Wikimedia Product/Technical Program Management
See also: How are Technical Program Management and Program Management different, and how are they the same?
Who we are
We are a team in Wikimedia Foundation's Product department dedicated to guiding delivery processes and facilitating healthy teams through good practices.
- We believe in operational excellence and continuous improvement.
- We uphold a culture of accountability.
- We care about the connections between people and teams.
- We enable others to do their best work.
- Max, Lead Team Effectiveness Coach, Interim Team Manager
- Aida, Lead Technical Program Manager
- Lani, Senior Technical Program Manager
- Lauren, Senior Technical Program Manager
- Mariya, Senior Technical Program Manager
What we do
We help teams work better.
We promote a culture of continuous improvement and process optimization. We coordinate the delivery of projects, identify and mitigate risks, and address blockers. We facilitate Agile meetings such as standups, sprint planning, retrospectives, and backlog refinement, as well as other team meetings (and we don't limit ourselves to Agile, if there's a better fit for a team). We facilitate internal communications across teams and departments (and throughout the organization), ensuring a shared understanding of timelines and priorities.
For more specifics, see this overview of day to day work.
How we do it
We improve process, communication, and understanding.
We focus on developing and supporting healthy team dynamics as well as a culture that welcomes diverse perspectives. We guide teams to find effective workflows through ongoing discussion of performance, as well as dedicated coaching. We treat all engagements with a focus on sustainability, showing teams how to be their best on their own so that we can support more teams. Sometimes this means we consult, and sometimes this means we embed on a team for a while before moving on.
How are Technical Program Management and Program Management different, and how are they the same?
These teams with near-identical names and titles are, essentially, one big team with 2 managers, and we all do similar work. In instances where 2 people with program management approaches co-exist on a single team, each such instance will have its own unique delineation of responsibilities depending on needs and capacity.
Teams we work with
- Product and Technology Technical Program Management
- Product Leads
Tools, practices, and presentations we like
- Making requests of other teams
- Best practices for working with teams across the department
- Manager readme
- A prompt for setting expectations between managers and reports - most people adapt the prompts to their needs
- A guide to planning off-sites
- Workshop planning
- A guide to planning workshops
- Meeting best practices (including remote staff)
- Best practices for meetings
- Technical Program Management good practices
- Running log of shared good practices for facilitation, sprint meetings, etc.
Phlogiston A tool for creating reports from Phabricator, such as burn-up charts.
- Data Cubed / Datasette
- A tool developed by a WMF working group for analyzing Phabricator data
- Distributed Agile Development or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love Remoties
- A presentation about Agile and remote work
- Agile Coaching Lifecycle
- A model for understanding coaching Agile
- How to request silent Phabricator batch edits
- To add someone to the team board, they should be added as members of https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/project/members/5264/
- Spectrum of Success
- The SoS is a tool for measuring success by leveraging baseline expectations
- Common Agile and industry jargon
- Agile Estimation: Is estimation about "risk" or "size"?
- Task Board (Sprintboard) Basics and Philosophy
Approaches and styles for specific roles
Technical Program Management Team Norms 2021
- We use our weekly team meetings to focus mostly on work. We take turns organically to host the meeting. We use emoticons to queue up to speak.
- For deep dive discussions, we use Gramanada meetings making sure to add the topic to the agenda at least 1 business day ahead of time and indicating that attendance is optional.
- For 1:1s, we notify the person before scheduling over or canceling.
- We use @here judiciously in slack channels and @channel virtually never.
- We thread conversations in slack channels to manage noise.
- We use brackets to make it easy to identify the most important emails e.g. Subject: [Urgent] Please respond today….
- For emails from Carol, Margeigh, or Max, we respond within 24 hours if there is a call to action.
Team Phabricator Board
- The team board is for tickets that have actions items for everyone with the ticket steward added as assignee. We use checklists in the ticket for multiple inputs with @mentions.
- We can create tickets at any time but they must be refined or resolved together in the team meeting.
- Mark full-day out of office on our own calendars including any personal time off and any region-specific holidays.
Social Event Suggestions
Part of the mandate of the Technical Program Management team is to assist with facilitating offsite meetings, including both in person and virtual team building events.
Remote Virtual Events
- Wikimedia Product/Technical Program Management/Day to day
- Wikimedia Product/Technical Program Management/Glossary
- Wikimedia Product/Technical Program Management/Good practices
- Wikimedia Product/Technical Program Management/Ice Breakers
- Wikimedia Product/Technical Program Management/Our Hiring Process
- Wikimedia Product/Technical Program Management/Requesting silent phabricator batches
- Wikimedia Product/Technical Program Management/Spectrum of Success
- Wikimedia Product/Technical Program Management/Team Effectiveness Coach Approach and Style
- Wikimedia Product/Technical Program Management/Virtual Bonfire