Project Incubation Working Group


Establish a clear and efficient process for nurturing and advancing open source projects, ensuring they align with organizational goals and contribute meaningfully to the broader community. This initiative aims to foster a collaborative environment, provide necessary resources, and guide projects toward sustained growth and impact in the open source landscape.

The initial output should be as minimal as possible, but should cover:

  • Develop a comprehensive document outlining the step-by-step process for incubating open source projects within the organization. This document should include criteria for project selection, guidelines for community engagement, and a roadmap for project advancement.

Since this is a working group, we should end up with an actual artifact representing our first policy draft.

Items to Note: Projects that are incubating have less policies to follow, more mature projects have more items to adopt


  • Project Maintainers

  • Developers and Contributors

  • Open Source Office (OSO)

  • Technical Steering Committee (TSC)

  • Open Source Committee (OSC)

  • Open Source Community Members

  • Project Users and Beneficiaries

Rough plan

  • Initiate Stakeholder Engagement:

    • Identify and reach out to project maintainers, developers, and other relevant stakeholders. Schedule meetings or workshops to gather input on incubation process requirements.

  • Consultation with Key Entities:

    • Engage with the Technical Steering Committee (TSC) to align incubation goals with organizational strategies.

  • Community Involvement:

    • Encourage participation from the broader open source community through forums, surveys, or dedicated sessions. Leverage existing community channels and platforms for outreach.

  • Research Existing Processes:

    • Study incubation processes of successful open source foundations and projects, such as CNCF, Apache, and Linux Foundation. Identify best practices and potential pitfalls.

  • Define Clear Goals and Criteria:

    • Establish specific, measurable, and achievable goals for the incubation process. Define clear criteria for project readiness and graduation from the incubation phase.

  • Drafting the Policy:

    • Develop the initial policy draft, keeping it concise and aligned with the defined goals and criteria. Consider feedback from stakeholders and incorporate relevant insights. Open the draft for community review and feedback.

  • Pilot Implementation:

    • Select a small number of projects for a pilot incubation process. Gather feedback from these pilot projects and the broader community to identify areas for improvement.

  • Refinement and Iteration:

    • Refine the incubation policy based on lessons learned from the pilot. Iterate through consultation and refinement until the policy is optimized. Continue community involvement in shaping and validating the policy.

  • Documentation and Communication:

    • Document the finalized incubation policy. Communicate the policy to all stakeholders, providing clear guidelines and expectations.

  • Implementation and Monitoring:

    • Roll out the incubation process for all eligible projects. Implement monitoring mechanisms to track progress and adherence to the policy.

  • Periodic Review and Updates:

    • Establish a schedule for periodic reviews of the incubation policy. Update the policy as needed based on evolving organizational needs, industry trends, and community feedback.

Research Areas

Apache Software Foundation

Incubator Process: Apache has a well-established Incubator project that serves as a gateway for new projects to enter the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). The incubation process involves thorough examination of the project's code, community, and governance.

Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF)

CNCF Sandbox and Graduation: CNCF provides a structured approach for projects, starting with the Sandbox phase, where projects are in an experimental stage, and then progressing to the Incubating phase. Finally, projects can graduate to being a full CNCF project.

Eclipse Foundation

Eclipse Project Development Process: The Eclipse Foundation has a comprehensive development process that covers the lifecycle of an Eclipse project. It includes stages like creation review, ongoing reviews, and the possibility of project maturity phases.

The Linux Foundation

LF Project Life Cycle: The Linux Foundation outlines a project lifecycle that includes stages like Proposal, Planning, Incubation, and Graduation. The incubation stage involves mentorship and oversight by the Technical Advisory Board.


Hyperledger Project Lifecycle: Hyperledger, hosted by The Linux Foundation, has a structured project lifecycle that encompasses stages like Proposal, Incubation, and Active. The incubation process involves community review, mentorship, and due diligence.

FinOS (Fintech Open Source Foundation)

FinOS Incubation Process: FinOS has an incubation process for new projects. It involves a proposal, project creation, and a mentorship period. The project goes through various stages, including active development and maturity.


Meeting Cadence

Day of the week @ timePST Weekly

Last updated