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The Technical Steering Committee (TSC) is the leadership of the project. This committee’s primary role is to:

  • Set the overall direction of the project
  • Ensure the project community has the needed resources and infrastructure to succeed
  • Resolve any issues within the project community
  • Provide project updates to the TAC and the community at large

Members

Typically, the TSC comprises the primary committers or maintainers in a project. To start, there may be an appointed list, but over time more individuals may join the TSC according to the policies the TSC set for how new members are added. Regardless, TSC meetings are generally open to anyone interested unless there are sensitive issues to discuss which necessitate a private meeting.

LFX Project Control Center is a tool for managing project committees and roles within a project. Each project will be set up in that tool with a voting committee named ‘Technical Steering Committee (TSC),’ notating the project chairperson and all voting members. Project chairpersons will have access to manage this in addition to the Linux Foundation staff supporting the project.

More details on using LFX Project Control Center for committee management can be found in the LFX documentation.

Roles

Generally, TSCs have a few roles in facilitating the operations of the TSC. Roles are elected by TSC voting members, and term lengths are determined by the TSC.

Chairperson

The TSC Chairperson is the figurehead of the project. The TSC Chairperson’s primary role is to:

  • Lead all meetings of the TSC, setting the agenda with the consultation of other TSC members.
  • Be the public spokesperson for the project at events and in public communications ( such as PR/AR meetings, articles, blog posts )
  • Serve as a representative of the project to the TAC and other projects and entities.

Secretary

The Secretary records all meeting notes for TSC members and ensures they are distributed to the project community after the meeting in a timely manner. Often projects have a rotating secretary role instead of a permanent role.

Additional roles

TSCs often will add additional roles on an as-needed basis to manage different areas or roles within a project. TSCs can come up with the right definitions and scope for these roles, but it’s highly advised to document them to ensure expectations are aligned.

Roles we’ve seen in a project include but aren’t limited to…

  • Chief Architect
  • Security Lead
  • Release Manager
  • Documentation Lead

Meetings

TSC meetings are opportunities for the project community to come together to share updates and discuss issues and future plans. All TSC meetings are considered open to the public unless there is a sensitive issue to discuss ( in the case of private meetings, Linux Foundation staff should be present on such meetings ).

It’s recommended to schedule meetings on a regular cadence ( for example, every other week at 2pm US Pacific Time ). Many project communities alternate TSC meeting times if project members are globally dispersed ( for example, one time that is US Eastern/Europe friendly and another that is US Pacific/Asia/Australia friendly ).

Scheduling logistics

Using LFX Project Control Center, you can easily schedule one-off or recurring meetings that automatically send invites to TSC members, allow other interested parties to register for meetings, and record meetings and make them available for others. Additionally, it provides great statistics for meeting attendance which can help you assess member engagement.

More details on using LFX Project Control Center for meeting management can be found in the LFX documentation.

For public meetings, LFX PCC provides a public link for sharing the meeting with non-attendees so they can register for the meeting. It’s recommended to make that link available publically.

Agenda

The TSC Chairperson should share an agenda at least 24 hours prior to the meeting if possible, with an ask to share additional agenda items. Projects can share via the public discussion lists or using a pull request on GitHub.

FAQs about TSCs

Q: Is a TSC member required to have their employer be a member of the LF Energy Foundation?

A: No - All technical community work, such as projects and working groups, are open to anyone to participate and not bound by membership in the LF Energy Foundation.

Q: Does a person lose their membership in a TSC if they leave or change employers?

A: No - TSC membership is bound to an individual and not an organization. If the change of employment for a TSC member results in a key contributing organization having a lack of TSC representation, the TSC may choose to invite a new TSC member affiliated with that organization, provided that that person meets any requirements set for TSC membership.

Q: Does an individual serving on the TSC represent themselves, the project, and/or their employer?

A: As TSC members are individuals within the context of a TSC, it’s expected that all their actions are for the general good of the project itself. It’s not appropriate to use the project for anti-competitive purposes, nor is it appropriate to discuss a TSC member employer’s product plans and roadmap in conjunction with the project planning.

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