Product Committee Charter

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The purpose of the Product Committee is to assess and explore current and future product development efforts to continuously improve the value that Wikipedia as a platform, and its sister projects, deliver to its community and users around the world.

Membership and Organization

Committee Members

The Board shall appoint at least two trustees to serve as Committee members. The Board may also appoint one or more additional trustees to serve as alternate Committee members to act in the place and stead of any absent Committee members. The Board shall appoint one trustee to serve as Committee Chair. Committee appointments are for a term of one year, unless the Committee member is replaced or terminated by a majority of the Board.

Foundation Staff

The Committee will invite Foundation staff including the Committee Chair to attend meetings, particularly as the Committee is designed to work in close collaboration with the Chief of Product and their team.

Volunteer Advisory Members

The Committee may select internal or external volunteer advisory members to participate in the Committee on a temporary or permanent basis based upon their qualifications and expertise. In case the Committee would like to add advisory members, the Committee will share its recommendations with the Chair of the Board and involve the WMF legal team when necessary.

  • The Committee Chair may nominate volunteer advisory members to participate in the Committee on an annual basis based upon their qualifications and expertise, and will be voted on by the committee.
  • All volunteer advisory members must comply with the same disclosure and certification requirements required by the Board under the Foundation’s Conflict of Interest Policy.
  • No volunteer or advisory members may be voting Committee members.

Responsibilities

Overall, the Product Committee is responsible for creating a space for the product team to freely consult with board members who are able and willing to provide key feedback from their own experiences technically managing online communities and platforms. These discussions have already been taking place informally in the past few years and this Committee is a way to formalize that relationship and to provide formal support within the board to the complex and vital work of the product and design teams. Specifically, these responsibilities include:

  1. Provide a space for product developers and designers to showcase their latest efforts to the board on a regular basis for both constructive feedback, additional ideas for consideration and support.
  2. Regular consultations with board members serving on this Committee who have product expertise, especially as it relates to security, outreach and the international community.
  3. Collaboratively exploring efficient ways to address community growth, diversity and sustainability through creative ideas and mechanisms.
  4. Provide an organized way for board members to engage directly with the Chief Product Officer and their team and to assist them in communicating ongoing and upcoming work to ensure the board is best informed on key developments and strategies.
  5. Create a periodic plan to help prioritize tasks and determine what the Committee should be focusing on.
  6. Any others that may be delegated by the Chair or the Board to the Committee.

Procedures and Processes

Meetings

The Committee shall meet at least three times per year, and otherwise as deemed necessary by the Committee and/or the Chief Product Officer. The Committee Chair must provide at least one week notice to other required attendees. The required attendees are the Committee members and the relevant staff members as determined by the meeting agenda. Trustees serving as alternate Committee members (if any) are not required attendees; they may not vote, unless appointed to act in the place and stead of an absent regular Committee member. A meeting may be in person, by telephone, or videoconference, so long as all participants are able to hear one another.

Reporting

At each regular Board meeting, the Committee Chair shall report to the full Board on the Committee’s activities since the last regular Board meeting, if any. The Committee may also update the whole board on pressing issues throughout the year.

Each meeting will have an agenda and minutes, which will be then shared with the board and relevant WMF Staff. The Committee will determine a suitable platform that will host this data and help curate its efforts.

Self-Evaluation

On a periodic basis, the Committee will perform a self-assessed evaluation of its performance based on the responsibilities laid out above. It will also review and reassess this charter as needed. The result will be reported to the full Board and include recommended changes to the Committee activities or its charter.