Comparison of Official Group Structures

This document aims to explain and compare the difference between a community goal, project team, SIG (special interest group), working group, and a pop-up team. The intention of this document is to provide a clear view between these different groups and OpenStack-wide goal. We hope to answer questions such as, what is the timing to create a SIG? and do I need a SIG or pop-up team to drive my plan?

The OpenStack community is working to provide multiple different groups and goal formats to help drive the community forward. To ensure you’re able to achieve your goals, it’s important to know which format you need to drive your mission.

If you are still unsure, even after you read through this document, please raise your question on Mailing List or on IRC: #openstack-tc so people might be able to help you.


Mission oriented: Long-term missions

There are currently three types of group for long-term missions: a SIG (special interest group), a working group, and a project team. Long-term mission has no time limitation. The life cycle should be considered by whether or not the mission of the group is completed. A long-term mission can be widely scoped. For example, the aim of a long-term mission group can be to produce software, share use cases, build documentations, to build cross-project test jobs, or overall communications.

The specific interest can be well-defined, well maintained, and easier to adopt across OpenStack. For example, self-healing SIG is working on help with general self-healing use cases, so whoever wishes to start using self-healing functionality has the confidence to adopt it in their own environment.

Produces the software: Project teams

Project teams are responsible for producing the OpenStack software up to release. They are either producing a specific set of deliverables (like Compute service deliverables), or provide functions that are integral to the production of the software (Release management, QA…). Project teams are governed by TC and lead by individual project PTL (project team leader). Project team is required when planning for release a deliverable service. These projects maintain service repository, make sure on time release for service, manage bug reports, and control the code quality (like consistency review) are all part of the jobs for the project team.

OpenStack has a large number of existing project teams. if you would like to create a new project team, you can reference new projects requirements documentations for more details.

Special Interest Group (SIG)

SIGs (and SIG wiki page) are governed by both TC and UC and lead by SIG chairs, their function being to gather people (A user, developer, or operator) who are interested in a specific mission to join discussion and driving actions across community. You can also consider SIG as a bridge between developers, operators and users.

SIGs are teams within the community where we collaborate to bring unified discussions for all community members who share a common interest. As examples, SIGs can be but are not limited to being a first stage in the development of new projects, feature requests, standards adoption, policy implementation, adjacent community work, and just general discussions.

You can check for process to create a SIG for creat a new SIG.

Meta SIG

This is just a SIG for SIGs so to speak. A SIG to discuss OpenStack SIGs themselves, to encourage workgroups to become SIGs, accompany them along the way, give them tools and processes to be efficient. More generally, this SIG will discuss how to best close the loop between users and developers of OpenStack. The SIG chair is assigned by both TC and UC.

Working Group (WG)

Working Group (WG) is governed by UC and lead by group leaders to help users represent and achieve their needs through collaboration in the upstream community. It’s recommended to build a SIG instead of WG if you wish to make sure the group is under governance of both UC and TC.

If your mission required deliverable services, you can either consider ask project teams to help host those services or libraries, or you should consider create a project team if that’s more appropriate.

Mission oriented: Short-term missions

Mission oriented means the group or goal is build up to serve a specific mission. Once mission is completed, the group or goal should be consider as no longer needed anymore.

There are two short-term mission formats, a pop-up team and a community goal. These both require collaborative work from multiple teams.

Pop-up team

Pop-up teams are lightweight structures aiming to provide quick start for short term (time-limited) cross-project mission. A pop-up team can be supported by the Technical Committee, and should be lead by (at least) two co-leads.

Mission of a pop-up team could transfer to a OpenStack-wide cycle goal. For example, TC members can accept mission of a pop-up team as particular cycle goal (at which point former members of the proposing pop-up team could go on to become its goal champions).

You can reference create process of popup team in popup team guideline if you consider to create one.


All pop-up teams, SIGs and WGs shouldn’t maintain any releasable deliverable. If deliverable repo is required, it should be maintained under a project team (please also note that SIGs/WGs/pop-up teams still can create and maintain their own code repositories). Like pop-up team Image encryption, requiring multiple project teams (Nova, Cinder, and Glance) to maintain and release their implementation in project repositories.

OpenStack-wide goal champion

A community goal (OpenStack-wide goal) is lead by goal champions. It is used 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. These are usually scoped by cycle.

If you have a time-limited mission to push to multiple teams but not to entire community, you can consider for build a pop-up team to drive it. And if it’s a OpenStack-wide goal material but not yet mature enough to announce as a OpenStack-wide goal for current or following cycle, to form a pop-up team and drive it before it can be a community goal might be another way you can consider.

If you have a mission which affects projects OpenStack-wide, then you’re free to propose it as a community goal. The Technical Committee will be responsible for selecting community goal for each cycle. The goal is not necessarily a cross-project feature or bug, it can also be any OpenStack-wide mission (like Enabling PDF generation support for project documentation goal). Community goals are defined for a specific development cycle, because we need to be specific on what we need each team to complete that mission and how they can do it. That’s why it’s a short-term mission. But the follow up mission might still be another goal for another cycle (like Run under Python 3 by default goal can be consider as follow up action from other python3 goals).


All OpenStack-wide goal shouldn’t maintain any releasable deliverable. If deliverable repo is required, it should be maintained under a project team.


Committees exist to help govern the community and provide leadership. You can self-nominate for the below committees and become a committee member, or provide feedback to committee. If you find it’s hard or confusing to push your mission into community, or you find the current structure can’t fullfill your goal, we engourage you to encounter with these committees that might be able to help:

  • Technical Committee (TC)

  • User Committee (UC)

  • Board of Directors (BoD)

OpenStack Foundation or Board-level committees and working groups

We have another level of committees and working groups like Edge Computing Group which are directly driven by OpenStack Foundation (OSF) or Board of directors.


We have some other formate of team like Election officials helps on multiple community functionality.