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Change(b)log: Write API and Velocity Chart enhancements

new featureAPIvelocity tracking

Change(b)log: Write API and Velocity Chart enhancements

Welcome to Change(b)log - a roundup of the latest features you're going to love. Want to know more? Visit our full changelog.


In our latest release we're introducing Write API. Learn more about the new endpoints available and some use cases for leveraging the API in your workflow. We’ve also added enhancements to Velocity Charts. Drill down on labels and filter out milestones to get answers to questions such as, “Can we really ship all this work in the next two weeks” or “How many bugs are we fixing each sprint?”

Write API

ZenHub's API is accessible for anyone interested in interacting with ZenHub in a technical manner. From developers looking to build custom programs using ZenHub data or integrate with other software within their development workflow, to new teams looking to migrate from other project management solutions like Trello or JIRA. It’s now possible to automate the flow of data using our write API!

The ZenHub API provides a variety of new endpoints:

  • Move issues between pipelines
  • Add estimates to issues
  • Convert issues to Epics
  • Convert Epics to issues
  • Add or remove issues to Epics

Use cases

From building gadgets to automating workflows and migrating data, here’s a few of our favorite automations that can be created using the write API:

  • Eliminate duplication of data and administrative work through the migration of data from products within your workflow, such as taking your roadmap plan from Aha! and translating that into Epics and Issues automatically in ZenHub. Or, make that move away from Trello and JIRA seamless by transferring not just your data, but the prioritization and placement of your issues throughout the ZenHub board by leveraging the suite of write API endpoints to recreate your workflow.

  • Sprint planning with a distributed or remote team or perhaps looking for a way improve your estimations and plan more accurately? Using the Add estimates to issues endpoint you can now make sprint planning accessible to everyone on your team by building a Planning Poker application that can help automate the addition of estimates to your existing GitHub issues.

  • Have a custom Slack bot that migrates conversations to your GitHub issues? From having your bot find and move issues across pipelines to converting issues to Epics based on conversations happening you can now make your bot more robust!

  • Automate the movement of issues within or across pipelines to manage priority based on meaningful actions being taken on an issue. If an issue is stale, raise its position within a pipeline or transfer it back to the backlog for discussion. Alternatively, if an issue gets tagged with an urgent label, raise its position in your pipeline to signal severity.

  • Integrate products you’re already using such as CircleCI or Travis into your ZenHub workflow by automating the movement of issues between pipelines when a build finishes or a test passes.

View our API documentation here to get started.


Drill-down on how your team is doing over time

Adding labels to the Velocity Chart allows teams to break down historical data one step further. You can now answer estimation questions with more certainty based on labels. This means you know exactly how many story points were closed for a given subset of work, sprint-over-sprint.

Using label tracking, teams will be able to detect trends to improve processes, increase productivity, and stay agile. For example, adding the bug label to your Velocity Report provides answers to questions, such as “How much of our time was spent addressing urgent bugs over the last few sprints?” or “How has our new QA/Code Review process been working to address bugs before releasing?”

Using a multi-repo board? If you have connected repositories together, your Velocity Charts will pull in data from more than one GitHub repo — giving you an even more accurate idea of your speed.

Filter out down-time to make Velocity more accurate

Velocity Charts are meant to provide insights on how much work your team can realistically tackle. During short sprints of work, holidays, spikes to setup projects, or other downtimes, it's important to filter these sprints out of your average velocity to truly reflect the capacity of your team.

You can now filter these milestones from your velocity report to accurately resource plan and ensure continuous improvement is part of your agile workflow.


Other notable new features

Not only have we been hard at work building velocity reporting enhancements and write API - we've also released some smaller features that you may have seen us tweet about. Here's a recap:

  • You can filter by issues with no labels on the Board from the label’s dropdown
  • Expand to full-screen from the board with the new hotkey, F


What do you want to see next? We're all ears! Tweet us @ZenHubHQ or send us your two cents directly.

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