Blog Agile Planning Unveiling a new epic experience for improved Agile planning
Published on: July 3, 2024
4 min read

Unveiling a new epic experience for improved Agile planning

Explore the update for GitLab epics that enhances planning and improves workflows – all with seamless migration for better project management.

agile - cover

In our ongoing journey to enhance the Agile planning experience in GitLab, we recently unveiled a new look. This update marks a significant step toward creating a unified and flexible planning tool tailored to your needs. This article explores a crucial part of that initiative: the new epic experience. You'll learn about upcoming epic features and the motivations behind these changes, which are designed to elevate your project management capabilities.

Why the new epic experience?

Addressing user feedback

As part of our mission to provide a comprehensive Agile planning experience, we've listened closely to your feedback. Users have highlighted challenges with the current epic implementation, such as inconsistent features between epics and issues and a lack of flexibility to support diverse workflows. Some pain points focused on workflow tools, including the absence of assignees on epics and a lack of reusable templates. The new epic experience addresses these pain points and makes Agile planning more intuitive and efficient.

Unified Work Items framework

To tackle these issues, we've introduced a unified Work Items framework. This new architecture ensures consistency across all planning objects — epics, issues, and tasks — simplifying the user experience and enhancing functionality. By consolidating the underlying code, we can deliver new features and improvements faster, ensuring a smoother and more reliable planning process.

Read more about what is to come with GitLab Agile planning.

Key features of the new epic experience

Enhanced detail page

One of the most notable changes is the revamped epic detail page. The new design offers a cleaner, more intuitive interface, making it easier to manage and track your epics.

Here are some new key features:

  • Assignees - assign epics to team members, improving accountability and oversight.
  • Health status - quickly gauge the status of your epics with new health indicators.
  • Time tracking - create better visibility over time spent and ensure efficient use of resources across your projects.
  • Ancestry - view the entire hierarchy lineage of the epic.
  • Condensed description - easily view long work item descriptions without having to scroll excessively. Descriptions are truncated by default, with a "Show more" link to expand the full text on demand. This streamlines your workflow by allowing you to quickly scan descriptions and only expand them when needed, reducing clutter and improving readability.
  • Custom color - customize the color related to epics viewed on the roadmap now with the ability to define a custom color, use HEX or RGB codes, or choose from an expanded predefined palette.

new epic experience screenshot

Consistency across planning objects

The new epic experience aligns closely with the new issues experience coming soon (spoiler alert!) and tasks, providing a seamless and cohesive user experience. This consistency helps streamline workflows and reduces the learning curve for new users.

Additional functionality

We plan to iteratively add exciting new features that will enhance your planning capabilities. Our goal is to allow you to tailor planning processes within GitLab to best fit your organization’s unique needs. Once we’ve released the new epics experience, you can expect to see additional functionality with every release! There are many great features to come – here are some of my favorites:

Migration expectations

We understand that any change can be disruptive, so we've designed the migration to the new epic experience to be as seamless as possible. All existing epic data, APIs, and URLs will continue to function as expected. Users do not need to take any action to prepare for this transition. For our self-managed customers, learn how you can preview the new experience in a test environment ahead of general availability here.

Community feedback and engagement

We value your input and encourage you to share your experiences with the new epic experience. Your feedback is essential to help refine and improve our tools. Please visit our epic experience feedback issue to provide your thoughts and suggestions.

What's next

The new epic experience in GitLab represents a significant leap forward in our Agile planning capabilities. With enhanced features, improved consistency, and a user-centric approach, we are confident that these changes will greatly benefit your project management processes. We invite you to explore the new features, provide feedback, and stay tuned for more updates as we continue to innovate and improve.

Bookmark this page to keep up with our Agile planning news.

We want to hear from you

Enjoyed reading this blog post or have questions or feedback? Share your thoughts by creating a new topic in the GitLab community forum. Share your feedback

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