|Aathira Nair (@anair5)|
By empowering teams, embracing change, and focusing on delivering value, Agile methodologies have transformed software development. Agile teams create more relevant, valuable, customer-centric products, more quickly than ever.
Development teams accelerate the delivery of value with iterative, incremental, and lean project methodologies including Scrum, Kanban, Extreme Programming (XP), and more. Large enterprises have adopted Agile at enterprise scale through a variety of frameworks, including Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), Spotify, Large Scale Scrum (LeSS), and others. GitLab enables teams to apply Agile practices and principles to organize and manage their work, whatever their chosen methodology. These new methodologies bring new challenges.
Agile is not a single methodology, but a set of guiding principles embraced by many methodologies in many ways. There is no single “best” way to plan and manage an Agile enterprise, and older project planning tools are often insufficiently flexible to address the needs of a given implementation.
This functionality gap leads to poor project estimation, planning, and progress tracking. Furthermore, Agile methodologies can create confusion between teams and throughout the enterprise, where even well-documented Agile processes may not map to traditional success metrics and waterfall financial planning.
Organizations need better ways to manage projects, programs, and portfolios using Agile. They need to better:
GitLab was named a 'Leader' by Gartner in their 2021 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Agile Planning Tools after entering the report as a Visionary just two years prior and being a fairly recent entrant into the space.
Gartner, “Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Agile Planning Tools,” Bill Blosen, Mike West, Deacon D.K Wan, Akis Sklavounakis, Keith Mann, Wan Fui Chan, Hassan Ennaciri, April 20, 2021.
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in our research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose._
Average annual revenue growth of 40% over the last five years, ~$2B total revenue in 2020, and demand for remote working capabilities and SaaS during the global pandemic have propelled Atlassian (TEAM) to a $84B market capitalization as of 08-17-2021.
Atlassian has consistently increased its market footprint through strategic acquisitions that would allow its complimentary products to organically self-propagate through enterprises. At its Remote Summit in April, 2020, Atlassian announced many new capabilities in Jira Align, based on their $166 million acquisition of AgileCraft. AgileCraft, the company and the software, was a former market leader with support for SAFe and other enterprise Agile frameworks; it also featured strong support for teams using Atlassian Jira.
While Atlassian have many products, those most aligned with the Agile Use Case include Jira Software (Software Project Management), Jira Align (Portfolio Management), Confluence (Wiki), Trello (Project Management), Jira Core (Business Project Management), and Jira Service Desk (ITSM Software).
In 2019, TPG Capital purchased CollabNet VersionOne from Vector Capital as part of TPG’s $500M equity capital investment to build an integrated DevOps company called Digital.ai, which in 2020 also includes XebiaLabs and Arxan Technologies. Digital.ai provides end-to-end solutions for Global 5,000 enterprises.
Agile planning tools VersionOne and Continuum support Scrum, Kanban, Extreme Programming (XP), and SAFe. Value stream management and portfolio management have been more of a focus, and VersionOne is available as SaaS or on-prem. DevOps integrations include Jenkins, Chef, and others.
As GitLab's Plan stage competitive landscape section describes:
Rally was the de facto market leader at one point in time, but has seen its market share decline substantially. While it is still entrenched in many enterprises, many speculate that Broadcom has placed Rally on life support.
Rally is part of Broadcom’s Digital BizOps Starter Edition and benefits from the company's larger presence, history, and product portfolio. Broadcom had acquired CA in 2018, for some time after which this product was still branded CA Agile Central.
Planview provides a range of enterprise grade project, product, and portfolio management capabilities. Lead by investments from Venture Partners in 2013 and Thoma Bravo in 2017, Planview has been steadily acquiring competitors such as Troux Technologies, Innotas, LeanKit, and Spigit to expand its reach into different markets.
The product, Planview Lean and Agile Delivery, is said to have strong support for SAFe, Kanban, and Scrum, with Kanban useful outside of software development including portfolio management and business strategy.
On 02-11-2021, Apptio announced the acquisition of Targetprocess, one of the smaller and younger competitors in the plan space focused on PPM. Targetprocess has rapidly increased its market footprint and, like GitLab, has been recognized by Gartner as a leader in the EAPT market.
With the acquisition of GitHub, Microsoft has begun the process of combining features of teh popular SCM solution with key features from Azure DevOps. Microsoft Project is their leading plan solution that currently owns 15-25% of the planning market.
While they are an established vendor in IT service management, ServiceNow's Agile planning tool, the IT Business Management (ITBM) suite is said to have relatively basic functionality. ITBM includes release planning, limited SAFe support, and Jenkins integration, while its main advantage would be integration with the Now Platform and generally unifying development and operations backlogs via ServiceNow.
As a single DevOps Platform, GitLab allows organizations to plan and manage work in the same system where they perform it
Our transparency and accordant willingness to be direct with, and meaningfully involve customers.
GitLab's own modern but flexible software, from basis in Git to cloud integrations, positions us for the future and to be agile in our support of customers adopting Agile.
The growth of DevOps is concurrent and may be symbiotic with that of Agile, and our reputation in DevOps precedes us.
GitLab's portfolio management capabilities are currently less mature than some more specialized competitive point solutions.
Our MVC-based iterative approach to developing and deploying GitLab can initially jarring to prospective customers from more traditional, less Agile organizations.
We're a relatively new player in the market.
GitLab is positioned for the future, with points including our ascendancy in DevOps, the trend toward platforms over DIY point solutions, our strength in DevOps for enterprise customers, and our own modern approach and architecture, optimized for cloud native applications. As a newer entrant to the space, GitLab is also unburdened by legacy code and processes and able to create a new Agile management paradigm that is more flexible and better-designed for coming changes in demand.
The mergers and acquisition landscape indicates that competitors are working on building or acquiring end-to-end platforms like GitLab, potentially mitigating against a key differentiator.
Larger players such as Microsoft and Atlassian have resources enabling them to close or open gaps quickly in Agile and adjacent areas.
As Agile becomes ever more mainstream, expansion may become more difficult per more stubborn shadow IT and resistance to change.
With GitLab's unique capability to connect every phase of the Software Development Lifecycle in a single DevOps platform, many user personas find a solution in Integrated Agile Planning.
User personas and their key motivations for using GitLab for Agile planning include:
In consideration: personas from an Agile Planning perspective might include and be named as:
Purchasing for Integrated Agile Planning may not require executive involvement, with one possible exception being the influence of the VP Application Development.
|1. Requirements modeling, management, and analysis||Describe necessary product behavior against which output can be validated.||Epics, Features, Stories, Tasks, Health Status Reporting, and any necessary compliance to manage requirements for regulated industries||Provides a common vision for the product's end state and an archive of scope changes throughout the development process, Ensures that value being delivered meets stated goals and necessary compliance.|
|2. Flexible workflow support||Enables events and workflows from popular Agile frameworks and custom Agile implementations||Sprint planning, sprint retrospectives, customizable timeboxes, support for enterprise Agile frameworks such as SAFe and LeSS||Increases productivity by reducing context switching, provides a single source of truth for onboarding, auditing, and reference, removes operational resistance to Agile adoption by working with existing methodologies.|
|3. Value Stream Management||Visualize an end-to-end workstream, identify and target waste and inefficiencies, and tune those workstreams to deliver the highest possible velocity of customer value.||Custom workflow modeling and measurement, waste identitifcation||Provides an objective standard by which the effectiveness of efforts can be judged and identifies opportunities for high-impact efficiency improvements.|
|4. Role-specific interfaces||Interfaces that surface relevant information in a context suited to different users.||Boards, roadmaps, dashboards||Allows workers to inspect and interact with workflows without switching context from their primary work tools or sifting through information that is not necessary within their business context.|
|5. Actionability||Tactical participation in workstreams from any part of the management system||Inline collaboration, drill-downs from dashboards into work items||Closes the loop between ideation and iteration, allowing decision-makers to execute immediately and unblock value flows.|
|6. Traceability||Understand the history and context of every action||Event logs, exceptions, approval-related conversations||Provides an unimpeachable source of truth for audits and retrospectives, verifies that customer value was delivered as requested.|
|7. Quality metrics||Usability and value of outputs||Test coverage, escape defect analysis, security vulnerabilities, license compliance||Improve product value, identifies opportunities for training and process refinement, minimize adverse business and compliance impacts of changes.|
|8. Operational metrics||DevOps efficiency and success||DORA4 metrics: Deployment Frequency, Lead Time, Cycle Time, Change Failure Rate||Identify waste, optimize delivery of value|
|9. Organizational effectiveness metrics||Efficiency with which the organization collaborates to deliver customer value||Team adoption of Agile processes, time tracking, financial / cost tracking and estimation||Surfaces systemic process inefficiencies and opportunities for improvement.|
|10. Integrations to external data sources||Provides visibility into and updating of external systems that contain data to management and planning||DevOps, financials, performance monitoring systems||Enables tracking of value that extends beyond scope of planning tool, storage of data in other systems for further analysis|
|Market Requirements||How GitLab Delivers||GitLab Category||Demos|
|1. Requirements modeling, management, and analysis||Allows users to set criteria against which they can validate products using requirements—artifacts in GitLab that describe the specific behavior of a product. Requirements can be marked satisfied by a CI job, and if they are no longer needed, requirements can be archived. When a feature is no longer necessary, you can archive the related requirement.||Plan stage: Requirements Management||Requirements Management|
|2. Flexible workflow support||Provides multiple methods of timeboxing work, allowing users to manage tactical work in Iterations while simultaneously managing strategic efforts across multiple iterations in Milestones. GitLab’s ability to nest multiple levels of sub-Epics allows users to map to any necessary organizational structure, including those of enterprise frameworks such as SAFe.||Plan stage: Epics, Iterations, Milestones|
|3. Value Stream Management||Provides out-of-the-box Value Stream Analytics to automatically benchmark the DevOps lifecycle and identify inefficiencies. Allows users to define and measure their own custom lifecycle stages. Insights provides the ability to track and manage custom workflows using Scoped Labels.||Manage stage: Value Stream Analytics, Insights.
Plan stage: Scoped Labels
|4. Role-specific interfaces||Offers a variety of interfaces aimed at role-based contexts, including Security Dashboards, Roadmaps, Value Stream Analytics, Group- and Project-level boards, and aggregation of all relevant information in the Merge Request.||Manage stage: Value Stream Analytics
Plan stage:Roadmaps, Boards
Secure stage: Security Dashboard.
|5. Actionability||Offers a single system for all work and complete traceability, from planning to collaboration to code changes and their impact on quality and performance. From any point in the application, GitLab users can always drill down into Issues and Merge Requests to collaborate.||Plan stage: Issues, Merge Requests|
|6. Traceability||All actions within GitLab are logged and surfaced in multiple contexts, allowing users to discover and reference historical data with minimal work. Merge Requests aggregate all related information, allowing users to view the collaboration leading to a code change, the impact of a code change, and all relevant collaboration that led to the change and its aproval.||Manage stage: Project Import / Export
Plan stage: Merge Requests
Secure stage: Security Dashboard
|7. Quality metrics||Run and view the output of automated tests in your CI pipelines to verify/validate code pre-production. Includes Unit tests, integration testing, browser performance testing, code quality, code coverage, usability testing, and accessibility testing. Automatically scan license compliance on each commit.||Verify stage: CI, Code Quality, Code Testing and Coverage, Web Performance, Usability Testing, Accessibility Testing
Secure stage: License Compliance
|8. Operational metrics||Value Stream Analytics provides insights into how efficently your DevOps processes are running (including Deployment Frequency and Lead Time for Changes DORA metrics) and identifies opportunities for improvement.||Manage stage: DevOps Report|
|9. Organizational effectiveness metrics||The DevOps Report provides an overview of your entire instance’s adoption of Concurrent DevOps, from planning to monitoring.||Manage stage: Value Stream Analytics|
|10. Integrations to external data sources||GitLab offers dozens of integrations and an open core model that encourages others to contribute.||Manage stage: Integrations|
|End-to-End Visibility and Traceability||As a true DevOps Platform, GitLab ensures complete visibility and traceability from planning and collaboration through development, testing, delivery, and post-delivery monitoring, ensuring complete context to all participants and auditors||Deliver more value with fewer headaches using an end to end DevOps platform|
|Actionable Insights||As a single source of work across the development lifecycle, the GitLab DevOps Platform allows product stakeholders to move from insight to action in just a few clicks, discovering inefficienies and resolving them in a single system, without context switching.||Deliver more value with fewer headaches using an end to end DevOps platform|
|Product Development Management||GitLab is the only product that provides collaboration capabilities to Product teams that works not only with source code but also IP, graphic assets, animations, binaries, and general project management issues.||Forrester's Adopt Product Management to Connect Design and Development states "Siloed Design And Dev Teams Deliver Subpar Software"|
The message house for the use case provides a structure to describe and discuss the value and differentiators for the use case.
TBD - will be a comparison grid leveraging the capabilities
For a list of analysts with a current understanding of GitLab's capabilities for this use case, please reach out to Analyst Relations via Slack (#analyst-relations) or by submitting an issue and selecting the "AR-Analyst-Validation" template.
This table shows the recommended use cases to adopt, links to product documentation, the respective subscription tier for the use case, and product analytics metrics.
|Feature / Use Case||F||P||U||Product Analytics||Notes|
|Plan and track work with Issues||X||X||X||redis_hll_counters.issues_edit.issues_edit_total_unique_counts_monthly||Tracks unique monthly active users that take one or more action on an Issue|
|Manage complex workstreams across Groups and Projects with Epics||X||X||redis_hll_counters.epics_usage.epics_usage_total_unique_counts_monthly||Tracks unique monthly active users that create one or more Epics|
|Define long living requirements that link to the code and tests that implement them||X||counts.requirement_with_test_report||Tracks total count of test reports that have been created and linked to a code level test|
|Use Milestones to timebox work for longer running initiatives||X||X||X||redis_hll_counters.issues_edit.g_project_management_issue_milestone_changed_monthly||Tracks unique monthly active users that associate an Issue to an Iteration|
|Use Iterations to timebox work for shorter planning periods||X||X||redis_hll_counters.issues_edit.g_project_management_issue_iteration_changed_monthly||Tracks unique monthly active users that associate an Issue to an Iteration|
|Uncover bottlenecks in your workflow with Value Stream Analytics||X||X||redis_hll_counters.analytics.g_analytics_valuestream_monthly||Tracks unique monthly active users interacting with a Value Stream Report|
|Use Groups and Subgroups to model their organization's Value Streams||X||X||X||usage_activity_by_stage.manage.groups||Tracks unique monthly active users creating Groups|
Inventory of key pages in the buyer's Journey
learning about the problem
looking for solution ideas
is this the right solution
|topic page?||solution page||proof points|
|-etc?||- product page x
- product page y
- product page z