and choosing the right communication channels. For our project team SupplyChains who have already held events with their target group, she had the practical advice that they need to find the right balance in the number of events. If the events are too often people will get bored and if there are too few users might get lost. If there is not too much time in preparing the events you can just ask your members what they want to talk about and can alternate between different kinds of events like conferences, open discussions and involve community members as speakers. For the project FollowTheVote who want to keep their users engaged during the development phase of their app, she gave the tipp that it’s nice to involve their users through different “engaging” features in the app, for instance a function to report bugs, a chat or an option for users to create meetups.  To win a community in such an early stage it’s always a good option to promote the product at partners’ events.

Michael Wunsch from the Social Entrepreneurship Netzwerk Deutschland was talking about how to measure the impact of a project and what needs to be done first to be able to see if a project is successful or not. Most important thing is that if a team comes up with an idea, it needs to make sure that you go out with it and test it as early as possible and then implement the learnings from this reality check and do this over and over again. To implement the controlling mechanismen of the impact measurement, Michael introduced the team to the impact model by Phineo that is based on input output, outcome and impact they want to create. The team of OpenSpeaks for example wants to reach the impact that accessibility is an integral part of all language documentation projects and therefore they want to build an open online platform to curate language documentation practices and solve specific issues related to accessibility. The team of GovDirectory wants people to actively participate in decision making and that making the decisions is more democratically founded and accepted. The outcome that leads them there is that through the GovDirectory, people can find where and how to contact the appropriate government agency. 

Our WMDE colleague and open licenses expert Berd Fiedler introduced the different use cases of the licenses. Besides, he also highlighted the impact of making content or codes accessible to others: publishing under a free license helps other people for example in education or volunteering to have access to high quality content and beyond this, it’s a great tool for collaborating and to push projects forward within the help of a community. If more people can use your work because it’s for free, it’s a big chance to maximize the output of a project and it helps to get a lot of publicity and distribution.

Keep motivation high

In her really inspiring input talk “(Re)Building Trust in the Digital Age: Building movements; not apps” Buse Çetin set a big focus on how we do things affects on what the output of our project is. So if you want to create trust with your project it’s important that you take a look at your environment first and see how you can create a safe working environment and trustful relationships with others to bring it to a bigger scale than. Therefore she recommends the design justice principles from design justice network as a good guideline to make empathy a big focus in your project work. She motivated the participants to try out new working models and see teamwork as a process that implements feedback and where there is no finished working standard in the end.

Takeaways for the project teams

We asked the teams what their takeaways are and here are some insights into their learnings and challenges they want and need to tackle:

The team of ThinkTwise wants to integrate the impact measurement in their work and therefore intend to define indicators for social impact. A current challenge for them is to clarify the users and use cases for their tool.

One of the key takeaways for the project team Supply-chains.us is streamlining their working mode. They felt inspired by the impact measurement session and want to integrate more working methods and standards in their workflow.

GovDirectory wants to motivate their users and build a community of contributors who gather and edit data for the platform. For this, the team will emphasize on the user experience aspect when developing their prototype that focuses on lowering the barrier for contributors to work smoothly on the platform.

“How to become an open and therefore international community?” And “how to engage the community?” These are the questions that the project team OpenSpeaks wants to address in the coming weeks after being inspired by our experts.  Besides, the team will map out stakeholders and potential partners for the project in order to understand their needs and motivation. 

The team of FollowTheVote benefited from the expert sessions, especially with regard to the type of licensing their product as well as to building a community of users. For the weeks to come the team will be focussing on further developing their product (it has been launched: check it out!) and on their strategy in terms of marketing and outreach as well as funding.