What is the exact role of a lab sponsor?

Arnaud Le Hors

Hi all,

In an offline discussion the lab stewards were asked what the exact responsibility of a lab sponsor is. The current documentation doesn't really say anything, it just says that a lab proposal must have a sponsor.

The question triggered a discussion among the stewards which led to various tasks being proposed including:

- Determining when/if a lab should attempt to progress to a full-blown project within Hyperledger
- Determining when/if a lab has reached the end of life and would be something that should be archived (in conjunction with the lab stewards)
- Reporting to the TSC about the status of the lab
- To believe in the project. Questioning and guiding the project so that the aims are concrete. Ensure this before the proposal hits the labs, the sponsor has to be convinced before s/he signs on.
- Help the project participants write its proposal, guiding them.
- Keep tabs on the ongoing work, helping spread the word in the wider community to encourage participation as well as look for adoption in various venues
- Generally function as a mentor.

However, I fear that putting so much responsibility on the sponsors which only a few people qualify for risks to seriously limit the number of labs we can manage, which is contrary to the whole idea.

My understanding was that the primary responsibility of the sponsor was to endorse the proposal because the idea was brought up when we were discussing ways to avoid the labs becoming a dumping ground for everything and anything people might want to propose. So, I take the sponsorship role to be primarily about making a first assessment of a proposal and backing it up by putting their name behind it.

I have no problem with sponsors doing more if they choose to of course, I just don't want that to become a requirement. So I would be happy to define the role of sponsors as something like:

The role of the sponsor is to officially endorse the proposed lab, indicating in doing so that they believe the proposal is worthy of being given a space among the hyperledger labs. Sponsors may also serve as mentors to the project but how much sponsors are involved in the lab beyond its launch is up to them.

Tracy suggested I put that up for the TSC to consider. So, here we go.
I would appreciate if this could be put on the TSC agenda along with my previous proposal to extend the list of possible sponsors to include the staff which is somewhat related and which has fallen off the radar.

Arnaud  Le Hors - Senior Technical Staff Member, Web & Blockchain Open Technologies - IBM

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