During collaborative maintenance projects, it is necessary for contributors to focus on completing tasks: adding new records, correcting mistakes and improving existing data. However, this risks them losing sight of the overall progress made by the community.
Create indicators that provide an overall sense of progress towards the goal of your project or campaign, for example charts showing how many tasks have been completed, the growth of the database, the number of people participating, or the overall daily or weekly activity.
Demonstrating collective progress helps to create a sense of community and achievement. It helps contributors see how their individual efforts are contributing to the overall goal of the project or campaign.
Without a progress indicator of some form it can be difficult for contributors to understand whether the project is successful. Demonstrating progress can help prevent contributors from becoming disengaged with the project. In addition, new contributors are more likely to join if they can see that they are joining an active, successful community.
Progress indicators also help you monitor the activity around your project.
Progress indicators are also helpful when acknowledging contributions, as you can help an individual contributor directly see how their work is contributing to the project.
Progress indicators might take different forms, depending on the type of project, but they are usually based on specific metrics, for example if a project has a discrete task list that contributors are working through, then a progress indicator might be a chart showing the percentage completion of the overall task list.
If a project is more open-ended, progress indicators might focus on overall growth and activity around the dataset and the community.
Progress indicators are important when you Organise Campaigns as these are usually designed around specific tasks, eg increasing coverage of a certain type of data or information about a local area.
Progress indicators are project-level features, but you might also use them to indicate the completeness of individual records as a means to prompt contributors with Suggested Edits (“This record is 80% complete, add a website field to move it to 85%”).