Iterations

Version history
caution
After Iteration Cadences becomes generally available, manual iteration scheduling will be deprecated in GitLab 15.6. To enhance the role of iterations as time boundaries, we will also deprecate the title field.

Iterations are a way to track issues over a period of time. This allows teams to track velocity and volatility metrics. Iterations can be used with milestones for tracking over different time periods.

For example, you can use:

  • Milestones for Program Increments, which span 8-12 weeks.
  • Iterations for Sprints, which span 2 weeks.

In GitLab, iterations are similar to milestones, with a few differences:

  • Iterations are only available to groups.
  • A group can only have one active iteration at a time.
  • Iterations require both a start and an end date.
  • Iteration date ranges cannot overlap.

View the iterations list

To view the iterations list, go to Issues > Iterations. To view all the iterations in a cadence, ordered by descending date, select that iteration cadence. From there you can create a new iteration or select an iteration to get a more detailed view.

Create an iteration

Version history
  • Deprecated in GitLab 14.10.
  • Changed the minimum user role from Developer to Reporter in GitLab 15.0.
caution
Manual iteration management is in its end-of-life process. Creating an iteration is deprecated in GitLab 14.10, and is planned for removal in GitLab 16.0.

Prerequisites:

  • You must have at least the Reporter role for a group.

To create an iteration:

  1. On the top bar, select Menu > Groups and find your group.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Issues > Iterations.
  3. Select New iteration.
  4. Enter the title, a description (optional), a start date, and a due date.
  5. Select Create iteration. The iteration details page opens.

Edit an iteration

Version history
caution
Editing all attributes, with the exception of description is deprecated in GitLab 14.10, and is planned for removal in GitLab 16.0. In the future only editing an iteration’s description will be allowed.

Prerequisites:

  • You must have at least the Reporter role for a group.

To edit an iteration, select the three-dot menu () > Edit.

Delete an iteration

Version history
caution
Manual iteration management is in its end-of-life process. Deleting an iteration is deprecated in GitLab 14.10, and is planned for removal in GitLab 16.0.

Prerequisites:

  • You must have at least the Reporter role for a group.

To delete an iteration, select the three-dot menu () > Delete.

Add an issue to an iteration

Introduced in GitLab 13.2.

To learn how to add an issue to an iteration, see the steps in Managing issues.

View an iteration report

Viewing iteration reports in projects introduced in GitLab 13.5.

You can track the progress of an iteration by reviewing iteration reports. An iteration report displays a list of all the issues assigned to an iteration and their status.

The report also shows a breakdown of total issues in an iteration. Open iteration reports show a summary of completed, unstarted, and in-progress issues. Closed iteration reports show the total number of issues completed by the due date.

To view an iteration report, go to the iterations list page and select an iteration’s period.

Iteration burndown and burnup charts

Version history

The iteration report includes burndown and burnup charts, similar to how they appear when viewing a milestone.

Burndown charts help track completion progress of total scope, and burnup charts track the daily total count and weight of issues added to and completed in a given timebox.

Iteration charts scoped to subgroups or projects

Introduced in GitLab 14.9.

You can view burndown and burnup charts for iterations created for a group in any of its subgroups or projects. When you do this, the charts only count the issues that belong to the subgroup or project.

For example, suppose a group has two projects named Project 1 and Project 2. Each project has a single issue assigned to the same iteration from the group.

An iteration report generated for the group shows issue counts for all the group’s projects:

  • Completed: 0 of 2
  • Incomplete: 0 of 2
  • Unstarted: 2 of 2
  • Burndown chart total issues: 2
  • Burnup chart total issues: 2

An iteration report generated for Project 1 shows only issues that belong to this project:

  • Completed: 0 of 1
  • Incomplete: 0 of 1
  • Unstarted: 1 of 1
  • Burndown chart total issues: 1
  • Burnup chart total issues: 1

Group issues by label

Introduced in GitLab 13.8.

You can group the list of issues by label. This can help you view issues that have your team’s label, and get a more accurate understanding of scope attributable to each label.

To group issues by label:

  1. On the top bar, select Menu > Groups and find your group.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Issues > Iterations.
  3. In the Group by dropdown, select Label.
  4. Select the Filter by label dropdown.
  5. Select the labels you want to group by in the labels dropdown. You can also search for labels by typing in the search input.
  6. Select any area outside the label dropdown list. The page is now grouped by the selected labels.

Iteration cadences

Version history

Iteration cadences automate iteration scheduling. You can use them to automate creating iterations every 1, 2, 3, or 4 weeks. You can also configure iteration cadences to automatically roll over incomplete issues to the next iteration.

Create an iteration cadence

Changed the minimum user role from Developer to Reporter in GitLab 15.0.

Prerequisites:

  • You must have at least the Reporter role for a group.

To create an iteration cadence:

  1. On the top bar, select Menu > Groups and find your group.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Issues > Iterations.
  3. Select New iteration cadence.
  4. Complete the fields.
    • Enter the title and description of the iteration cadence.
    • Enter the first iteration start date of the iteration cadence. Iterations will be scheduled to begin on the same day of the week as the day of the week of the start date.
    • From the Duration dropdown list, select how many weeks each iteration should last.
    • From the Upcoming iterations dropdown list, select how many upcoming iterations should be created and maintained by GitLab.
    • Optional. To move incomplete issues to the next iteration, select Roll over issues.
  5. Select Create cadence. The cadence list page opens.

Edit an iteration cadence

Prerequisites:

  • You must have at least the Developer role for a group.

To edit an iteration cadence:

  1. On the top bar, select Menu > Groups and find your group.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Issues > Iterations.
  3. Select Edit iteration cadence.

When you edit the Duration, Upcoming iterations, or First iteration start date fields, only upcoming iterations are affected.

You can edit the first iteration start date of a cadence if the cadence has not started yet.

Editing Upcoming iterations is a non-destructive action. If ten upcoming iterations already exist, changing the number under Upcoming iterations to 2 doesn’t delete the eight existing upcoming iterations.

Delete an iteration cadence

Changed the minimum user role from Developer to Reporter in GitLab 15.0.

Prerequisites:

  • You must have at least the Reporter role for a group.

Deleting an iteration cadence also deletes all iterations within that cadence.

To delete an iteration cadence:

  1. On the top bar, select Menu > Groups and find your group.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Issues > Iterations.
  3. Select the three-dot menu () > Delete cadence for the cadence you want to delete.
  4. Select Delete cadence in the confirmation modal.

Manual iteration cadences

When you enable the iteration cadences feature, all previously created iterations are added to a default iteration cadence. You can continue to add, edit, and remove iterations in this default cadence.

Convert a manual cadence to use automatic scheduling

caution
The upgrade is irreversible. After it’s done, a new manual iteration cadence cannot be created.

Prerequisites:

  • You must have created iterations without cadences before enabling iteration cadences for your group. To upgrade the iteration cadence to use the automation features:
  1. On the top bar, select Menu > Groups and find your group.
  2. On the left sidebar, select Issues > Iterations.
  3. Select the three-dot menu () > Edit cadence for the cadence you want to upgrade.
  4. Complete the required fields Duration and Upcoming iterations.
  5. Select Save changes.

Start dates of converted cadences

The first iteration start date of your converted cadence is set to the start date of its first existing iteration.

If you attempt to set a new start date, the conversion fails with an error message. If your manual cadence is empty, converting it to use automatic scheduling is effectively the same as creating a new automated cadence.

GitLab will start scheduling new iterations on the same day of the week as the start date, starting from the nearest such day from the current date.

During the conversion process GitLab does not delete or modify existing ongoing or closed iterations. If you have iterations with start dates in the future, they are updated to fit your cadence settings.

Converted cadences example

For example, suppose it’s Friday, April 15, and you have three iterations in a manual cadence:

  • Monday, April 4 - Friday, April 8 (closed)
  • Tuesday, April 12 - Friday, April 15 (ongoing)
  • Tuesday, May 3 - Friday, May 6 (upcoming)

On Friday, April 15, you convert the manual cadence to automate scheduling iterations every week, up to two upcoming iterations.

The first iteration is closed, and the second iteration is ongoing, so they aren’t deleted or modified in the conversion process.

To observe the weekly duration, the third iteration is updated so that it:

  • Starts on Monday, April 18 - which is the nearest date that is Monday.
  • Ends on Sunday, April 24.

Finally, to always have two upcoming iterations, an additional iteration is scheduled:

  • Monday, April 4 - Friday, April 8 (closed)
  • Tuesday, April 12 - Friday, April 15 (ongoing)
  • Monday, April 18 - Sunday, April 24 (upcoming)
  • Monday, April 25 - Sunday, May 1 (upcoming)