Simplify Groups & Projects Working Group

Learn about Gitlab Simplify Groups & Projects Working Group business goals, problems to solve and more.


Property Value
Date Created May 22, 2020
Date Ended Oct 30, 2020
Slack #wg_simplify-groups-and-projects (only accessible from within the company)
Google Doc Working Group Agenda (only accessible from within the company)
Docs/Epics Epic, Opportunity Canvas
Feature Issue TBD
Associated OKRs Increase Stages per Active Namespace for accounts less than 90 days old to >1.7

Problem To Solve

  • Groups, sub-groups, and projects as they are organized today are confusing to our users and are negatively impacting adoption, onboarding, and retention for Plan and numerous other stages.
  • We currently have a lot of requests to “implement [insert existing project feature here] at the Group level” as a way to try and solve some of this. We are duplicating capabilities that already exist at the Project level but not within the Group.
  • When we do this, we end up not cleanly recreating the same experience at the Group level, resulting in defects, missing capabilities, and poor UX that leads to incomplete and painful critical paths for our customers.
  • External: GitLab is inflexible to how companies organize their teams and workflows. Internal: We are/will be spending millions of dollars on implementing (or paying down technical debt related to) project level features within Groups (or vice versa).
  • See “Pain” and corresponding customer perspective from Opportunity Canvas.

Business Goal

Exit Criteria

(✅ Done, ✏️ In-progress)

Identify high level vision, MCV, and an iteration plan to solve the problem => 100%
  • Business viability: Does the solution work for our business? ✅
  • Technical feasibility: Can we build it? ✅
  • Usability: Can the user figure out how to use it and is it better received than our current approach to Groups and Projects? ✅
  • Value: Will this drive an increase in key business metrics such as SpU, SPAN, SMAU, and AMAU? ✅

Opportunity Canvas:

Roles and Responsibilities

Because of the wide sweeping implications of solving this problem – and that it spans the entire product – we would like at least one Member per section and ideally one Member per stage.

Working Group Role Person Title
Executive Sponsor Anoop Dawar VP Product Management
Facilitator Justin Farris Group Product Manager, Plan
Functional Lead Liam McAndrew Engineering Manager, Manage:Authentication and Authorization
Functional Lead Gabe Weaver Senior Product Manager, Plan
Functional Lead UX Mike Long Product Design Manager, Dev:Plan & Dev:Manage
Member Melissa Ushakov (Manage) Senior Product Manager, Authentication and Authorization
Member Alex Pooley (Manage) Senior Backend Engineer, Authentication and Authorization
Member Christen Dybenko (Create) Senior Product Manager, Knowledge
Member Natalia Tepluhina (Create) Staff Frontend Engineer, Knowledge
Member Markus Koller (Create) Backend Engineer, Knowledge
Member Keanon O’Keeffe Senior Product Manager, Plan
Member Mark Wood Senior Product Manager, Plan
Member Donald Cook Frontend Engineering Manager, Plan


Meetings are recorded and publicly available on YouTube in the Simplify Groups and Projects Working Group playlist (TBD).