Technical Steering Committee (TSC) FAQ

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


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 adding new members. Regardless, TSC meetings are generally open to anyone interested unless there are sensitive issues to discuss, necessitating 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, in addition to the Linux Foundation staff supporting the project, will have access to manage this.

Additionally, each project has a GitHub Team set up which will provide ‘Maintain’ permission for each project maintainer. Generally, the LF staff will have this set up for each project; after that, the project is expected to maintain any changes.

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

Adding New Members

The TSC can add members at any time with a simple majority vote of the current TSC members. The vote can be held during a regular TSC meeting, via email, or as part of a GitHub Issue; either way, it is crucial to have a documented vote for adding the individual with the votes recorded. You should also save this vote in the TSC records for future reference to provide full transparency into TSC member selection.

Once a TSC member is confirmed, the TSC Chairperson should…

  • Add them to the TSC Committee in LFX Project Control Center.
  • Update the GitHub repository team to add the TSC member as appropriate.


Generally, TSCs have a few roles in facilitating the operations of the TSC. TSC voting members elect roles, and the TSC determines term lengths.


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, and blog posts )
  • Serve as a project representative to the TAC and other projects and entities.


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 add additional roles on an as-needed basis to manage different areas or functions within a project. TSCs can develop the correct 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

Transitioning Roles

Individuals in project roles change from time to time, and it’s important to have both a transparent selection process and ensure all relevant permissions are transitioned to the new role owner. In general, TSCs should follow the following process when transitioning roles:

1) Define an election or selection process for the role. This should be documented in a file or similar document. 2) Hold a vote of the TSC to confirm the individual being elected to the role. 3) Update any systems relevant to the role, in particular…

  • Add the role for the person on the TSC Committee in LFX Project Control Center, specifying the date they started the role and, if the role has a set term, the date the role will end.
  • Contact the LF Staff, which will assist in changes to other resources, namely…
    • Changing the project’s TAC representative if needed. The TAC Chairperson serves as the TAC representative unless the project indicates otherwise. This representative will be added to the Technical Leads Mailing List, the TAC Committee, and associated mailing lists ( TAC Mailing List and TAC Private Mailing List ).
    • Updating the GitHub repository team to give the TSC Chairperson the ‘team maintainer permission’ so they can add/remove maintainers and TSC members from the team. Projects may also request additional roles be given that permission as well.

TSC charters do not dictate the specific terms or election processes for any of the roles within the TSC; it’s expected that the TSC develops these as part of its policies and documents them in a file or similar document.


TSC meetings allow the project community to share updates and discuss issues and 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 at such meetings ).

It’s recommended to schedule meetings on a regular cadence ( for example, every other week at 2:00 pm 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 and make them available for others. Additionally, it provides excellent 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. It’s recommended that that link be made available publicly.


The TSC Chairperson should share an agenda at least 24 hours before the meeting with an ask to share additional agenda items. The agenda should be shared through the public communication/collaboration channels they use ( such as mailing lists, chat channels, GitHub, etc ).

FAQs about TSCs

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

A: No - All technical community work, such as projects and working groups, is open to anyone to participate and not bound by membership in the Academy Software 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, not an organization. If a change of employment for a TSC member results in a key contributing organization lacking TSC representation, the TSC may invite a new TSC member affiliated with that organization, provided that person meets any requirements 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 to discuss a TSC member employer’s product plans and roadmap in conjunction with the project planning.

Q: Could a project start working groups or sub-committees within their project?

Yes, projects can establish working groups or sub-committees ( herein referred to as ‘subgroups’ ) and do not need to change their Technical Charter to accommodate.

When thinking about starting a new subgroup, generally, projects tend to follow a few key factors:

  • Is this initiative big enough, with a long enough timeline (6+ months usually, or ongoing is also ok)
  • Will this initiative require a level of collaboration and discussion that is not possible in the general TSC meeting?
  • Should this initiative involve folks not on the TSC?
  • Is this a high priority for the project?

If the answer to all or most of these questions is yes, a subgroup is a good idea.

Each project can develop its own specific process around establishing subgroups. Generally, projects should align with the following key points:

  • It’s best practice to have a TSC member as either the leader or, at minimum, a defined member of the subgroup. This person is responsible for the group’s operation, meetings, and communication with the larger TSC about progress.
  • Each subgroup should have a charter. This can be a simple one-pager, outlining the purpose, goals, non-goals, and deliverables of the subgroup. The TSC should approve this charter Just like TSC Meetings, subgroup meetings must be open to anyone interested in participating. Someone should be tasked with taking notes for each subgroup meeting that capture key discussion points and action items.
  • Evaluate the subgroups on a regularly scheduled basis, and try not to keep them around indefinitely. Once their larger goals have been achieved, they can be folded back into normal TSC operations.