The 2018 Forrester New Wave™: Value Stream Management Tools

Forrester Names GitLab As A Strong Performer In VSM Tools Evaluation

GitLab and The Forrester New Wave™: Value Stream Management Tools, Q3 2018

This page represents how Forrester views our VSM capabilities in relation to the larger market and how we're working with that information to build a better product. It is also intended to provide Forrester with ongoing context for how our product is developing in relation to how they see the market.

Forrester VSM Wave

Forrester's Key Takeaways on the VSM Market at time of report publication:

No Vendor Leads The Pack Forrester's research uncovered a market in which there are no Leaders; XebiaLabs, Plutora, CollabNet VersionOne, Tasktop, Targetprocess, and GitLab are Strong Performers; CloudBees, Intland Software, Jama Software, Blueprint Software Systems, and Panaya are Contenders; and Electric Cloud and CA Technologies are Challengers.

Mapping, Visualization, And Product Vision Are The Biggest Differentiators In The Market VSM helps software development organizations visualize the development pipeline end to end. These tools capture, visualize, and analyze critical indicators of the speed and quality of software product creation. VSM is an emerging market: Vendors with a vision of empowering teams with analytics informed by real-world data and flexible planning schemes beat out those that focus on incremental enhancements within their traditional domains.

Forrester's take on GitLab at time of report publication:

GitLab combines end-to-end capability with the power of open source. GitLab offers a DevOps tool for each step of the software development process. Top-level views sitting across these tools provide its VSM functionalities.

GitLab needs greater depth with mapping and governance. GitLab's basic mapping and governance capabilities lag behind other VSM competitors'. With an end-to-end tool chain, GitLab should offer more comprehensive traceability and process governance.

GitLab is best for companies that are looking for a broad, integrated solution. Organizations that want a comprehensive VSM solution that can also serve as their DevOps tool chain will really appreciate GitLab. GitLab's vision is firmly open source and dev-centric; companies that live and breathe dev-first will appreciate this approach.

Lessons Learned and Future Improvements

Forrester helped us understand a few areas where we need to improve. See our thoughts and upcoming work in each.

GitLab Quickcard


The VSM model encourages organizations to map business value, people, processes, and data across value streams. In particular, this aids in efficient resource allocation, and visibility of areas requiring urgent improvement.

GitLab is well-positioned to help organizations in this area since many of the required building blocks are already built into GitLab. These include issues, boards, merge requests, Git artifacts (commits and branches), and pipelines. GitLab needs to improve integrating these pieces together for the purpose of mapping value streams, by building a layer of seamless functionality, in order to provide that mapping visibility.

See issues and epics in the area of mapping.

Analytics and Visualization

The value streams in VSM need to be based on consistent and reliable data. The VSM solution needs to capture this data as the processes are executed, synthesize it into actionable insight, and present the results in useful visualizations appropriate for the various team members and stakeholders in an organization. For example, these can be detailed metrics relevant to a small development team such as a burndown chart, or a director-level or executive-level roll up such as an executive-level dashboard showing mean total cycle delivery times to customer in the past 8 quarters.

Additionally, the VSM solution needs to be predictive based on historical data. It should account for what-if scenarios and risk assessments, considering alternative business decisions or process iterations.

We are focused on bringing this functionality to GitLab. In particular, we will build the features in their relevant and optimal locations in GitLab. For example, burndown charts will be integrated into issue boards, where development teams are already working. Director-level dashboards, on the other hand will be highly customizable and located at the group level, where the scope can span many children/descendant groups and projects reflecting the organization structure as needed.

See issues and epics in the areas of analytics and visualization.


Big enterprises rely on a governance framework to mitigate a variety of risks. If an organization breaks a controlled process while shipping a new piece of software, which in turn results in a catastrophic event, causing a significant business interruption or loss of business potential, that value delivered from the shipped software is rendered nil and actually negative.

GitLab therefore needs to support these enterprise governance standards through features such as enforced workflows, approvals, templating of various artifacts like issues and code files, compliance, traceability of requirements, and auditing/logging.

See issues and epics in the area of governance.

Git is a trademark of Software Freedom Conservancy and our use of 'GitLab' is under license