On this page, you'll find an overview as well as links to helpful resources for working as a product manager at GitLab. To better understand how we evaluate a product manager's work at GitLab, please visit Product Management CDF and Competencies
The GitLab Product team includes team members at various levels of Product Management job titles and Product Management - Leadership job titles. They map across our organizational levels with scope at various points in our product hierarchy outlined in the table below.
|Level||Job Titles||Hierarchy Scopes|
|IC||Product Manager, Senior PM, Principal PM||Group, Stage|
|Manager||Group Manager Product, Director of Product||Collection of Groups, Stage, Section|
|Director||Director of Product, Senior Director of Product||Section, Collection of Sections|
|Senior Leader||VP||All Sections|
|Executive||Chief Product Officer||Entire Function|
Your job as a PM is outlined in Product Manager Reponsibilities
The first thing to do is to familiarize yourself with the following handbook pages
As a GitLab Product Manager, your product scope is huge! It may seem daunting at first, but GitLab is constantly iterating on our processes and organization so that you can be successful. Since everything is in draft, please make a proposal to improve things.
As a PM you may be extremely busy if you try to do everything that people ask you to do. This is not our expectation for the role. We do expect you to prioritize expertly and be a manager of one. And remember what your core responsibilities are! If you find yourself drawning in To-Dos, take a step back, prioritize, push-back, and focus your energy on the most important things.
Some helpful reminders:
The job requirements and expectations for Product Managers, Sr. Product Managers, and Principal Product Managers, Group Manager, Product Management Director of Product and VP of Product are outlined in our job families pages.
As product managers progress in their product career, we encourage our product managers to take on new challenges by moving to new product areas. Alternatively, IC PMs are encouraged to apply for roles in the management track and vice versa.
The progression of responsibilities allocation between tactical, operational and strategic in product roles is well illustrated by this chart.
4th of the Month:
Draft of the issues that will be included in the next released (released 22nd of next month). Start capacity and technical discussions with engineering/UX.
12th of the Month:
Release scope is finalized. In-scope issues marked with milestone Kickoff document is updated with relevant items to be included.
15th of the Month:
Group Kickoffs calls recorded and uploaded by the end of the day.
Also see Product Development Timeline.
The product team is responsible for iteration on most of GitLab's products and projects:
This includes the entire stack and all its facets. The product team needs to weigh and prioritize not only bugs, features, regressions, performance, but also architectural changes and other aspects required for ensuring GitLab's excellence
We have a library dedicated to collecting and highlighting the best resources to support the growth and success of product managers in doing their job at GitLab as well as beyond, to achieve their long term career goals. We encourage product managers to work with their managers to identify areas for improvement, and leverage the learning and development for product management resources accordingly.
As members of a prolific, product-focused company, GitLab Product Managers are frequently approached with job offers at other companies. Below is a list of criteria to consider when evaluating those roles:
Product Manager onboarding consists of 3 related issue templates.
GitLab general onboarding is generated by People Operations and assigned to the manager, who will after performing their tasks, assign it to the product manager. The product manager should not spend more than 2 weeks on this general onboarding and consult with their manager to prioritize the items in the template as needed to manage the time commitment.
The hiring manager can prep/personalize First 100 days template and the new hire should also participate in defining and adding to the goals of this issue. It is recommended that the manager leverage this goal-oriented onboarding issue for the new product managers first CDF review, to effectively align teammates in supporting the PM as they settle into their role at GitLab. This template is designed to flow the product manager through their first 3 months at GitLab. Take a look at this first 100 days onboarding issue as an example.
The PM Onboarding issue template is standard across the product team and does not need to be personalized. The PM should not spend more than a collective 4 weeks on this general onboarding during their first 3 months at GitLab, and should consult with their manager to prioritize the items in the template as needed to manage the time commitment.
If the manager or the product manager want to combine the two templates they can do so as well, here is an example of a combined onboarding issue.
Onboarding issues can be tracked in the Product Onboarding Issue Board.
Iteration on Product Management Onboarding is encouraged by all team members. To do so, create an MR against one of the above files and assign it to your manager for review and merge.
A unique and important step in the interview process for Product Management candidates is our Deep Dive Interview. The goal of this interview is to understand the candidate's ability to communicate a long term vision as well as a short term MVC, both verbally during the interview itself, and written via two follow up issues. Once the issues are ready for you to read, it is an opportunity to provide feedback and see how the candidate responds to that feedback.
|You can find more information and instructions on the Deep Dive interview here(internal only). For information on our hiring process, head over to our hiring handbook pages.|
Team members are strongly recommended to take two weeks of consecutive time off a year. Extended leave longer than the
no ask, must tell GitLab paid time off is common, especially for parental leave. Leaving for a longer period of time can be daunting, but it is critical to ensure your
rest ethic meets your
work ethic and also to ensure we don't have single points of failure in the company. Here are a few suggestions for product managers to help plan for this time.
On a high level, these are the two most important things to do:
You can use this issue template to define handshake responsibilites. For extended leave it is important to find one or more Directly Responsible Individuals (DRIs) that will be able to make product descisions while you are away. This may be your manager, another PM, or maybe the engineering manager for your team. The coverage issue should contain all the necessary information for the DRIs to make good decisions in your absence, so please make sure to include as much detail as needed. In addition to creating the issue, it may be useful to have a specific handover meeting to ensure that everyone is on the same page before you leave.
Returning from time off can be overwhelming and daunting. You should work with your DRIs to understand what has changed during your absence and what the current priorities are. Also, communicate transparently that your response time may be slower because you are catching up. Here are some additional tips on how to return back to work after taking parental leave.
The Product Shadowing program is loosely based on the CEO Shadow program and is designed to facilitate greater understanding between Product Managers and Engineers within a stage. The program was trialed with success in the Plan stage.
A Product Manager can host an Engineer within their stage to shadow them over two working days, or the equivalent split over multiple days to maximize experience with different functions of the role.
To propose a shadow, please create an issue in the stage issue tracker using other shadowing issues as an example (example)
The separate page Product Leadership covers how to be an effective leader in the product management organization.