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* as reflected in #884 and #901 community feedback has shown the existing process needs to evolve

This change addresses the need by:

* Migrating application-specific process details to the new sandbox repo
* clarifying the new process in the TOC repo.

Signed-off-by: Emily Fox <>
7 contributors

Users who have contributed to this file

@lizrice @TheFoxAtWork @carolynvs @leecalcote @tomkerkhove @dungdm93 @amye

Sandbox annual review

Sandbox projects are subject to an annual review by the TOC. This is intended to be a lightweight process to ensure that projects are on track, and getting the support they need.

To keep it lightweight, it is a single phase process - the review doesn't first pass through TAGs and then the TOC. The review document is shared with the community and TAG members can comment on each review, as can any other TOC contributor. The intention is to quickly reach a position where TOC members agree to continue sponsorship.

How to file your annual review

CNCF staff will notify the project maintainers when the project review is due.

Project maintainers are responsible for agreeing between them who will complete the annual review. One of the maintainers should create the review in GitHub under cncf/toc/reviews.

  • Raise a PR titled [Project name] [year] Annual Review
  • The PR should include a file called <year>-<project name> (for example, with the contents described below
  • Send an email to the TOC mailing list so that the community knows the PR is there and can comment on it

If your annual review isn’t submitted within two months of notification, we will take this as a sign that the project is not under active maintenance and the TOC is likely to decide to archive the project.

Review outcomes

The outcome of the annual review is either:

  • At least three TOC members agree to continue to sponsor the project in Sandbox, or
  • If enough TOC members don’t agree to continue to sponsor the project, we will discuss archiving or other next steps with you.

Additionally, the TOC might recommend that you apply for Incubation stage. This requires extra work and due diligence so it’s not a possible outcome directly from this lightweight annual review.

It is fine for projects to stay in the Sandbox indefinitely while it is still active, but if a project has genuinely stalled we can save everyone’s effort by archiving it.

Annual review contents

Your annual review should answer the following questions:

  • Include a link to your project’s devstats page. We will be looking for signs of consistent or increasing contribution activity. Please feel free to add commentary to add colour to the numbers and graphs we will see on devstats.
  • How many maintainers do you have, and which organisations are they from? (Feel free to link to an existing MAINTAINERS file if appropriate.)
  • What do you know about adoption, and how has this changed since your last review / since you joined Sandbox? If you can list companies that are adopters of your project, please do so. (Feel free to link to an existing ADOPTERS file if appropriate. Refer to the FAQs for more information on adopters.)
  • How has the project performed against its goals since the last review? (We won't penalize you if your goals changed for good reasons.)
  • What are the current goals of the project? For example, are you working on major new features? Or are you concentrating on adoption or documentation?
  • How can the CNCF help you achieve your upcoming goals?
  • Do you think that your project meets the criteria for incubation?

Annual Review by the TOC

  • Annual reviews are performed in order to check in with sandbox projects, ascertain their progress, and address any outstanding questions
    • A TOC representative volunteers to lead the review once the project files a PR.
    • The assigned member reviews the content of the PR and analyzes the project for community health indicators, their findings are placed within a thread in the private TOC channel for discussion
      • findings should highlight important facts about the project that could influence the TOCs decision around the future of the project, its status in sandbox, its path to incubation, etc.
      • the thread should always include whether the Project's view of themselves and the ask of the CNCF is reasonable to assist the project moving forward.
    • Projects are invited to the public TOC meeting to engage in TOC led discussion around the project. Projects are not obligated to attend.
    • The assigned TOC member provides a summary of the project and leverages the thread's content as the basis of discussion.
      • Discussion typically focuses on what is going well with the project and areas to improve
    • Project are invited to use this time to voice any concerns and requests for help they may have that are not captured in the PR (or highlight asks within the PR).
    • At the conclusion of the public meeting, the TOC votes to approve all annual reviews covered. Should a concern registered on a project, the votes will be held separately.
    • After the meeting wraps up, the assigned TOC member may summarize the discussion on the PR in the form of a comment to document information for the project and community.