Support Team hazards and challenges

Hazards, Challenges, and possible solutions to consider to solve them

Hazards & Challenges

Team morale suffers

Hazard Commitment
Ticket volume is too high Build (and adjust) hiring model based on the best data available, hire as quickly as possible while keeping quality up.
Team knowledge doesn’t match ticket difficulty Develop training materials, provide time for professional development, encourage specializations.
We aren’t hitting our SLOs Hire and train as per above. Add regularity to scheduling and encourage efficient work patterns.
Leadership breaks trust Communicate in public channels, alert early and often of potential discussions, engender the GitLab value of Transparency.
Fear of conflict results in poor decisions Provide focus on meta-issues by triaging issues in the Active Now board. Encourage buy-in and bravery. Truly listen and respond. Explicitly overrule: state reasoning and thank everyone for voicing opinions.
Team lacks commitment to results or implementing decisions Ensure voices are heard. Re-enforce “disagree and commit”. Build accountability.
There’s no accountability in poor results or not meeting commitments Reinforce GitLab value of Results by paying attention and following up.
Lack of trust as the team grows Make an intentional effort to frequently do pairing sessions between regions.


As we continue to increase in size, there’s a number of challenges that we need to address and/or questions we need to answer:

As we grow:

  1. What process inefficiencies do we need to address? (e.g. Do all engineers need to know about every component/configuration/deployment strategy of GitLab, or are there ways we can specialize?)
  2. Which process inefficiencies do we need to intentionally keep because of a positive externality? (e.g. Do we keep around a synchronous meeting because it helps build relationships?)
  3. What have we lost in scaling? How can we build it back in a way that scales? (e.g. Smaller groups lead to more ideation sessions, how can we make sure we’re creating spaces for ideas to build off of each other?)
  4. How can we make sure we’re broadcasting things appropriately so no one misses out on an important piece of information?