Product Vision - Manage

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This is the product vision for the Manage stage of the DevOps lifecycle. If you'd like to discuss this vision directly with the product manager for Manage., feel free to reach out to Jeremy Watson via e-mail, Twitter, or by scheduling a video call.


For administrators and executives, the process of management is always on. It extends to managing people, money, and risk; when the stakes are high, these stakeholders demand an experience and feature set that makes them feel in control. Setting up your processes shouldn’t be a struggle, and administrators shouldn’t have to compromise on security or compliance to make software work for them.

Not only do we want to fulfill those fundamental needs, we want to give you the freedom to work in new and powerful ways. We aspire to answer questions managers didn't know they had, and to automate away the mundane.

For these users, Manage's role in GitLab is to help organizations prosper with configuration and analytics that enables them to work more efficiently. It’s not enough to give instances the ability to meet their most basic needs; as a single application for the DevOps lifecycle, GitLab can exceed the standard and enable you to work in ways you previously couldn’t.

Manage also maintains and iterates on foundational building blocks of GitLab - like projects and groups - that support the rest of the application. Evolving these areas of the product is an ongoing priority for Manage, in order to ensure that we're removing barriers to finding value and helping users effortlessly find solutions to problems that GitLab helps solve.


There are a few categories that are critical for success in this stage; each one is intended to represent what you might find as an entire product out in the market. If you have thoughts or questions on any of these, feel free to jump into the conversation in the vision epic.

Cycle Analytics

Measure so you can manage. Cycle analytics give you data on how fast you are cycling and what steps are slowing you down so you can optimize.
Learn moreDocumentationVision

DevOps Score

Get an overview of how well your organization is adopting DevOps and to see the impact on your velocity.

Audit Management

Track important events for review and compliance such as who performed certain actions and the time they happened.

Authentication and Authorization

GitLab features multiple auth mechanisms including LDAP (including Active Directory), OmniAuth, CAS, SAML, Okta, and Authentiq.



Code Analytics


Workflow Policies


Themes for 2019

We’re realizing this vision in 2019 by delivering more powerful insights, making it easier than ever to do meaningful work in GitLab, and iterating on features that enables large organizations to thrive. We're also taking steps forward in improving traceability and security to ensure that GitLab can meet the needs of the enterprise, even in highly regulated environments. Finally, we're also improving the core experience for our end users and making existing features lovable.

🚢 Operating at scale

As GitLab continues to grow, we want to continue to iterate and improve on existing features. This is especially true of features that help large organizations thrive in GitLab.

We’re continuing to improve on authentication within GitLab, which is of critical importance for managing users at scale. We’re continuing to build out Group SAML for by automating membership and permissions management. We’re also improving OAuth by allowing you to programmatically manage tokens.

We’re also excited to give instances more control and power over how they manage spending. You’ll be able to clearly understand how your instance’s license is being used, with granular control over seats. Alongside making billing easier to understand than ever, we’re also improving our billing portal to give you the power to self-serve changes to your subscription.

Lastly, GitLab’s single application approach to DevOps puts the entire software development lifecycle in a single place. As a result, users don’t have to stitch together an overly-fragmented toolchain - and we want to go deeper in on that advantage with effortless, custom workflows.

🔔 Analytics and insights

As instances thrive, the amount of information flowing through GitLab grows exponentially. An administrator’s job quickly becomes more reliant on automation and tools to help them stay reactive (I need to respond to an urgent request for information) and proactive (tell me about areas of risk).

We'll find new opportunities to tell you something insightful and new about how you’re shipping software. We're doubling down on the power of analytics to provide insight into how instances can reduce cycle time and ship faster.

🔐 Security & compliance

“Trust, but verify”: GitLab makes it easy to contribute, but administrators should have comprehensive and consistent views on who is has done what. In short, changes in GitLab should be fully traceable.

After code gets merged, it may involve a host of individuals, commits, and objects - while we make it easy to go from idea to production, tracing that history back should also be a cinch. Since the heart of code change in GitLab is the merge request, we’ll add the ability to see the a deep history - including the issues, people, and commits - that led to the change.

Monitoring and traceability should be built deep into the application and allow GitLab to thrive in any regulated environment.

❤️ Lovability

As we continue to build on the themes above, we don’t seek to create a product that’s merely functionally complete; we want to create a GitLab that offers an unbeatable experience that our users consistently fall in love with.

To accomplish this, we’ll be using feedback from users and data to inform how we can make the experience simpler, more accessible, and easier to understand. We’ll polish parts of GitLab that are frequently experienced - like projects, groups, and user onboarding - and iterate until we get to a frictionless experience that people love and return to.

Subject labels

For a more comprehensive view of where we're heading, Manage is primarily responsible for the labels below. Each label links to a vision epic, which details our goals and plan for the specified area of GitLab. As always, we'd love your feedback - feel free to leave comments in the respective epic.

Label Description
subscriptions Our customers portal is how users subscribe and pay for GitLab.
license Our licensing model for GitLab EE. This is how we provide and maintain licenses to self-managed customers; also covers our seat model and how we count users.
authentication How users register with GitLab, log in, and maintain these credentials over time. Also includes the authorization, ldap, saml, and oauth labels.
groups Like directories in a filetree, groups are used to organize many projects and people.
navigation Specific features have their own navigation, but this label covers common navigation elements across GitLab like the sidebar and topbar. It also covers some features and flows that are shared across stages, like the Activity page.
user profile Covers both the personal settings page at /profile and how we present that information on an individual to others.
projects Anything related to projects in GitLab, but not including the repository itself or git-specific functionality.
analytics Analytics features that span multiple areas of the product: Cycle Analytics, Contribution Analytics, and ConvDev Index (DevOps Score/Maturity). Does not include feature-specific analytics like Issue Analytics.
audit events Tracking events in GitLab for compliance and oversight. Our goal is to have 100% of activity in GitLab be recorded and auditable.
importers Getting data in and out of GitLab. Includes importing (bringing information into GitLab from a GitLab project export or other application) and exporting. Also includes the project import and project export labels.
admin dashboard Configuration and presentation in the admin panel (/admin).
permissions Our user-based permissioning model; how we configure and decide which users are allowed to do what.
user management Managing the number of active users who are using an instance, identifying who they are, and making changes to their status on the instance. Functionality specific to the operation and success of
internationalization Translating GitLab into other languages.

How we prioritize

We follow the same prioritization guidelines as the product team at large. Issues tend to flow from having no milestone, to being added to the backlog, to a directional milestone (e.g. Next 3-4 releases), and are finally assigned a specific milestone.

Our entire public backlog for Manage can be viewed here, and can be filtered by labels or milestones. If you find something you are interested in, you're encouraged to jump into the conversation and participate. At GitLab, everyone can contribute!

You can see further details on the prioritization and development process on the page for the Manage team.

Direction issues

11.7 (2019-01-22)

11.8 (2019-02-22)

11.9 (2019-03-22)

11.10 (2019-04-22)

2019 Q2

2019 Q3

2019 Q4

Other Interesting Items

There are a number of other issues that we've identified as being interesting that we are potentially thinking about, but do not currently have planned by setting a milestone for delivery. Some are good ideas we want to do, but don't yet know when; some we may never get around to, some may be replaced by another idea, and some are just waiting for that right spark of inspiration to turn them into something special.

Remember that at GitLab, everyone can contribute! This is one of our fundamental values and something we truly believe in, so if you have feedback on any of these items you're more than welcome to jump into the discussion. Our vision and product are truly something we build together!