Discovery/Retrospective 2015-11-02

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Review action items from previous retrospective:[edit]

What has happened since the last retro? (2015-10-14)[edit]

  • Jan joined the department
  • Team restructuring
  • Resistance to moving the portal to gerrit
  • Germany trip
  • Adjusting to life post-Wes

What went well?[edit]

  • DG: Based on what I can see from my inbox, the team seems to have been working quite effectively while I've been away.
  • The Germany trip has been a fantastic way to get in sync with Wikimedia Germany. +1 a lot of new TODO items now :)
    • Example: sitting brainstorming with Adam and Lydia from WMDE and we got something hacked together in an hour or two, which could be super important for us in the future
  • relevance lab has taken off, the high level design has been drafted and the MVP polished
  • The unMeeting is fun; it's often the highlight of the week
  • Operations engineer hiring feels *really* close to wrapping up. Multiple high quality candidates we could hire.
  • Support from the team on Relevance, Ops, and Product hiring loops
  • All members of portal team working together really nicely!

What could have gone better?[edit]

  • Analytics lacked work while Dan was out; work is noticeably scarce right now. We're taking steps to amend this (Oliver acted as Substitute Dan and pushed us on the user satisfaction stuff, Mikhail is running a Bayes for Bae session to teach Oliver Bayesian A/B testing so we have redundancy there)
    • partially caused by lack of information to analyse from teams (we haven't been running tests in last few weeks for other reasons)
  • Not loving the combined Reading/Discovery showcase, but willing to give it more time +++
    • Too rushed, would love for us to demo and discuss our doings in greater detail and see other teams' work at lightning talks
    • Feel it needs better moderation
    • Our 10% policy expects showcasing, but the combined showcase is short of time
  • Readership launched an untested change that harmed our A/B tests
    • Dan shortage affects inter-vertical interactions, too
  • Not having Dan was difficult, need fewer single points of failure +++
  • Lack of product support, Moiz is not getting time to do almost any design work and doing mostly product work
    • Especially around the future of our language work. We pivoted to relevance lab as a result of a shallow backlog leaving an already short quarter shorter
  • We need to be moving on the user satisfaction survey; where we are with that is kind of woolly.++
    • Have made progress. Reading team will run a survey for us using their non-qualtrix tool.
    • Expect to run the first survey the week of Nov 12 for a week.
    • We need to finalize question(s), page(s), etc.
    • The tool is based on wikigrok, so presents a single question within the page.
  • still don't feel like we have a clear path from here to solving our Q2 goal for language, we do have a clear path for testing the current code we have written and seeing how close that gets us. If that doesn't (and it's unlikely our first attempt will) meet or exceed our goals what next? Let's brainstorm some ideas while we wait for the test to complete. ++
  • We decided that Dan would issue a command for portal deployment even though we knew he was going away for 2 weeks
    • we felt blocked on Dan, but worked around it
  • Want better discoverability of discovery docs. I.e. how can I find if I don't know where it is? Should be more cross-linking from or some other place like this. Use categories?

What didn't fit into either of those buckets?[edit]

  • Working on the "pageviews data" task is just weird. It's always 3rd on my list, so it's moving slowly, but if you're ok, I'm ok
  • Writing the tech portion of the portal gerrit page took about 4 hours (I assume the design portion and analysis page took a while too)
  • How did we do onboarding our more recent staff?
    • Great to be on site for the first week
    • Gerrit is really confusing


  • (Had a quick clarification of survey)
  • Split into 2 teams recently. Feedback?
    • Product-driven teams, but haven't had a full PM during this time
    • Looking forward to having PM per team

Action Items[edit]

  • Erik: Brainstorm on language-related goal
  • Kevin to take showcase feedback to Adam
  • Oliver to continue email thread about user satisfaction suvey
  • Kevin to email about wiki page "categories"