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Thoughts on Chapter planning

The Chapter is involved in both programs and projects and there are also projects that emerge as the year progresses. Obviously the main purpose of the planning process (of which a call for input is a component) and of the plan itself, is to maximise the likelihood that both programs and projects will deliver the outcomes and the benefits that we seek. The other purposes are to make everything easier for us to contribute to, monitor and report on. Chapter Programs need to be aligned with principles and strategic goals - both their own and the Foundation's, since the Chapter will be applying to WMF for funds and since we need to account for our activities and the expenditure of funds to donors. The Committee is responsible for the direction and support of the programs. Individual members are responsible for the projects. A key difference is that programs tend to continue, whereas projects definitely finish.


Chapter programs are overarching things that focus on benefits and outcomes - achieving one of our goals, for instance. They are made up of a range of activities or projects. Programs represent a path, which is sometimes known but is to some extent unknown (that is, emergent).

Examples If a known and clear goal is to “Create the capacity and credibility needed for a successful FDC application”, a range of projects/activities would have to be undertaken to achieve it. Some of them would be known and eminently plannable, such as, perhaps, the project to achieve charitable status, which we have just done. Others, such as to "demonstrate a range of successful projects", would require that we could support appropriate (as yet unknown) projects when they come up. If a goal is to "Develop relationships with Australian GLAMs", the Program will consist of all the projects and activities that contribute to reaching that goal, some of which would be clear and built on previous achievements, such as those we already have with the State Library of Queensland and the State Library of New South Wales. It would make sense to give them priority. However, it is likely that many of the projects that help to achieve the GLAM relationship goal will emerge as opportunities arise. The Committee is responsible for setting, monitoring and reporting on our programs insofar as they show the general direction, efforts and expenditure of the Chapter.


Chapter projects, on the other hand, need to be very specific things that contribute to the success of the programs. Individual members need to be able both to propose and carry out a small project with little or no funding, or seek support from other members for a bigger one. Opportunities for such things emerge so any planning needs to accommodate this unpredictability. Also, as we are a group of volunteers, our enthusiasms wax and wane and our time is limited, so projects need to be small in scope so as to be manageable by the proposers and have clear finishing points. The Committee can assist the members with how their project relates.


Editathons at a GLAM, for example, would support the goal of developing relationships with GLAMs. Such a project would become part of the program. If, say, a Wiki Loves Monuments project is proposed, such a project's scope could be reduced to something achievable that would also function as a pilot (that is, a training ground and opportunity for learning). The pilot would be part of the program in support of the goal.


My suggestion is that the Chapter Planning process regularly produce a Chapter Plan that sets out and prioritises a small number of programs around which it supports projects, both planned and emergent, proposed by members.

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