OpenStack-wide Goals

The pages in this part of the governance documentation describe OpenStack-wide goals.

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 proposals should have the goal-proposal gerrit topic, whose voting rules are specified in the house rules.

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. Below checklist will help to know if goal is ready to be selected or need more pre-work.

Goal Checklist

Below checklist provide a high-level view for goal readiness and the same is mandatory to fill while proposing the goal.





  • Is design finalized?



  • Are implementation details finalized?


Dependency & Blocker

  • Is there any dependency or blocker in OpenStack or External software?


Current state

  • Any project completed this goal?


Meeting & discussion

  • Is there any regular meeting or discussion planned where projects can ask questions and get help?


Selecting goals

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

OpenStack-wide goals are not tied to any release, and they can have target dates which can be a particular cycle release date or multi-cycle or even in between a release cycle. Goal completion target dates will be selected by considering the amount of work needed and the community (project and champions) bandwidth. If a goal requires a large amount of work, it can be divided into different milestones, with each milestone targetting a set of things to complete. For example, if goal ‘A’ needs two big things to do, it can be divided into two milestones, say Milestone 1: Yoga cycle release, Milestone 2: Z cycle release.

There is no minimum or maximum limit on the number of goals to be selected at a time. It can be zero or more depends on the complexity and work required per goal. For example, if three groups of contributors would like to start three different goals and projects are also ok with that, then it is fine to select all three goals at a time and implement those in parallel. Also, it is completely fine to have no goal for a particular time with a valid reason, for example, if any previous OpenStack-wide goal is still pending and needs more time to complete, or project team has less bandwidth and working on other priority items like popup team work etc.

To select a goal, a TC member can pick one or more goals from the /goals/proposed/ directory and move them to the /goals/selected/ directory.

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

Tracking Goal Progress

After goals are approved, the goal champions can create one story per goal and one task per project per goal or setup an etherpad 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 progress on their tracking item (etherpad, story, or blueprint). A status indicating progress is being made should include a link to a planning artifact (such as a spec). 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 or etherpad 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 deadline of the goal.

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

Champion or TC member needs to move the completed goal from /goals/selected/ directory to /goals/completed/ directory.

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.

Goal Selection Schedule

During the PTG of every cycle, TC has to make sure some goals are selected and in progress. If none are selected, then the TC should investigate possible candidates to select as goals. There is no requirement of a minimum or maximum number of selected goals; there can be zero or more based on the community and champion bandwidth.

Community goals

It’s not required to define community goals every time. The TC can decide to not set any actionable community-wide goal for a specific release/time, leaving the projects to focus on whatever is most important in their scope.