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WMF Engineering org charts

 

 

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erik at wikimedia

Apr 4, 2012, 5:34 PM

Post #1 of 7 (260 views)
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WMF Engineering org charts

Hi folks,

as I mentioned in a response to Liam the other day, we've been working
on having org charts generated in a more automatic, scalable form.

A contractor, Mark Holmquist, has been working on an open source tool
for this the last few weeks to do this. It's still highly
experimental. In particular, we're exploring alternative layout
options (full horizontal only works well for small org charts). Don't
be surprised if it breaks or behaves weirdly, and Mark may be making
changes to the labs setup at any time.

Most importantly, it's only engineering right now. I've plopped in a
couple of examples for the other depts, but ignore those until they're
built out, provided my colleagues are happy with the tool. This is not
authoritative, and there are almost certainly errors, beyond the
aforementioned omission of all other departments. :)

Explanations:
* The little flags represent locations. Typically they're ccTLD
country codes, except for SF for the SF office.
* Mousing over a node in the chart gives you extended information.
* (E) = employee, (C) = contractor
* Dashed border = this is a contractor role that's not part of the
overall capacity plan and funded out of the general "outside
contractor services" budget

The tool makes it possible to have unique URLs for any subset view of
the chart, and that's the best way to use it. These are the
departments in engineering/product:

TechOps:
http://orgcharts.wmflabs.org:8888/#of-unit-box-for-4f5e806d0b3d0d0f2e000009

Features:
http://orgcharts.wmflabs.org:8888/#of-unit-box-for-4f5e806c0b3d0d0f2e000003

Platform:
http://orgcharts.wmflabs.org:8888/#of-unit-box-for-4f5e806c0b3d0d0f2e000007

Mobile:
http://orgcharts.wmflabs.org:8888/#of-unit-box-for-4f6cd85eeef7b93804000002

I18N/R&D:
http://orgcharts.wmflabs.org:8888/#of-unit-box-for-4f6cff2d9f293f1b13000001

Product:
http://orgcharts.wmflabs.org:8888/#of-unit-box-for-4f6d01199f293f1b13000003

All of engineering:
http://orgcharts.wmflabs.org:8888/#of-unit-box-for-4f5e806c0b3d0d0f2e000002

Code is currently here and will be moved to WMF git repo soon:
http://code.marktraceur.info/?p=wmf-orgchart;a=summary

If you'd like to be involved or provide detailed feedback for
improvement, please post to the talk page here:
https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Wikimedia_tools/Org_chart_tool

All best,
Erik
--
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

Support Free Knowledge: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate

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george.herbert at gmail

Apr 4, 2012, 5:45 PM

Post #2 of 7 (252 views)
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Re: WMF Engineering org charts [In reply to]

On Wed, Apr 4, 2012 at 5:34 PM, Erik Moeller <erik [at] wikimedia> wrote:
> Hi folks,
>
> as I mentioned in a response to Liam the other day, we've been working
> on having org charts generated in a more automatic, scalable form.
>...

Thank you for that.

On a meta-question that raises - there are a lot of direct reports to
the area directors. 18 people seems like a lot per director, not in
total headcount, but in direct reports.

I'm less familiar with org structure building at foundations than
commercial or government or academia, but the others tend to subdivide
more.

Has this been an observed issue within the WMF?


--
-george william herbert
george.herbert [at] gmail

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erik at wikimedia

Apr 4, 2012, 6:05 PM

Post #3 of 7 (254 views)
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Re: WMF Engineering org charts [In reply to]

On Wed, Apr 4, 2012 at 5:45 PM, George Herbert <george.herbert [at] gmail> wrote:
> Has this been an observed issue within the WMF?

In some areas. In my view, a well-functioning agile team is
self-organizing and self-managed, and it's a manager's job to
primarily set that team up for success, hire the right people, replace
the people who aren't working out, and help escalate/resolve blocker
or coordination issues outside the team's scope. Putting so much
responsibility on the team's shoulders is in my opinion a good thing,
because it treats them as adults accountable and responsible for the
success or failure of their own work.

Where we're trying to complete complex projects with a part of a
person's time here, a part of a person's time over there, we lean
heavily on managers to help with the resource scheduling and project
organization, and that's where things are currently getting iffy at
times. In our 2012-13 hiring plan submission, we're proposing a
Dev-Ops Program Manager position to help with some of the particularly
hairy cross-coordination of complex, under-resourced backend projects
with operations implications (an example of that kind of project is
the SWIFT media storage migration).

There'll likely also be another layer of depth in the org chart as we
grow and evolve further, but that's something to do very carefully
because it increases real or perceived distance between people, and
making people managers of 1-2 people is fairly inefficient.
--
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

Support Free Knowledge: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate

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george.herbert at gmail

Apr 4, 2012, 7:16 PM

Post #4 of 7 (246 views)
Permalink
Re: WMF Engineering org charts [In reply to]

On Wed, Apr 4, 2012 at 6:05 PM, Erik Moeller <erik [at] wikimedia> wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 4, 2012 at 5:45 PM, George Herbert <george.herbert [at] gmail> wrote:
>> Has this been an observed issue within the WMF?
>
> In some areas. In my view, a well-functioning agile team is
> self-organizing and self-managed, and it's a manager's job to
> primarily set that team up for success, hire the right people, replace
> the people who aren't working out, and help escalate/resolve blocker
> or coordination issues outside the team's scope. Putting so much
> responsibility on the team's shoulders is in my opinion a good thing,
> because it treats them as adults accountable and responsible for the
> success or failure of their own work.
>
> Where we're trying to complete complex projects with a part of a
> person's time here, a part of a person's time over there, we lean
> heavily on managers to help with the resource scheduling and project
> organization, and that's where things are currently getting iffy at
> times. In our 2012-13 hiring plan submission, we're proposing a
> Dev-Ops Program Manager position to help with some of the particularly
> hairy cross-coordination of complex, under-resourced backend projects
> with operations implications (an example of that kind of project is
> the SWIFT media storage migration).
>
> There'll likely also be another layer of depth in the org chart as we
> grow and evolve further, but that's something to do very carefully
> because it increases real or perceived distance between people, and
> making people managers of 1-2 people is fairly inefficient.
> --
> Erik Möller
> VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation
>
> Support Free Knowledge: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l [at] lists
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l

Sounds like a good thought out, informed answer. Thanks.

--
-george william herbert
george.herbert [at] gmail

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thomas.dalton at gmail

Apr 4, 2012, 9:46 PM

Post #5 of 7 (246 views)
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Re: WMF Engineering org charts [In reply to]

On 5 April 2012 02:05, Erik Moeller <erik [at] wikimedia> wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 4, 2012 at 5:45 PM, George Herbert <george.herbert [at] gmail> wrote:
>> Has this been an observed issue within the WMF?
>
> In some areas. In my view, a well-functioning agile team is
> self-organizing and self-managed, and it's a manager's job to
> primarily set that team up for success, hire the right people, replace
> the people who aren't working out, and help escalate/resolve blocker
> or coordination issues outside the team's scope. Putting so much
> responsibility on the team's shoulders is in my opinion a good thing,
> because it treats them as adults accountable and responsible for the
> success or failure of their own work.

What about personal development? Do your managers play an active role
in helping their reports develop with objectives, feedback, training,
etc? I imagine doing that for so many reports would be extremely time
consuming.

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okeyes at wikimedia

Apr 5, 2012, 10:19 PM

Post #6 of 7 (240 views)
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Re: WMF Engineering org charts [In reply to]

So, Erik is best suited to speak for Engineering's wider attitude on
personal development: I can only talk about what I've seen, as an editor
who slaves away for our evil and monolithic overlords in their goal to
obliterate the commu-crud. wrong meeting.

I've been not just impressed but humbled and kinda touched by the attitude
I've seen from managers, or simply people with a day-to-day role directing
other staffers, when it comes to personal development. Obviously, the
software and the movement is the first priority, as well it should be, but
they've always tried to make me feel at home and, more importantly, make
sure I'm *learning*. It's a genuinely great environment to be in on that
front :)

On 5 April 2012 05:46, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton [at] gmail> wrote:

> On 5 April 2012 02:05, Erik Moeller <erik [at] wikimedia> wrote:
> > On Wed, Apr 4, 2012 at 5:45 PM, George Herbert <george.herbert [at] gmail>
> wrote:
> >> Has this been an observed issue within the WMF?
> >
> > In some areas. In my view, a well-functioning agile team is
> > self-organizing and self-managed, and it's a manager's job to
> > primarily set that team up for success, hire the right people, replace
> > the people who aren't working out, and help escalate/resolve blocker
> > or coordination issues outside the team's scope. Putting so much
> > responsibility on the team's shoulders is in my opinion a good thing,
> > because it treats them as adults accountable and responsible for the
> > success or failure of their own work.
>
> What about personal development? Do your managers play an active role
> in helping their reports develop with objectives, feedback, training,
> etc? I imagine doing that for so many reports would be extremely time
> consuming.
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> foundation-l [at] lists
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>



--
Oliver Keyes
Community Liaison, Product Development
Wikimedia Foundation
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erik at wikimedia

Apr 6, 2012, 5:06 PM

Post #7 of 7 (242 views)
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Re: WMF Engineering org charts [In reply to]

On Wed, Apr 4, 2012 at 9:46 PM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton [at] gmail> wrote:
> What about personal development? Do your managers play an active role
> in helping their reports develop with objectives, feedback, training,
> etc?

Yes, of course. There's a standard $ allotment for each employee in
the budget to support training, courses, coaching, etc. and
managers/employees are encouraged to explore options together. In
practice, some people take more advantage of this than others, of
course -- and to be fair, some managers do a better job at it than
others, which in my experience is more a function of management
experience and personality than it is of number of reports.

Gayle's office plays an important role in bringing fairness into the
process, sharing info about development opportunities and options,
setting standards about goal-setting and performance management, being
available for deeper conversations, exploration of coaching options,
etc.

Erik

--
Erik Möller
VP of Engineering and Product Development, Wikimedia Foundation

Support Free Knowledge: https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate

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