Skip to content

Project Lifecycle


This governance policy describes how an open source project can formally join the OpenWallet Foundation via the Project Proposal Process and how an existing project within the OpenWallet Foundation can move through the lifecycle via the Project Stage Change Proposal Process. It describes the Stages a project may be admitted under and what the criteria and expectations are for a given stage, as well as the acceptance criteria for a project to move from one stage to another. It also describes the Annual Review Process through which those changes will be evaluated and made.

Project progression - movement from one stage to another - allows projects to participate at the level that is most appropriate for them given where they are in their lifecycle. Regardless of stage, all OpenWallet Foundation projects benefit from a deepened alignment with existing projects, and access to mentorship, support, and Foundation resources.


Capitalized terms not otherwise defined in this Project Lifecycle Policy have the meanings ascribed to them in the Charter of the OpenWallet Foundation.

Project Proposal Process


This governance policy sets forth the proposal process for projects to be accepted into the OpenWallet Foundation. The process is the same for both existing projects which seek to move into the OpenWallet Foundation and new projects to be formed within the OpenWallet Foundation.

Project Proposal Requirements

Projects must be formally proposed via GitHub. Project proposals submitted to the OpenWallet Foundation should provide the following information to the best of their ability:

  • name of project
  • preferred maturity level (see stages below)
  • project description (what it does, why it is valuable, origin and history)
  • statement on alignment with the OpenWallet Foundation mission
  • link to current Code of Conduct (if one is adopted already)
  • sponsor from the TAC, if identified (a sponsor helps mentor projects)
  • project license (OSI-approved permissive open source licenses, Apache 2.0 by default)
  • source control (OpenWallet Foundation GitHub by default)
  • issue tracker (OpenWallet Foundation GitHub by default)
  • external dependencies (including licenses)
  • release methodology and mechanics
  • names of initial maintainers, if different from those submitting proposal
  • link to any documented governance practices (e.g., the project charter) (A project charter can be obtained by completing this form. Here is sample project charter that you can review)
  • existing financial sponsorship (if exists)
  • infrastructure needs or requests (OpenWallet Foundation provides a set of services for projects and labs. Please note which of these you will utilize and what else is required)

Project Acceptance Process

  • Impact stage and Growth stage projects are required to present their proposal at a TAC meeting. Labs will be reviewed and approved directly via the project proposal PR. Labs may present at a TAC meeting if they would like to gain visibility from other community members, and the proposer should note this in the proposal.
  • The TAC may ask for changes to bring the project into better alignment with the OpenWallet Foundation (adding a governance document to a repository or adopting a Code of Conduct, for example).


    The project will need to make these changes in order to progress further.

  • Impact stage and Growth stage projects are accepted via a two-thirds supermajority vote of the TAC. Labs are accepted via a simple majority of the TAC.

  • Satisfaction of the requirements of the initial stage of the project. The TAC will determine the appropriate initial stage for the project. The project can apply for a different stage via the review process.

Project Stage Change Proposal Process


This governance policy sets forth the proposal process for projects within the OpenWallet Foundation that are seeking to move to another stage in the project lifecycle.

Proposal Process

The project's current proposal located in Project Proposals GitHub Repository must be updated via a PR. The project proposal should be updated to reflect the latest template, as well as any updates to the sections to reflect why the project should be considered for a new stage.

Project Stage Change Acceptance Process

The same acceptance project outlined above will be used for projects wishing to change lifecycle stage.


Every OpenWallet Foundation project has an associated maturity level. Proposed projects should state their preferred maturity level.

All projects may attend TAC meetings and contribute work regardless of their stage.

  subgraph as[Active Stages]
  subgraph is[Inactive Stages]
  p --> as
  l <--> g
  l <--> i
  g <--> i
  as --> is  



Labs are those which the TAC believes are, or have the potential to be, important to the ecosystem of Technical Projects or the open wallet ecosystem as a whole. They may be early-stage code just getting started, or they may be long-established projects with minimal resource needs. The Labs stage provides a beneficial, neutral home for these projects in order to foster collaborative development and provide a path to deeper alignment with other OpenWallet Foundation projects via the project lifecycle process.


  1. Experimental code that is designed to extend one or more OpenWallet Foundation projects with functionality or interoperability libraries.
  2. Independent code that fits within the Foundation's mission and provides potential to meet an unfulfilled need.
  3. Code commissioned or sanctioned by the OpenWallet Foundation.
  4. Any code that intends to join the Growth or later stages in the future and wishes to lay the foundation for that transition.


End users should evaluate Labs with care, as this stage does not set requirements for community size, governance, or production readiness. Labs will receive minimal support from the Foundation. Labs will be reviewed on an annual basis; they may also request a status review by submitting a report to the TAC.

Acceptance Criteria

To be considered for the Labs Stage, the project must meet the following requirements:

  • Complete an project intake form. This intake form will create:
    • A project charter (sample) that documents an intellectual property policy that leverages the Apache 2.0 license or a permissive open source license.
    • A collaboration agreement that in the case of existing projects, provides an agreement to transfer the project name, trademarks, and electronic account assets (github repo, social media accounts, domain names, etc.) to Linux Foundation Europe for the benefit of the OpenWallet Foundation.
  • Submit a project proposal.

Upon acceptance, Labs must list their status prominently on their website/README (e.g., PROJECT, an OpenWallet Foundation Lab).

Growth Stage


The Growth Stage is for projects that are interested in reaching the Impact Stage, and have identified a growth plan for doing so. Growth Stage projects will receive mentorship from the TAC and are expected to actively develop their community of contributors, governance, project documentation, roadmap, and other variables identified in the growth plan that factor into broad success and adoption.

In order to support their active development, projects in the Growth stage have a higher level of access to Foundation resources, which will be agreed upon and reviewed on a yearly basis. A project's progress toward its growth plan goals will be reviewed on a yearly basis, and the TAC may ask the project to move to the Labs stage if progress on the plan drops off or stalls.


  1. Projects that are on their way or very likely to become Growth or Impact projects.
  2. Projects that have developed new growth targets or other community metrics for success.
  3. Projects that are looking to create a lifecycle plan (maintainership succession, contributor programs, version planning, etc.).
  4. Projects that need more active support from the Foundation or TAC mentorship in order to reach their goals.


Projects in the Growth stage are generally expected to move out of the Growth stage within two years. Depending on their growth plans, projects may cycle through Labs, Growth, or Impact stage as needed.

Acceptance Criteria

To be considered for Growth Stage, the project must meet the Labs requirements as well as the following:

  • A presentation at the meeting of the TAC.
  • 2 TAC sponsors to champion the project and provide mentorship as needed.
  • Development of a growth plan, to be done in conjunction with their project mentor(s) at the TAC.
  • Development of a project roadmap that provides differentiated features and capabilities and the timeframe for completion.
  • Document that it is being used successfully in either proof of concepts or pilots by at least two independent end users which, in the TAC’s judgment, are of adequate quality and scope.
  • Demonstrate a substantial ongoing flow of commits and merged contributions.
  • Demonstrate that the current level of community participation is sufficient to meet the goals outlined in the growth plan and roadmap.
  • Since these metrics can vary significantly depending on the type, scope and size of a project, the TAC has final judgment over the level of activity that is adequate to meet these criteria.
  • Demonstrates how this project differs from existing projects in the Growth and Impact stages.
  • Receive a two-thirds supermajority vote of the TAC to move to Growth Stage.

Upon acceptance, Growth projects must list their status prominently on their website/README (e.g., PROJECT, an OpenWallet Foundation Project).

Impact Stage


The Impact Stage is for projects that have reached their growth goals and are now on a sustaining cycle of development, maintenance, and long-term support. Impact Stage projects are used commonly in enterprise production environments and have large, well-established project communities.


  1. Projects that have publicly documented release cycles and plans for Long Term Support ("LTS").
  2. Projects that have themselves become platforms for other projects.
  3. Projects that are able to attract a healthy number of committers on the basis of its production usefulness (not simply 'developer popularity').
  4. Projects that have several, high-profile or well known end-user implementations.


Impact Stage projects are expected to participate actively in TAC proceedings, and as such have a binding vote on TAC matters requiring a formal vote, such as the election of a TAC representative. They receive ongoing financial and marketing support from the Foundation, and are expected to cross promote the Foundation along with their activities.

Acceptance Criteria

To move from Labs or Growth status, or for a new project to join as an Impact project, a project must meet the Growth stage criteria plus:

  • Have a defined governing body of at least 5 or more members (owners and core maintainers), of which no more than one-third is affiliated with the same employer. In the case there are 5 governing members, 2 may be from the same employer.
  • Have a documented and publicly accessible description of the project's governance, decision-making, and release processes.
  • Have a healthy number of maintainers from at least two organizations. A maintainer is defined as someone with the commit bit; i.e., someone who can accept contributions to some or all of the project.
  • Have a Code of Conduct in a form acceptable to the OpenWallet Foundation.
  • Explicitly define a project governance and maintainer process. This is preferably laid out in a file and references a and file showing the current and emeritus maintainers (see File Contents for more information).
  • Document that it is being used successfully in production by at least two independent end users which, in the TAC’s judgment, are of adequate quality and scope.
  • Have a public list of project adopters for at least the primary repo (e.g., or logos on the project website).
  • Have a good standing with respect to security.
  • Other metrics as defined by the applying Project during the application process in cooperation with the TAC.
  • Receive a supermajority vote from the TAC to move to Impact stage. Projects can move directly from Labs to Impact, if they can demonstrate sufficient maturity and have met all requirements.

Upon acceptance, Impact projects must list their status prominently on their website/README (e.g., PROJECT, an OpenWallet Foundation Project).

Emeritus Stage


Emeritus projects are projects which the maintainers feel have reached or are nearing end-of-life. Emeritus projects have contributed to the ecosystem, but are not necessarily recommended for modern development as there may be more actively maintained choices. The Foundation appreciates the contributions of these projects and their communities, and the role they have played in moving the ecosystem forward.


  1. Projects that are "complete" by the maintainers' standards.
  2. Projects that do not plan to release major versions in the future.


Projects in this stage are not in active development. Their maintainers may infrequently monitor their repositories, and may only push updates to address security issues, if at all. Emeritus projects should clearly state their status and what any user or contributor should expect in terms of response or support. If there is an alternative project the maintainers recommend, it should be listed as well. The Foundation will continue to hold the IP and any trademarks and domains, but the project does not draw on Foundation resources.

Acceptance Criteria

Projects may be granted Emeritus status via a two-thirds vote from the TAC and with approval from project ownership. In cases where there is a lack of project ownership, only a two-thirds vote from the TAC is required.

Upon acceptance, Emeritus projects must list their status prominently on their website/README.


If members of the community would like to re-active a project that has been granted Emeritus status, the community must start the lifecycle over again by submitting a new proposal to the TAC.

Annual Review Process

Each project will undergo an annual review process to determine whether projects are in the stage that accurately reflects their needs and goals.