User:Keegan (WMF)/PDP/CL MX notes


The origins of this page are from a community liaison off-site in Mexico City, Mexico pre-Wikimania 2015. The purpose of the exercise was to identify the questions we ask of ourselves, product managers, communities, and/or other stakeholders in the WMF product development process.

PDP stages[edit]


  • What problem(s) is this intended to solve?
    • For whom?
    • Based on what evidence?
    • When/timeline? (When do you want to start, and how long will you dedicate if this is successful?
    • Did anyone request this?
  • Will this replace an existing tool?
  • Will this break anyone's workflow? To a significant extent?
  • What are the boundaries of tech support for edge-cases? (blind users of screenreaders, old browser compatibility, text-only feature-phones, etc)
  • What can be measured?
  • Has this been tried before, internally (staff or community)?
  • Are there industry standards around this?
  • Does this already exist in the outside world?
  • Will it scale? (both to small wikis, and to large wikis)
  • Will it add to editors' workload if it's a success?
  • What are the allocated resources? For how long?
  • Where are you documenting this?
  • Where are you discussing this with the communities?
  • Product name - Is it international? Is it unambiguous? Is it permanent? Has it been reviewed by comms? Is it the same in the code and in the docs? (c. naming things)
  • Is it local or global?
    • Are you affecting people who are not your target? (e.g. French wiki research email, stewards and SWTF, etc)
      • If yes, can precautions be taken to not do so?
  • Have all appropriate WMF teams been consulted?
  • Define the product's individual definition of alpha/beta/release


Questions for Alpha/MVP stage[edit]

  • What is the minimal feature set for MVP?
  • Once deployed, What are the repercussions if it breaks for hours / days / weeks?
  • What is your criteria for moving to 'Beta'?
  • Have you gathered enough outside feedback? Where are you doing outreach/notifications?
  • Did you incorporate the feedback from the public ideation announcement?
  • Does it meet Risker's checklist? (cf. phab:126952)

Questions for the Beta stage[edit]

Alpha has told us this is the design and feature set we're going for, what are the Beta questions…?

  • What kinds of feedback are you looking for at this time?
  • Timing, evaluation, scenarios
  • Do you have a backup plan(s)? (will you roll it back?) - danger of some editors saying "it is never ready"
  • Are there any (predetermined, and potential) pivot options?
  • Are you going to do any A/B testing of beta iterations?
  • What is your criteria for moving to full-rollout, default for everyone?
  • Have you started your rollout plan?
  • What else is happening during your proposed deployment? (avoid Fridays, April 1, EU/US holidays, other major planned changes/breakages/deployments, etc)
  • Is your documentation internationalised/translated?

Stable release questions[edit]

  • How long do you plan to keep supporting this product? [How long will we CLs support it?]
  • Do the results from Research or A/B testing show that it does no harm, and support the product's release?
  • Do you have a backup plan?
  • Are all your major bugs ironed out?
  • Have the edge cases that need to be resolved, been agreed upon? (pick our battles)
  • Have you incorporated the feedback from beta?

Buckets or categories that might apply[edit]

Perhaps we need to break it into buckets?

  • longterm/shortterm
  • disruptive/not
  • one-time or continual
  • experimental
  • Really big disruptive products, like VE, Flow
  • One-time configuration change
  • community requested
  • design change
  • replacement of an existing product (feature parity issues)

Discussion and messaging tools[edit]

Tools like:

  • surveys
  • site notice (+ central/site/geo/watchlist notices)
  • blog
  • newsletters
  • village pumps
  • social media
  • notifications
  • tech/news (gets posted to many Villagepumps, but is very over-simplified)
  • phabricator (pub/pri)
  • talkpages (pub/pri)
  • email (pub/pri)
  • irc (pub/pri)
  • documentation (pub/pri)
  • meetings (pub/pri)