OpenStack-wide Goals

The pages in this part of the governance documentation describe OpenStack-wide goals for each release series.

We use these OpenStack-wide goals to achieve visible common changes, push for basic levels of consistency and user experience, and efficiently improve certain areas where technical debt payments have become too high – across all OpenStack projects. From a contributor perspective, the goals help unify the community’s work as a whole, with some shared objectives. We know this work is worthwhile, because these goals are how we achieve the OpenStack mission together. We will build these goals based on our shared values.

We know this process is working when:

  • Users and operators see OpenStack working well as a platform, rather than a collection of loosely-related, different projects.

  • We make progress on solving long-standing issues that would otherwise have lingered indefinitely at different stages of implementation in various projects.

  • All contributors and projects know they are valued members of the successful and thriving OpenStack community.

  • We facilitate marketing communication around release time due to successful completion of community-wide goals during the cycle.

Process Details

Identifying Goals

The goal process enables the community of OpenStack projects to surface common concerns and work out specific technical strategies for addressing these concerns.

The first step in the process is to build a backlog of potential goals. This helps us coalesce feedback received from deployers, users, contributors, and PTLs. It is the reference used as a base for goal discussion during Forum events. Finally, it serves as inspiration for prospective goal champions.

Defining Goals

Goals are defined here in the governance documentation to ensure that we establish a common understanding of the expectations being set.

Once champions have volunteered to propose and drive a specific goal, they should iterate through goal definition in the /goals/proposed/ directory. This allows to keep the goal selection process separate from the goal definition process.

Goal definitions should use the provided template so they are all formatted consistently. The goal definition does not take the place of any blueprints, spec documents, or other planning tools used within a project to track its work, but can be referenced from those documents.

This separates the discussion for each goal, and allows authors to gradually refine and improve their proposal through multiple incremental changes. Goals should be discussed on the mailing list to collect feedback on their feasibility, and consensus on whether they have been completely and clearly described.

Selecting goals for a cycle

The TC will consider proposed goals from the /goals/proposed/ directory and select a set of OpenStack-wide goals for each cycle in time to allow planning and other discussion at the PTG event at the start of the cycle.

To define goals for a release cycle, a TC member should first set up the new series-specific directory under /goals/selected/ in one patch (for example, create a /goals/selected/train/ subdirectory for the Train release). Then a selection of goals can be proposed: a single subsequent patch moving a set of goals from the /goals/proposed/ directory to the new /goals/selected/<RELEASENAME>/ subdirectory.

This allows to consider the proposed series goals as a group, and take into account how feasible they are together, considering the timing and cycle length. Champions for selected goals should +1 this patch to confirm they are ready to work on their goal in the chosen cycle.

Tracking Goal Progress

After goals are approved, the goal champions will create one story per goal and one task per project per goal to track progress on completion.


It is expected that some projects may not always be able to complete a goal within the targeted cycle. If this is the case, existing projects are encouraged to continue to track their progress once they are able to further work on the goals.

New projects do not need to retroactively track past goals as part of the created stories or in pre-StoryBoard documentation, whether the goals were completed before or after becoming an official project.

Team Acknowledgment of Goals

Each PTL is responsible for updating the storyboard task used to track the goal progress for their project to set the status to “Progress” and to include planning artifact links before the first milestone deadline. The planning artifact is likely to be a link to a spec or bug, and the completion artifact is likely to be a link to one or more committed patches.

This step is also the indication that a project team is signing up as agreeing to the goal and committing to do the work to complete the goal, within their project. That commitment may mean doing it themselves or may mean simply prioritizing reviews submitted by others. Either way, the commitment is to have the goal completed, and all teams are expected to commit the necessary resources to ensure that it is finished.

All project teams are expected to prioritize these goals above other work.

If the project has already met the goal, skip to the “Completing Goals” step.

If the goal does not apply to a project, the PTL should explain why that is the case, instead of linking to planning artifacts.

Completing Goals

After a goal is completed, each PTL is responsible for updating the storyboard task used to track the goal progress for their project to set the status to “Merged” and to add links to all completion artifacts, before the final release date for the cycle.

If a goal is not completed, that information should be added, along with any references needed to track when that work will be completed.

Goal Champion Responsibilities

The “goal champion” is responsible for guiding teams to implement a goal, but is not responsible for doing the work themselves.

The champion is typically somewhat familiar with the technical issues involved in a goal, at least enough to help teams find the information they need. The champion does not need to be an expert with the tools or libraries used for the goal, but some experience does help.

The champion is responsible for configuring StoryBoard to track progress on their goal, and then ensuring that it is kept up to date as work progresses.

The champion should check in with project teams regularly to ensure they are able to make progress on the work and have not become stuck.

At the end of the release, there may be open tasks and these can remain open in case someone comes along later and completes the task. As goal champion you are not responsible for completing any incomplete tasks for which you are not assigned, i.e. the project assigned to the task is responsible for completing it. It is also encouraged to send a retrospective email to the openstack-discuss mailing list with a summary of the goal including things such as how many projects completed the goal, reasons behind some projects that did not complete the goal, anything notable that came up during the goal implementation phase, and next steps if there are any.