Distribution team members are expected to:
Engineering manager and Product manager are responsible for scheduling work that is a direct responsibility of the Distribution team.
Work can be (very) roughly divided as:
All scheduled work for omnibus-gitlab, Helm charts and team projects is shown on the Deliverable board. Use additional filters to see specific milestones, etc.
There are a number of labels applied at any time to both issues and merge requests (items), but there is a priority, first being the highest:
Deliverable- Issues with this label are agreed between team EM and the PM and have the highest overall priority. If you are looking for new work to pick up, unassigned issues should be tackled in order of priority label. Deliverable issues not closed in a given milestone are auto forwarded via milestone cleanup workflow.
Stretch- Items with this label are scheduled for work similar like the items with
Deliverablelabel but with lower priority. If items with this label are not delivered in the current cycle, they will become
Deliverablein the next release.
Unscheduled- Items with this label are being worked on in this release but have not been previously scheduled by the EM and PM. Work on this items is usually event driven - another team requires help, regression affecting users, or technical debt that is causing inefficiency in the team.
Internal- Items with this label contain work that is not directly user facing, work such as technical debt, refactoring and workflow improvements. This label is a direct measurement of team effectiveness. If there are too many items in this list, project is in danger of being overwhelmed with bugs caused by technical debt.
Maintenance- Items with this label are related to regular maintenance. Items include tasks such as: upgrading versions of libraries that are shipped, follow ups from review to improve some part of the code and similar.
For Scheduling- Items with this label have been discussed between the team and the item creator, and they require some work before they are resolved. Items with this label are triaged and will be picked up by EM and PM for scheduling in the regular process.
Blocked- Items with this label are blocked by other work. When adding this label, always include a comment referencing blocking issues or MRs.
spike- Issues which primarily involve research to understand options and the breakdown of future deliverables. Spikes are often the first issue in a new Epic where the output defines additional issues and order of serial/parallel work.
workflow::In dev- When an engineer is ready to start on active development, this label should be added. This allows EM and PM to understand which issues are being worked and not just assigned.
Any unassigned issue is available for anyone to work on. You can show your interest in working on a specific task by leaving a comment in the issue. To do so, comment must contain the date on which you will commence the work. If the comment does not contain the date, or the date has passed, the item is free to be picked up by anyone again.
All issues and merge requests created or worked on by the team must include the
group::distribution label. This includes issues created in distribution/team-tasks.
The omnibus-gitlab project is a long running packaging project for GitLab and as such it has had a number of years of development behind it. Since it is used to create our bread and butter installation method, the work is carried out within the regular monthly release cycle to align with the rest of GitLab development.
The development deadlines as defined in PROCESS document apply to this project.
GitLab Helm charts are the newest installation method maintained by the Distribution team. Even though the project is generally available, the project is very fast paced to match the fast pace of communities around Kubernetes and Helm.
Due to the above, the project has a slightly different workflow compared to the omnibus-gitlab project.
The labels described above apply to this project as well, but there is an additional set of labels being applied to each item.
All tasks are assigned to a weekly label. Labels are tied to a week of a specific milestone in the projects history:
0.0.Xrange show the number of weeks that the project was worked on in pre, Alpha and Beta phases. Last label in that range was
0.0.42which means that 42 weeks were used to get the project to generally available status
0.1.Xrange show the number of weeks since GA but before the next big milestone.
0.2.X, and it will describe the moment Chart reaches zero-downtime upgrades.
The label is used as a measure in how much time it is taking to work on one issue from the moment the item has been assigned to a milestone. This allows us to estimate the priority of an issue or recognise if an issue needs to be split. This measure is very important for making future decisions as items that seem very urgent can be safely reprioritised due to previous experiences.
Any of the other projects in teams responsibility do not have a specific process assigned. The items not directly in any of the two above projects will be assigned directly and deadlines set by the EM.
Use iteration to better control scope and deliver measurable value in each release. A timebox measurement process would ensure that if expected progress isn’t achieved, there’s a procedure to follow.
The goal is to catch scope creep, ensure we are iterating in ways that deliver measurable value, and establish circuit breakers to address earlier as needed.