Can issue of Project Badges be delegated to free up valuable Project Leaders' time?

+15 votes
Current WikiTree policy requires all Project Badges to be issued by Project Leaders. Given the shortage of Leaders in relation to the number of projects and with most Leaders covering two or more projects (two Leaders are covering 7 or more!), can the policy be changed to allow delegation of this task to Project Coordinators?
in Policy and Style by Martin White G2G6 Pilot (150k points)
Did I just hear an “Amen” from the project leaders?

4 Answers

+10 votes
Best answer
There is a good reason why only Leaders can award  project badges. It is called responsibility :) Leaders can also remove badges too, again something which a project coordinator does not have the ability to do.

Leaders do work hard, and are members of a number projects, which they try and give at least adequate but more than likely a lot more time to. They hand pick their coordinators, usually for their abilities to do certain things extremely well. It is not a viable situation for all project coordinators to have the ability to award project badges, especially when there are more than one coordinator in a project. To specify one would be unfair on others and certainly not a choice I personally would wish to take.

Badges do look nice on profiles and are nice to achieve. IMHO it is far more satisfying to be welcomed into the project and be part of it, contribute to it as part of it's community and get the badge for being an active member when the Leader has the time to award it. If the Leader has inadvertantly missed awarding it, a polite reminder would I am sure be accepted. :)

Please also remember that Leaders are no different to other members, we all have lives outside of Wikitree, but we chose to accept the responsibility and often put our own research on the back burner whilst we endeavour to help other members with their problems. :)
by Wendy Sullivan G2G6 Pilot (161k points)
selected by Susan Laursen

Many thanks Wendy for your input. smiley 

IMHO allocating badges is not a responsibility with a capital R and is one that could by delegated by Leaders to Coordinators. A warm welcome upfront confirming badge allocation is likely to be appreciated by all new project members, irrespective of the actual status of the issuer. 

My suggestion for Leaders to delegate awarding of badges was intended to ease the current burden on Leaders (especially as they do have lives outside of WikiTree) and did not include removal of badges. I used the word ‘delegate’ to imply the Leader(s) had the ultimate decision to delegate for their respective projects. Bear in mind some Coordinators actually lead projects (with actual Leaders in a supporting / oversight role). 

Most projects have a single Coordinator. Those with multiple Coordinators often indicate their respective areas of responsibility. I don’t see badge issuing as a status symbol or promotion marking out one Coordinator from another, more a functional duty to assist the project and Leader. 

If there is a general reluctance by Leaders to share the task of badge allocation in this way, then the alternative could be to bring forward the next wave of say ten Leaders with the primary responsibility of badge allocation (as suggested in the comment on Ros Haywood's answer). smiley

Thank you for best answer Susan :)
+10 votes

Or, I suppose, another solution is to create more Leaders.

According to the Help page, there is supposed to be 1 leader to every 1,000 registered members. 

Is WikiTree at that limit? Or are they short?

Or should that limit be revisited?

by Eric Weddington G2G6 Pilot (527k points)
edited by Eric Weddington

I agree Eric. With just 65 Leaders (according to both the WikiTree Leaders and respective badge pages), creating more Leaders is a must, but the limit on numbers may be more to do with the readiness of suitable candidates than the 1 per 1,000 limit. If the ratio is the problem, then it does need to be revisited. Either way, bringing forward new Leaders of the right calibre is likely to take time. Allowing badge delegation now would be a 'quick win', and could be reversed later (only if especially desired!) once a ready supply of suitably qualified Leaders are in place. smiley

Hi Martin,

Again, looking at the Help page, Leaders are expected to "Lead Projects" and "Help Resolve Problems". Further below, it says that Active Leaders must maintain a high-level of participation through co-leading a project AND serving as one of Ranger, Mediator, or Mentor.

For myself, I would raise my hand to volunteer to be a Leader, and I would gladly help with several Projects. However, I don't have a desire to be a Mediator or Mentor, and I don't have a consistent block of time to set aside to be a Ranger.

If the definition were perhaps tweaked a bit, to be an "OR", instead of an "AND", then I would be willing to step up.
+6 votes
I have been asking about this for several YEARS, and the answer has always been that badge-awarding is something only Leaders can do.
by Ros Haywood G2G Astronaut (2.0m points)

In a perfect world with at least two Leaders for every Project and Leaders not having to cover multiple projects, that ideal seems entirely reasonable. But given Leaders are being stretched, I doubt most members on joining a project would mind whether their badge is issued by a Leader or a Coordinator. smiley

It's not so much a case of whether a user would mind (and I'm sure they wouldn't!).  I think it possibly involves technical access which only a Leader would have.

Thanks Ros. If access is the issue and a technical solution cannot be put in place relatively easily to extend access rights to Coordinators, then a workable short-term alternative might be to create the next wave of, say ten, Leaders and let them cut their teeth on badge issuing for, say seven, projects each and shadowing other currently solo Leaders as part of their induction. smiley

+9 votes
Hi Martin,

I appreciate you trying to help Leaders out. Unfortunately, we run into a couple problems (though I wish they were as easily solved as you suggest).

As far as badges are concerned, we've considered many times, letting people self-award or letting coordinators award them. What we run into each time is that each project has specific requirements, and so a one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work. And if all coordinators could award badges then a coordinator from project A could award a badge to buddy wanting to join project B without actually notifying project B that they have a new member that needs looked after. I wouldn't say that trying to improve things or open it up to coordinators somehow is off the table. We just have a lot of other things we're working on right now and this isn't anywhere near the top of the list. Awarding badges is one of the easiest things for a Leader to do, so it's not common that it isn't done (but I do know some Leaders fall behind or do it on a schedule so it only happens once a week or so).

More Leaders would be great! That won't happen quickly, though, either. We expect a lot of our Leaders, who are all just volunteers like the rest of you, and they have to be able to rise above any conflict graciously, communicate with other members clearly, and know WikiTree inside and out, from style guidelines to category usage and solving problems with members. We try to bring some up each month, but we also have Leaders retire regularly to focus on family or their own research. We've edged up gradually, and will continue to do so, but it's far better that we have quality over quantity, just like our profiles here.
by Abby Glann G2G6 Pilot (759k points)

"We expect a lot of our Leaders, who are all just volunteers like the rest of you, and they have to be able to rise above any conflict graciously, communicate with other members clearly, and know WikiTree inside and out, from style guidelines to category usage and solving problems with members." This is the very reason I am so graciously thankful for not having been chosen to be a leader. I have seen many a socalled "leader" within and outside of WikiTree not conforming to the standards actually being chosen, and others that well do, being ignored. 'Leadership' is not an "inherited" nor a "domain" related issue. Many times it is a self-reflected yet wholly unearned proces. That having been said. There are true leaders who surpass any qualifications. Thank the heavens for that.

Just to be clear - even if I would completely and according to all WikiTree requirements qualify to be a leader, I would not have the time to do so. I do in that respect and value the dedication of the true leaders within this enterprise called WikiTree (excellency …) for the time that they graciously give …

Hi Abby, many thanks for your answer.

I was not advocating all Coordinators should be able to award badges, only those delegated the responsibility by their respective Leaders, and only in respect of their own project. IMHO trusting comparatively few nominated Coordinators to award badges for their own project only is at the opposite end of the risk spectrum to letting all members self-award which you say Leaders have also considered.

The quality over quantity argument is an interesting one. Striking the right balance between the two is also important. As you say, a lot is expected of Leaders already. Having too few in relation to the number of projects increases their burden. Expect too much of them for too long and quality has the potential to suffer. And Leaders retiring regularly to focus on other things may be due in part to the pressure being much higher than they envisaged.

Thanks again for taking the time to answer. smiley

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