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GitLab: Can “All Remote” Scale?

Published 12 Aug 2020
Reference 6579
Region Global
Summary

This case explores the organizational practices of GitLab, an “all remote” company with more than 1,000 employees located in 59 countries. GitLab solves the challenges of employees working in an online-only environment by relying extensively on asynchronous modes of coordination. The case presents a set of prototypical situations to show how this is achieved: the onboarding of a new member, internal modes of dividing and integrating tasks, and modes of internal and external communication. With plans to go public in the year that COVID-19 is spreading around the world, Gitlab has attracted the attention of several investors. But can the core ingredients of its thriving “all remote” organizational design withstand the pressures of a sudden expansion of the workforce and stronger market scrutiny and competition? And what can organizations in other sectors learn from its approach?

Teaching objectives

1. Understand differences in modes of working remotely and explore solutions for managing remote work in an asynchronous way. 2. Increase familiarity with the Git process (the basis of the majority of software development initiatives that take place remotely). 3. Improve students’ ability to disentangle elements of novelty in organizational design.

Keywords
  • Remote Work
  • Organizational Design
  • Future of Work
  • New Forms of Organizing
  • All Remote
  • Software Development
  • Git Process
  • COVID-19
  • Q32020