Projects with multiple parent groups
- When we first invented subgroups, it was in response to customers wanting more flexible hierarchies.
- Now we have subgroups, and we are satisfying that need to some degree. And the Discussion team in particular, has done a lot of work to make sure labels and milestones and lists and boards support subgrouping in the way you'd expect.
- However, customers still want even more flexibility.
- Customers want visibility into projects located in arbitrary locations in a given instance for various reasons. Here's a few.
- Flexible reporting and visibility. If a hierarchal structure, you want reporting/visibility. Our structure supports that. And that's natural for teams, sub teams, work in those sub teams, etc. But sometimes you want horizontal reporting. For example, if a PMO (Project Management Office) in an enterprise wants to hand pick groups/projects "horizontally" (i.e. located in different group trees) in the company and report / view them together, they cannot do this in GitLab currently.
- Company reorganizations. Teams changing. Projects / work being transferred from one area to another area in the organization. Currently in GitLab, there is some functionality to do project transfer and sharing (see https://docs.gitlab.com/ee/user/group/). This likely can solve many of the use cases of this point. But what if an organization wanted visibility/ownership of a project across multiple teams during a transition period? Our current hierarchal structure limits that.
- Allow projects to have multiple parent groups.
- And in a future iteration, allow groups to have multiple parent groups.
- This would allow us to retain all the great functionality of lists and boards, so we don't need to re-invent anything.
- It would however, require a lot of work to ensure all the data attributes continue to make sense, and probably a whole lot of edge cases we'd come across. And there's probably a lot of technical considerations / impact too.
- The UI to present this would also be rather challenging.
- Kudos to @pharlan for bringing this up to me and suggesting the idea.