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New GitLab Issue Board Aims to Improve Issue Management

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GitLab has announced a new integrated tool, GitLab Issue Board, aimed to improve issue prioritization, release planning, and communication by allowing developer teams to visualize and organize issues through a flexible multi-column board.

GitLab has long offered Milestones, a tool to organize issues in a Scrum board. Milestones, though, are limited to one simplified kind of flow, where issues move from open to assigned to closed. This is not sufficient for larger teams or more complex projects, which usually need to be able to deal with multiple intermediate steps such as design, implementation, testing, etc., remarks GitLab engineer Job van der Voort.

The new GitLab Issue Board thus aims to make it possible to handle flexible issue boards that fit a variety of flows, without sticking to any given model in particular. Out of the box, a GitLab Issue Board provides just two columns, Backlog and Done. Both columns list issues in a card-like format and allow to drag and drop issues from one column to another to move them from one state to the other. New columns can be easily created to represent different phases in the issue life-cycle and thus deal with different flows. For example, one could use three different columns to manage a traditional Scrum board, or use more to account for additional stages such as analysis, development, review, etc.

Here is a list of some useful features provided by GitLab Issue Board:

  • Each column in a GitLab Issue Board is associated with a label.
  • A new column may be associated to an existing label, thus automatically making all issues tagged by that label to be assigned to that column.
  • When moving issues between columns, the labels associated to them will be automatically updated.
  • Issues can have multiple labels, thus making it possible to filter and sort them in multiple ways.

Built on top of the existing Issue Tracker, GitLab Issue Board is free to all GitLab users.

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