Process management is a topic that gets a lot of buzz with big data. Older development styles like Waterfall, Scrum, and Agile are not suited to the zip-fast release schedules required in today’s continuous development environments. Engineers, maintainers and project managers trying to cram new processes into old systems.
Benefits of Project management Tool
- Give Overall status
- Task & bug management
- Resource load management
- Automatic reporting
Well, Gitlab’s issue board developed using experiences of GitLab, and other open source companies using innersource processes. Issue Board is a software project management tool that can be used to organize the development of a new feature or application.
What is innersource? Here.
Innersourcing is a growing trend in the private sector as more and more commercial companies are starting to adopt open source processes in order to work and collaborate more effectively.
In large organizations, developers are often spread out across different departments. These developers may never meet and might not even report to the same boss or have access to the same departmental strategies. However, they have a lot to gain in terms of collaboration and learning from each other.
In short, innersourcing is a way of improving developer collaboration within enterprise teams using the workflow models typically associated with open source projects (also composed of developers working at distance, without much communication otherwise).
In short, you can say innersource is using open source processes behind company firewalls.
What is the Issue Board?
The Issue Board allows development teams that have dependencies between each other to plan more effectively. And most important it increases visibility across projects.
“It’s even easier for cross teams to drill into each other’s work simply by clicking on the issue card, opening the issue, following the commentary, and seeing any linked merged requests,”
Developers are quite comfortable with workflow tightly coupled with their codebase and measuring effort is straightforward. It’s also evidently clear (from commits and forks) what each developer is working on.
How to set-up
All you need to do is create a private repository. And all the issues you create, will only be visible to you. After you have done this, you can create a board from the Issues. Just start with the defaults first and customize it along the way.
When you create an issue, just tag it accordingly. We can use it to group tasks for different topics or activities you are working on. Now when you open the board, you will see your issue is on the ‘backlog’. From there you can drag it to a swimlane. When you drag, it will assign the label to the issue according to the name of the swimlane.
Kanban helps you to visualize your tasks at hand, but it still requires discipline to actually make it work. Therefore, you need to understand that ‘multi-tasking’ does not exist! As per study ‘Singletasking: Get More Done-One Thing at a Time’. However, it was still trying to do too many things at once.
Gitlab allows to track todo items using issue tracker and for each project you have access to, you can browse and create issues.
You can create the new issue, from issues dashboard,
- Communicate with classes/ replacing emails
- Track your personal tasks in your project itself
- Use them as Kanban board and assign issues to milestones.
Issues vs emails
- Threaded conversations, so you can catch up quickly and find discussions easily
- Reply using issues, Click on the link in the footer of the email.
- No spam. Keep the conversation relevant
- Close issue, when they are complete
- You can use issues for creating Kanban boards, similar to Trello
- Kanban was invented by Toyota for car manufacturing
- Kanban boards show how work progresses i.e. from todo, to doing, to done
- Click on boards to see your issues as a Kanban board
- Good way to track your assignments, project tasks, or personal errands
Another way to organize your work, is to group issues into Milestones
- Each milestone represents an important step in your project
- Assign issues to a Milestone, when all are completed you reached your Milestone
- Easy to distinguish more urgent work from what can be done later
- You can assign start and end dates to each milestone
- Milestone help spiral development, and meeting deadlines!
Gitlab Lifecycle process:
GitLab has 10 steps to bring your product to live from idea to production, that models the entire software lifecycle process:
- Chat conversation → Mattermost ships with GitLab
- Issue creation → GitLab Issues
- Planning board → GitLab Issue Board
- IDE → Koding + GitLab Integration
- Version control → GitLab Repositories
- Continuous Integration → GitLab CI and GitLab Container Registry
- Code review → GitLab Merge Requests
- Continuous Delivery → GitLab Deploy
- Chatops → plan to ship with Cog
- Feedback -> plan to ship with Cycle Analytics
In addition, the built-in status report allows visibility into the process for all team members across the project.
Jira vs Gitlab
Jira is a proprietary issue tracking product which provides bug tracking, issue tracking, and project management functions. It is one of the most popular issue management tools. Jira boasts many integration to third party development tools.
GitLab issue tracking capabilities offer functionality similar to Jira, and also adds capabilities such as flexible group-based issue boards, tight chat collaboration integration, and tight integration with source control management, such as closing an issue when an associated merge request is completed.
Beyond just issue tracking, GitLab is a single application that spans the entire DevOps lifecycle and also provides planning, CI/CD, packaging, verification, release, and monitoring, all automatically looping back their status and data from across the lifecycle into the issues being tracked. To do this in Jira requires setting up and maintaining many integration.
|Group Milestones & Issue Board||Yes||No|
|Powerful Issue Tracker||Yes||Yes|
|Due dates for individual issues||Yes||Yes|
|Move issues between projects||Yes||Yes|
|Issue board templates & Swimlanes||No||Yes|
|Create new issues from the Issue Board||Yes||No|
|Epics & Roadmaps||Yes||Yes|
|Create issue from email||Yes||Yes|
|Confidential & Related issues||Yes||Yes|
|Burndown Charts for Project & Group Milestones||Yes||Yes|
|Out-of-the-box Agile reporting||No||Yes|
|Issue Boards based on application specific query language||No||Yes|
|Automatically close issue(s) when a merge request is merged||Yes||No