Strategic Planning/Examination of SOPs for WMAU

< Strategic Planning

Examination of Standard Operating Procedures for WMAu

The objective of this wiki page is to capture the idea of the desirability of producing procedures for the administration of a web based organisation, Wikimedia Australia, as part of a strategic planning exercise.

This wiki page considers the examination of the day to day running of Wikimedia Australia as an appropriate analysis for a strategic plan. This page is properly read in conjunction with other documents on the wiki page "Strategic Planning", subheading 'Ideas', which directs the reading as follows:

The 'WMF Strategic Plan' represents the core function of the Wikimedia movement. It can therefore either be tailored to suit WMAu, or be adopted by WMAu in its entirety thus representing a universal core value. If it is adopted in its entirety the subcommittee needs to develop a plan consistent with the unique needs of the WMAu Chapter, and also incorporate in the document strategic statements that are sufficiently inclusive in outreach to nation neighbours and communities in the southern hemisphere. And the strategic plan should encompass notions of best practice and continuous improvement.

The 'WMF Strategic Plan' is dynamic in that all Chapters can use it as a model. However, any quality WMAu strategic plan should examine the particular standard operating procedures required for running the organisation. The Chapter is young and processes and guidelines are yet to be refined and developed.

Management operating procedures are considered integral to a WMAu strategic plan

Strategic Exercise:

  • Develop SOPs for the management of the organisation.


  • on developing the processes enabling the creation of workable procedures;
  • procedural education and policy to foster best practice in the administration of WMAu;
  • to establish the development and management of guidelines, proforme and codes of practice for the efficient administration of WMAu SOPs.

Suggestions: Administration Policy:

  • Committee and Office Bearers - functions and responsibilities encompassing the key dates in the Chapter's organisational calendar;
  • Meetings - agenda and minutes;
  • Subcommittees - requirements for operating a subcommittee; tools: emails (handling practices and classification); giving visibility to discussion on an ongoing basis; and progressive mapping of email discussion to topics;
  • Conferences;
  • Workshops - training needs;
  • Codes of Practice;
  • Policy Development - operationalise policy; and develop terms of reference.

WMAU Strategic Plan - approved proposal

The following document 'Proposal : Strategic Plan Proposal' was unanimously approved by the WMAu committee on 2011-05-02.

Proposal : Strategic Plan Proposal From Wikimedia Australia


  • Background
  • Goal
  • Benefits of having a Strategic Plan
  • Composition of Subcommittee
  • Timeline
  • Terms of Reference
  • Budget


Andrew Owens and I attended the Wikimedia Chapters Conference in Berlin, Germany, on behalf of Wikimedia Australia on 25–27 March. One of the conclusions we quickly came to is that chapters that have been successful in their programs and aims are all driven by a strategic plan that outlines what the chapter should be doing, what is within scope, and how those aims will be met. At the same time our Australian chapter has for some weeks now been conducting discussions via the 'Membership List' regarding the need to clarify our policies, procedures and practices, thus recognising the need to develop a document encompassing WMau's strategic plan. This proposal in recognising preceding discussions (outlined above), both within the Australian chapter and at the international level, creates this proposal to appoint a subcommittee of individuals to write such a document for Wikimedia Australia and ultimately to present it for approval by the committee.


The objective is the creation of a strategic plan that outlines the goals and strategies of the organisation for the next four years to 2015. This plan is not intended to limit creativity or impose limitations on the way WMau operates. It is intended to provide the chapter with direction, while acting in a coordinated manner, and guiding us along our pathway, providing us with the means to achieving our goals. Future proposals and ideas can then be assessed against the strategic plan to see how well they match our vision, and financial planning can be undertaken to ensure that these proposals and ideas remain financially feasible.

Benefits of having a Strategic Plan

There are many benefits to having a strategic plan, and most organisations of our size, whether in the not-for-profit or commercial sector, have moved to implement one. Specific enumerable benefits would be:

  • New proposals introduced by members could be assessed against the plan to see if they meet the strategic goals of the organisation, and to see if they overlap with any existing proposed work
  • Answer questions about what the purpose of the organisation is, and what it does
  • Provide measurable benchmarks to see if the organisation is meeting or making progress towards its goals
  • Make financial planning simpler, by providing a clearer picture of future activity
  • Improve relations with Wikimedia Foundation, by providing a picture of the direction the chapter is moving in and which activities are within the WMF scope.

Composition of Subcommittee

Historically, the Australian chapter has been fortunate with the skill level of its members and the quality of their contribution to the work of the chapter. It is envisaged that the composition of the sub-committee will consist of a mix of committee members and of ordinary members, and that the sub-committee will, from time to time, and where they deem necessary, inform the process by co-opting non-member individuals with specialised skills to the sub-committee. The Chair of the sub-committee will be selected by the committee from among its number. This proposal advocates that the Chair invite members to serve on the sub-committee. To this end members showing interest in the work of the proposed sub-committee should make their interest know to the Chair.


It is envisaged that a final draft of the Strategic Plan will be presented to the Committee in time for ratification, on or before 30 June 2011*. Should the Committee approve the implementation of the Strategic Plan it will be in the form of a motion passed for that purpose.

Committee Meeting 2011-06-18 - granted extension of time to 30 September 2011 for submission of final draft to Committee.*

Terms of reference:

  • These terms of reference come into effect upon the selection of the Chair by the committee;
  • The Chair is to appoint a sub-committee;
  • The initial task of the sub-committee is to allocate timelines for each stage of the process and throughout the process to ensure they are met;
  • The task of the sub-committee is to submit a draft document to the Committee for implementation.
  • The sub-committee will seek member feedback throughout various stages of the process;
  • The sub-committee will where necessary seek input from individuals with specialised knowledge in this area;
  • All feedback should be taken into consideration in the drafting process;
  • A penultimate draft in its entirety is to be presented to members;
  • A final draft is to be presented to the committee in time to meet the stated deadline.
  • These terms of reference expire upon the completion of the work or upon a motion passed by the Committee to this effect.


  • It is not anticipated that a budget will be required to bring this plan to fruition.
Discuss this page