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Board Reporting Guidelines for Project Chairs

Apache Project Management Committees (PMC) must report on their project's health and status quarterly to the Board of Directors. While PMCs manage their own technical affairs independently, the Board provides the oversight to ensure that projects continue to operate as healthy, community- and consensus-driven projects that support our mission. See also the PMC duties FAQ. PMC Chairs and Apache Members are always welcome to attend monthly board meetings.


When to submit project board reports

The chair of each PMC is responsible for submitting the report for their project on a quarterly basis, at least one week before each board meeting, according to the reporting schedule at

Reporting late, or outside of that schedule as mentioned below, does not shift this schedule: if you were supposed to report in January, for example, but missed that and reported in February, your next report is still due in April. If you do not submit your report in sufficient time for the board to review it properly, you will be asked to re-submit a report the following month.

While in most cases the chair works with other PMC members to write the report, the report is ultimately the chair's responsibility to complete and submit. The board sends several automated reminders to both chairs and PMC private@ mailing lists to help you remember this task.

Exception: newly-graduated PMCs must submit monthly reports for the first three months after leaving the Apache Incubator. All podlings still in the Apache Incubator fill out similar reports using the Incubator Podling Status process.

How to submit project board reports

You must commit report content to the board's monthly meeting agenda.
Use either the Whimsy Agenda tool or the ComDev Project Reporter tool, which generates a handy framework for you:
  1. Log in using your Apache ID
  2. Find your project's entry and click the blue Post Report button at the bottom
  3. Be sure to Reflow the report before clicking Submit
  4. You can edit the report after submitting it, if you need to make changes

Command line users are free to check their reports in, following the existing format, so that automated tools can parse them, here:

The board welcomes reports that any PMC submits apart from their scheduled reports, should they have something notable to report or to request feedback on. In this case, the chair may add the report as an attachment to the end of the agenda and create a corresponding comments section for it.

While the primary audience for the report is the Board of Directors, remember that reports become public after the meeting, and provide a chronological history of your project. It is beneficial to write the report with information that you want your community to know now, and in a way that will provide a helpful history for someone looking over the reports in the future.

You may wish to share the public portions of the report with your project community through the users list or project website as well.

The Apache Committee Reporter tool can simplify gathering data for your report, but you must edit and add information from the generated template to cover the below points.
Do not leave any of the TODO markers in your report when you submit it.

Points to cover in board reports

These points are not a template; projects should not simply copy and paste these bullets into their reports. Rather, these are the topics that the Board wants to hear about to be able to evaluate your project's health and status. Not all topics will be pertinent to every report; however the chair should consider each of these questions when writing a report.

Things not to put in reports

Private information

Occasionally a project may need to report something privately to the board, but will not want the information to be published in public minutes. Remember, all Apache Board reports become public, usually a month or two after the board meeting.

Such information is welcome in your report, but please include it within




markers, each on a separate line, so we know what to omit from the public minutes. To verify that the private markers are working, post your report in Whimsy, then refresh the page.
Private sections properly marked appear with a grey background.

If the issue is exceptionally sensitive and you are very concerned about privacy, you may instead email directly to board-private@ or an individual board member, who will relay the information to the board.

Other considerations for reports

Project reports are the key way to let the board know about the status and health of your project. With the diversity of projects at Apache, these guidelines can't cover all situations. Feel free to include any additional information in your reports that you think is important about your project.

In particular, if there are any "trouble spots" - even potential ones - that the chair or other members of the PMC see in the project, be sure to include a note about them in your board reports. It's better to include your concerns - or the concerns of part of your PMC - in reports, rather than letting the board potentially discover them later.

Finally, if you find yourself with a project that doesn't seem like it has enough activity to create much of a report, then be sure to report that fact. A healthy project should be aware if it is headed for the Apache Attic. Moving to the Attic isn't failure; it's simply recognizing that the project may have matured, drifted off, or been superceded by other technologies, and we should recognize that fact.

The Board relies on reports from project chairs to be able to understand the status and health of projects. If the Board cannot get a strong feeling about how your project is doing, then we will be contacting you for a follow-up report in the near future.

Engaging with the Board about the report

Project reports are not a one-directional form of communication. They are also an opportunity to engage with the Board. Project chairs are welcome to attend the Board meeting as a guest and discuss their report. They may also highlight specific issues that they want the Board to consider (either in the report, or by requesting a broader discussion item for the agenda).

Of course, chairs may also take the opportunity to raise any of these discussions on the Board@ mailing list at any time, inside or outside of their reporting period.

Each time you need to submit a report, a Director will be assigned at random as the "Shepherd" for your project report. They will be responsible for following up your report if it is late, describing the report during the meeting if there are significant comments or a lack of approval, and conveying any followup messages or actions to your PMC after the meeting.

As Directors review the report in the lead-up to the meeting, they may add comments into the agenda alongside your report. We encourage project chairs to follow this board feedback (currently by watching for SVN commits or using the Whimsy Agenda tool), and to respond in advance of the meeting when practical.

The board meeting typically follows this pattern:

  1. Near the beginning of the month, the agenda is created and reminders are sent to projects due to report in the current cycle.
  2. Those responsible add reports to the agenda over the following weeks, up until the due date for the meeting.
  3. Directors review submitted reports at their convenience, and mark them as "pre-approved" if there are no concerns. They sometimes add comments or requests for more information, or edit the content for obvious corrections.
  4. Shepherds are assigned close to the meeting, and become more familiar with those project reports.
  5. A summary of the reports and any comments is sent to the Board mailing list in the 24 hours prior to the meeting.
  6. During the meeting, the Board Chair moves quickly through reports that have received 5 or more "pre-approvals" and have no significant comments.
  7. Reports with significant comments, items for discussion, or a lack of pre-approval will be handed over to the shepherd, who will facilitate discussion and recommend any further action during the meeting.
  8. A summary is sent to all committers after the Board meeting, letting them know of the main outcomes.
  9. Any project reports that were not approved or were missing are added to the reminder list for the subsequent month.
  10. Shepherds reach out to project chairs with specific action items arising in the meeting in reponse to their reports.
  11. The Secretary sends any comments on your report by directors to your project's private@ list shortly after the meeting concludes. This gives you brief feedback from the meeting, and a chance to engage with the board either to answer questions or to ask for advice. If the board has questions for your project, reply-all and answer them.
  12. Reports are published as part of the minutes, when approved in the subsequent monthly meeting of the Board of Directors.

As you can see, ensuring we receive your report on time, that it includes all necessary details, and that you address any comments greatly enhances the flow of the Board meeting, which needs to cover more than 80 project and podling reports each month, in addition to other business.