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Group Direction - Project Management

This direction page was last reviewed on: 2022-01-11

Introduction and how you can help

👋 This is the group strategy for Project Management, which is part of the Plan stage. Please reach out to the group's Product Manager, Gabe Weaver (E-mail), if you'd like to provide feedback or ask any questions related to this product category.

This strategy is a work in progress and everyone can contribute:

Group Overview

GitLab's mission is to build software so that everyone can contribute and we aim to be the most popular collaboration platform for knowledge workers in any industry. The Project Management Group is a cross-departmental team focused on two primary categories – Team Planning and Planning Analytics.

Team Planning

Team Planning's goal is to provide collaboration and planning capabilities to empower small, autonomous teams to continuously deliver customer and business value with the shortest possible cycle times. Features owned by the Team Planning category include work items (issues), tasks, milestones, iterations, boards, discussions, labels, todos, quick actions, markdown, and notifications.

We are currently focused on providing industry-leading solutions for the following Jobs To Be Done (JTBD):

Planning Analytics

Team Planning's goal is to provide collaboration and planning capabilities to empower small, autonomous teams to continuously deliver customer and business value with the shortest possible cycle times. Features owned by the Team Planning category include work items (issues), tasks, milestones, iterations, boards, discussions, labels, todos, quick actions, markdown, and notifications.

We are currently focused on providing industry-leading solutions for the following Jobs To Be Done (JTBD):

Target audience

GitLab identifies who our DevSecOps application is built for utilizing the following categorization. We list our view of who we will support when in priority order.

Today

  1. 🟩 Software Developers
  2. 🟨 Development Team Leads
  3. 🟨 Application Development Director
  4. 🟨 Product Managers
  5. 🟨 Software Engineer in Test
  6. 🟨 Product Designers
  7. 🟨 DevOps Engineers
  8. 🟨 Security Operations Engineers
  9. 🟨 Release Manager
  10. 🟨 Security Analysts
  11. ⬜️ Application Ops
  12. ⬜️ Platform Engineer
  13. ⬜️ Compliance Managers
  14. ⬜️ Systems Administrator

Medium Term (1-2 years)

  1. 🟩 Software Developers
  2. 🟩 Development Team Leads
  3. 🟩 Application Development Director
  4. 🟩 Product Managers
  5. 🟨 Software Engineer in Test
  6. 🟨 Product Designers
  7. 🟨 DevOps Engineers
  8. 🟨 Security Operations Engineers
  9. 🟨 Release Manager
  10. 🟩 Security Analysts
  11. ⬜️ Application Ops
  12. ⬜️ Platform Engineer
  13. 🟨 Compliance Managers
  14. ⬜️ Systems Administrator

Current Investment Mix

Category Allocation
Team Planning 100%
Planning Analytics 0%

What we recently completed

What we are currently working on

Our group level issue board provides detailed insight into everything currently in flight.

Team Planning

Planning Analytics

Due to temporary team member allocations and limited investment, we are currently not focused on implementing any Planning Analytics capabilities. We are actively working on acquiring the necessary investment to accelerate this category as it is paramount to our customer's success when using GitLab to plan and track work effectively and efficiently.

What's next for us

Team Planning

Planning Analytics

What we're not doing

Performance indicators

Check out our cross-functional Project Management team hanbook page to view our current customer value, product quality, and process performance indicators.

Competitive landscape

The project management tools market is dominated by Jira (31%), Microsoft (18%), Smartsheet (6%), and Trello (5%). To be competitive, GitLab needs to solve for the following customer comments in the immediate future:

We’ve been told to use gitlab’s milestones to capture agile sprints, as they’re the only thing that can have burn down, they work well with boards and have concepts of time. The default way epics get their start/end dates is based on the milestones of the issues attached though – doesn’t make sense as an issue shouldn’t be assigned to an agile sprint until the sprint is eminent. (root of problem is that gitlab milestone must either be equated to agile milestone or agile sprint, not both – you’re missing a concept)

Needs to be a way to have a team velocity, as a scrum master be able to go through and say “This feature requires ~100 points of work, we can do 25 points per sprint, will take 4 sprints (8 weeks) – you want it done in 6 weeks, will either require to be simplified or increased resourcing.”

Need burn-down chart/progress status of sprints, features, initiatives, and milestones.

During sprint planning, need a way to see what my team’s velocity has been last several sprints to have a good idea of how much we should be planning for upcoming sprint.

Need an easy way to see how much I’m assigning to each team member during sprint planning (team members aren’t interchangeable – sprint can have user stories less than velocity, but if user stories are only doable by one team member then the work can’t get done).

Need to be able to answer questions around “which teams/members are working on this feature?”, “are we still on track to meet this milestone?”, “we want to add this new feature, how will that slow down other development?”, “This team is needed for another project, how will that effect timelines on this project?”, etc…

Analyst landscape

What they are saying:

Most requested issues

Top strategy items

While we are not currently working on the items listed within this section, we believe that solving for them will significantly contribute to Plan's 3-year strategy. Once validated and team capacity is available, we will move these strategic items into our queue for prioritization and implementation.

Enterprise planning frameworks support

Use DevOps data to guide planning

Automation and machine learning to improve quality of life

Jobs To Be Done

We are currently focused on providing industry-leading solutions for the following Jobs To Be Done (JTBD):

Plan and Collaborate On Value Delivery

Job statements Maturity Confidence Source
When splitting prioritized initiatives or features into requirements, I want to group related slices of value and surface dependencies, so I can maximize alignment on the scope of a business goal and efficiently plan its incremental delivery. Badge level c Researched Issue
When estimating work during refinement, I want to validate that requirements are valuable and discrete, so I can increase the amount of value delivered with the least effort. Badge level d Researched Issue
When planning a release, I want to prioritize and sequence estimated work based on feasibly, capacity, and ROI, so I can incrementally deliver toward business objectives. Badge level - Researched Issue
When organizing priority work, I want to visualize our intended workflow, so I can increase team efficiency, collaboration, and predictability. Badge level - Researched Issue
When collaborating with a team or stakeholders, I want to radiate the current status of work continuously, so I can increase alignment on progress and any impediments that need to be addressed. Badge level c Researched Issue

Align plans with customer needs and business objectives

Job statements Maturity Confidence Source
When reviewing my product strategy with leadership, I want to demonstrate how my plans will drive overall vision and objectives toward reality, so I can increase buy-in, trust, and allocation of resources toward my efforts. Badge level - Researched Issue
When synthesizing inputs, I want to categorize opportunities based on how efficiently they drive the success of business objectives, so I can increase confidence in items I have prioritized, and feel empowered to say no to less impactful ideas. Badge level c Researched Issue
When visualizing the plan of how my strategy will be implemented, I want to display how prioritized items cascade up toward larger vision and business objectives, so I can increase alignment on the overall impact and importance of even the most granular items within my plan. Badge level - Researched Issue
When soliciting feedback and collaboration on the implementation of my strategy, I want to craft a view of my plan with the intended audience in mind, so I can increase team and stakeholder alignment through effective storytelling at the correct level of abstraction. Badge level - Researched Issue

Maintain alignment and trust

Job statements Maturity Confidence Source
When monitoring progress, I want to ensure the current scope and status of work are thoroughly captured, so I can increase the accuracy of my reporting and maintain trust with stakeholder. Badge level d Researched Issue
When reviewing a plan, I want to identify and enable continual monitoring of high risk items, so I can maintain effectiveness of mitigation plans, even as they evolve. Badge level c Researched Issue
When implementing to a plan, I need to monitor value delivery and value return so I can demonstrate that the team is efficiently capturing value for our stakeholders. Badge level - Not validated Issue

Measure outcomes and learn

Job statements Maturity Confidence Source
When reviewing a prior cycle, I can easily reflect on and improve my team's effectiveness. Badge level - Not validated Issue
When analyzing past releases, I want to analyze how successful deliverables were in satisfying objectives, so I can decrease the time it takes to course correct and improve future plans. Badge level - Not validated Issue
When units of value are released, I want to gather feedback from multiple channels and incorporate it into my plan, so I can iterate on increasing user value as we progress incrementally toward achieving business objectives and maximizing customer value. Badge level - Researched Issue
When evaluating and measuring previously delivered work, I want to surface and share any learnings identified while executing toward my strategy, so I can improve future plans based on these insights and articulate the rationale behind any changes. Badge level b Researched Issue
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