Category Direction - Time Tracking

Last reviewed: 2020-07-15

⏱ Time Tracking

Stage Plan
Maturity Viable

Introduction and how you can help

👋 This is the category strategy for Time Tracking in GitLab; which is part of the Plan stage's Project Management group. 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:



GitLab's mission is to build software so that everyone can contribute. Issues are the fundamental medium for enabling collaboration on ideas and tracking that idea as it turns into reality.

Essential Intent

The goal of a Category's "Essential Intent" is to provide a concrete, inspirational statement. Another way to think of it is answering this single question – "If Time Tracking can be truly excellent at only one thing, what would it be?" This is Time Tracking's Essential Intent:

To enable teams to build trust through practicing fiscal responsibility.

Target Audience

User personas that will regularly track time:

Additionally, several of the buyer personas will likely maintain budgets, define resource allocation targets, and view reports associated with time tracking and capacity management.

Challenges to address

Where we are Headed

We've written a mock press release describing where we intend to be by 2020-09-01. We will maintain this and update it as we sense and respond to our customers and the wider community.

What's Next & Why

GitLab has basic time tracking functionality (estimation and actuals) for issues and merge requests. This forms the baseline layer of project management functionality relevant to time tracking, but we have yet to expose time tracking reports or integrate time estimates and time spent into other areas of the product like epics. This is where need to focus next.

These are the issues we will be working on over the next few releases:

What is Not Planned Right Now

Maturity Plan

This category is currently at the 😊Viable maturity level.

We are tracking our progress against this target via this epic.

User success metrics

We are tracking Monthly Active Users (MAU). Given we only receive usage ping data from 20-30% of instances using GitLab, the reported figures are likely substantially lower than reality.

Why is this important?

Financial and budget management is a key capability identified by analsyst as something every modern Enterprise Agile Planning (EAP) tool needs to support. Tracking time is still the primary measure that a lot of organizations rely upon to measure velcoity. In the long run, there may be other units of measure such as story points that are used to align scope to budget.

Competitive Landscape

For simple team based time trackers:

Larger companies use Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platforms. Among the most popular are:

Analyst Landscape

Top Customer Success/Sales issue(s)

Top user issue(s)

Top internal customer issue(s)

Top Strategy Item(s)

For those tracking time, one of our one year goals is to allow individuals to start and stop timers from anywhere within GitLab and more easily attach time estimates to issues.

For those interested in initiative level time spent and time remaining, we need to build out more robust reporting at the group level and expose time tracking information in strategic places like epics and the roadmap.