Planning the release is conducted in three phases:

During the brainstorming phase the contributors determine what they would like to work on during the release cycle, including proposals for changes in default applications. Anybody can add items to the list. Settling on the goals in advance will make planning, focusing and estimating the likelihood for the features to be implemented easier.

After the brainstorming is over and before or on the Feature Definition Freeze day, the Xubuntu team will approve or reject the proposed blueprints. Any items with no assignee or rationale will be automatically rejected, but having them will not guarantee that the blueprint is approved. Other criteria include, but are not limited to: likelihood of getting the feature implemented, maintenance weight in the future, possible stability issues, influence on other blueprints, et cetera. The approved blueprints compose the roadmap for the release being developed.

After blueprints are approved, they should be finalized and detailed specifications should be written. These specifications should document the proposed changes and help guide the implementation.

Once the detailed specifications are ready, the developer team should coordinate with the QA team about the required scale and schedule of testing. The QA team will then build a schedule for testing for ISO and package tests. Additional requests for testing during the cycle should be sent out only after consulting the QA team.

The Ubuntu freezes define the deadlines for implementation.