Category Direction - Epics

Last Reviewed: 2020-07-20


Large enterprises are continually working on increasingly more complex and larger scope initiatives that cut across multiple teams and even departments, spanning months, quarters, and even years. GitLab's vision is to support organizing these initiatives into powerful multi-level work breakdown plans and to enable tracking the execution of them over time, to be extremely simple and insightful. In addition, GitLab should highlight which opportunities have higher ROI, helping teams make strategic business planning decisions.

GitLab supports popular enterprise Agile portfolio and project management frameworks, including Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), Scrum, and Kanban.


What's next & why

Now that our users can properly build out epics as a collection of associated issues, we are focusing on developing advanced functionality to make Epics more poweful planning artifacts. To begin, we will be pursuing multiple enhancements to the current Epic planning artifcat and how it relates to Issues, Milestones, and our Roadmaps:

  1. Confidential Epics
  2. Create Epic Page
  3. Epic Swimlanes on Boards
  4. Program/Epic Level Boards

GitLab's multi-level work breakdown planning capabilities will include multiple layers of epics and issues, allowing enterprises to capture and manage:

Competitive landscape

Leveraging Epics as a building block for Product and Portfolio Management is a common use case in the industry, with many are established players such as Jira, Clarity, Planview, VersionOne, AgileCraft, and ServiceNow offering similiar functionality. Many of these tools were developed targeted at truly enterprise cases, allowing users to track large business initiatives across an organization. Customers using these tools typically have another set of tools for the product-development teams to turn these high-level business initiatives into scoped out detailed planned work and actual software deliverables. Therefore, our competitive advantage is having both (the high-level initiatives, and the product-development-level abstractions) in a single tool, that is fully integrated for a seamless experience. Our strategy is building toward those enterprise use cases, starting with the product-development baseline abstractions.

Top Vision Item(s)

To drive our vison for Epics and how they supports our overall strategy for Portfolio Management we are continuing to develop the building blocks for deeper more expansive program and portfolio functionality. Currently we are validating and tracking the following big ticket items :

  1. Epic Swimlanes on Boards
  2. Program/Epic Level Boards
  3. Health/Risk Reporting
  4. Epic Dependency Mapping
  5. Tracking Epic Progress

Top User Issue(s)

As the usage of Epics increase and more use cases and needs are being surfaced, we are tracking our most popular issues in the category. In particular, we are focusing on:

  1. Epic Swimlanes on Boards
  2. Program/Epic Level Boards
  3. Project Level Epics
  4. Tracking Epic Progress

Top Customer Success/Sales Issue(s)

To support our Customer Success and Sales departments, we are validating and working towards critical items to enable them to serve additional prospects and customers:

  1. Provide an Epic Swimlane on a Board
  2. Program/Epic Level Boards
  3. Tracking Epic Progress