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A PMC is required to file a report to the Board of Directors every quarter, on a schedule determined by the Board.
You can find your project’s reporting schedule on projects.apache.org. You will also receive a reminder from the Secretary a few weeks prior to your report’s due date.
The official record of PMC reporting schedules is the file committee-info.txt (requires password authentication).
Writing a report ¶
The report to the board is expected to contain certain sections. See the detailed instructions for writing a board report.
You may (but are not required to) use the reporter tool to draft your report. However, do not simply submit an auto-generated report. You are expected to take this time to be introspective about your project’s health, short- and long-term objectives, and any risks or concerns facing your project.
Important things you should mention might include (but are not limited to):
- Changes to technology trends that will influence the direction of your project
- A very active individual, or company, entering or exiting from the project
- A merger or acquisition between active participant organizations in your project
- A boost or decline in your project’s momentum, or popularity, that may result in community changes
Remember that reports are made public once the board minutes are approved, and craft your phrasing accordingly. Sections that are intended to be Foundation-confidential should be enclosed in private tags, as described in the formal documentation above.
While the Chair can write the report on their own, you are encouraged to consult with the entire PMC for input on the report, perhaps even drafting it with everyone able to contribute.
What makes a good board report ¶
As with anything you write, the most important thing to keep in mind when writing your board report is who your audience is.
The primary audience of your report is, of course, the board of directors. They are not, generally, experts on your particular technology. They are, rather, interested in the health and sustainability of the project. Questions to consider include:
- Do you have enough active participants - both committers and PMC members - to respond to urgent bugs or security?
- Have you responded to any questions or comments that the board made on your previous report?
- Have you pointed out major achievements, or challenges, encountered in the past quarter that an outsider would have missed?
The secondary audience of your report is the general public. The minutes of board meetings are published for our users, sponsors, the press, and the general public to read. Consider that audience when writing. For example, if there’s a story that you’d like the press to tell about your project, you might mention it, and provide a quote that you’d like to see in an article.
If there’s something you wish to bring to the attention of the board, but isn’t for public consumption, enclose it in <private> tags so that it won’t be published in the public minutes.
<private> Private tags should be alone on a line </private>
The report isn’t just a once-a-quarter box to check – it’s your opportunity to tell the story of your project, celebrate your accomplishments, ask for help or advice on challenges you’re facing, and identify places where new contributors might find something to work on.
We encourage you to look at past board reports for inspiration from other projects’ reports.