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Getting Started with ZenHub

Getting Started with ZenHub

Editor’s note: This blog post was originally published in October 2014 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

So you're ready to stay in the zone with ZenHub, the only project management solution displayed directly in GitHub. Welcome to the ZenHub family! You're probably wondering: How quickly can you start improving your workflow with ZenHub?

To answer your question: very quickly! This will only take a moment.

Staying agile with ZenHub Boards

Instead of tickets or sticky notes, the ZenHub Board is made up of your existing GitHub data: Issues and Pull Requests that exist within the repositories that make up your Workspace.This provides you with a bird's eye view into everything going on with your software projects.

The Board makes workflow visualization simple and accessible in real-time, empowering you to track Issues and projects from an idea, through triage, to planning, development, and further to being released.

Getting Organized

Access your ZenHub Boards via the Board button (or, simply press Z+B on your keyboard).

On your ZenHub Board, you’ll see your GitHub issues depicted as individual cards. Dragging these cards from pipeline to pipeline represents where they sit in your workflow. Updates are pushed instantly to your team.

All your issues first appear in the far-left side the Board, under New Issues. Let’s move them to their proper places!

New Issues: New issues land here automatically. They should be dragged to another pipeline as soon as possible.

Icebox: Low priority or un-prioritized Issues that are not to be worked on immediately

Backlog: Upcoming Issues that are immediate priorities. Issues here should be prioritized top-to-bottom in the pipeline.

In Progress: This pipeline answers the question, “What are you working on right now?”. Ideally, each team member should be working on just one thing at a time.

Review/QA: Issues open to the team for review and testing. Usually this means the code is ready to be deployed pending feedback.

Done: Issues that are tested and ready to be deployed to production.

Closed: When an Issue is closed, it will default land in the 'Closed' pipeline which is the last pipeline on the ZenHub Board. Closed Issues cannot be moved to another pipeline unless re-opened.

When managing a large number of issues (not a bad thing!), take advantage of GitHub Milestones. A Milestone is a collection of all the Issues that your team will do within a sprint ( typically a 2 week period). Milestones are your sprints and sprints are your milestones. For more information check out our quick YouTube tutorial on using Issues, Milestones and Epics

You'll then be able to filter by Milestone (from the dropdown menu at the top of the Board) to see exactly what needs to be done during this timeframe:

filter by milestone

Making it all come together

Issues in your backlog should be arranged by priority, with the most pressing issues at the top. Issues get more detail as they move up in the pipeline.

Pin the highest priority Issues to the top of a Pipeline. During development or backlog refinement, teams often encounter one or more issues that require immediate attention such as a high priority bug. To help teams highlight important Issues and communicate the urgency of work, this ZenHub feature lets you Pin an Issue to the top of a Pipeline:
Issue Priority

During Sprint Planning, move Issues from your Backlog pipeline to your Sprint Backlog pipeline (this pipeline is dedicated for work which will be completed in your next sprint) until the total number of story points in your Sprint Backlog equals your average velocity. Check out our video for more information on sprint planning


Looking for additional resources when getting started with ZenHub?

  1. Join the ZenHub Users Slack Community
  2. Check out our YouTube Channel
  3. View our upcoming and on-demand webinars
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