This proposal is predicated on making the role of PPMC much tighter, better defined and a fundamental requirement for the podlings.
All the mentors are transitioned to emeritus. All the emeritus mentors can be reinstated via podling community voting them in as though they were voting a new PPMC members. Emeritus mentors who don't happen to be ASF members can still apply for a PPMC position, but each podling would be required to have at least 3 ASF members as part of their PPMC in order to continue as part of ASF Incubator.
The role of a shepherd is no longer required.
The expectation for new podlings entering incubation will be that they MUST have a core of PPMC consisting of at least 3 ASF members. The mentors are no longer external observers from IPMC, but rather are expected to behave as PPMC (remember that PPMC's mission for any TLP is to keep the community going in accordance with the 'Apache Way'). ASF members acting as mentors on the PPMC are not required to be on IPMC.
One of the 3 ASF members from the PPMC will be designated as a Champion/Chair. A podling is required to have a Champion/Chair same way that TLPs are required to have a Chair position. The Chair is poddling's liaison to the board responsible for providing regular reports and channeling feedback.
Only ASF members on the PPMC will have binding votes for the releases.
The mission and composition of IPMC doesn't change. It is still expected to be a buffer between PPMCs and the board. It is also expected to be the keeper of common knowledge and policies as they related to the process of incubation.
The rest of the responsibilities IPMC is chartered with will also remain, but they are expected to get much lighter. In particular:
- voting on releases will become a lazy 72 hours consensus, rather than IPMC being a 'last line of defence'. Once the release is vetted by practicing PPMC members who happen to be ASF members it is considered to be good enough (again, no difference from a TLP)
- while IPMC is still on the hook to collate and review the reporting, the ultimate responsibility for reporting rests with PPMC. We no longer require mentor sign-offs or comments from the shepherds.
In effect, the responsibility of IPMC will be NOT to engage with the projects but to review the reports crafted by the champion and be the go-to place for Q&A on documentation and policies as it related to the process of incubation. For all practical purposes, the feebdack provided by IPMC is like a feedback provided by the ASF board and required the same handling from PPMC.
Since mentors will exist outside of IPMC structure, it is expected that over time, IPMC will gradually transition into a small committee focused on helping podlings and TLPs alike stay as close as possible to the spirit of 'Apache Way'. Such transition, however, is not part of this proposal.
Just like with a TLP, if a champion/chair's priorities change during the course of incubation then the project must find another person for that position. The important thing is that the Champion/Chair is personally invested in seeing the podling succeed and acts as a true mentor (as opposed to someone with a title and an entry on a web page). The champion/chair is still answerable to the podling community. Where conflict arises within the community they can call upon the IPMC mentoring team to ask for independent guidance.
This model is almost identical to the way the board and TLPs work (where Champions are roughly equivalent to PMC Chairs and new IPMC (nee shepherds) are roughly equivalent to Directors and the monthly meeting is roughly equivalent to the monthly board meeting to review TLP reports).