Read on to discover how ZenHub works—what problems it can help you solve and who uses it, along with a tour of its features, pricing and integrations. It’s everything you need to know to get up and running quickly.
Looking for a ZenHub review? Check out the ZenHub review in the Digital Project Manager’s Best Kanban Tools review.
What is ZenHub?
ZenHub is the leading project management platform built for software development teams using GitHub. Tightly integrated within GitHub, ZenHub lets users easily move issues through pipelines on a Kanban board, organize complex projects into Epics, and customize workflows to meet individual team’s needs with Workspaces. You can also track progress, identify and eliminate bottlenecks, and improve velocity with detailed reporting.
What ZenHub Is For: Agile Project Management In GitHub
ZenHub was founded in 2014 to solve a challenge our own software development team faced: How to keep the team productive and focused while ensuring a project’s status was up-to-date so key business decisions could be made based on accurate and timely data.
Rather than force software teams to context switch away from the productive work they do inside GitHub, we decided to bring project management into Github, close to the code.
Using a browser extension to inject the ZenHub user interface (UI) directly into GitHub resulted in less context switching, accurate project statuses, and more productive teams.
This shift to bring project management closer to the code evolved over time as we added robust reporting, customized Workspaces, and organizational structures currently missing from GitHub like Epics.
Who is ZenHub For? Agile Software Teams Using GitHub
ZenHub is purpose-built for Agile software teams using GitHub.
Our customers range from large global enterprises building next generation software to durable goods manufacturers undergoing the digital transformation of becoming a software-driven company. ZenHub serves a diverse group of users in these organizations as well. Our users include:
- software developers
- data scientists
- engineering leaders
- technical program managers
- project managers
- product owners
Each user benefits from the added transparency ZenHub brings to their work around the tasks needed to produce quality software.
Problems ZenHub Solves: Context Switching
Here’s something every developer knows:
Context switching is a productivity thief.
It can be one of the biggest drains on developer productivity, and anything that drags them away from the code is a costly distraction. Updating third-party project management tools are a distraction from the work that really matters, shipping better software faster.
To solve this real and pressing challenge, ZenHub built its product to work right inside of the GitHub UI.
The ZenHub browser extension injects a new tab into GitHub, adding all the project management features teams need to manage projects without context switching. The experience is so seamless that developers often mistake our product for being a part of GitHub itself.
The end result is less time managing projects and more time being productive. In fact, a recent survey of ZenHub users found that the time they spend outside of GitHub dramatically decreased after installing ZenHub.
Problems ZenHub Solves: Build Better Software
Continuous improvement is the driving force behind modern software development. Every team needs to improve the quality of software while shipping faster with each iteration.
Projects are more complex than ever, new feature requests more numerous, and the speed at which you deliver customer value shortened.
However, with the increased complexity and quickening pace of software projects comes the difficult challenge of trying to diagnose workflow bottlenecks. Often times these bottlenecks are hidden in the workflow and hard to diagnose.
Built into GitHub and relying on its underlying real time data lets ZenHub uncover these sticking points. Our robust reporting suite offers reporting features like:
- Burndown Charts
- Release Reports
- Velocity Tracking
- Kanban reporting
- Control Point Charts
- Cumulative Flow Diagrams
If there is a bottleneck in your workflow, regardless of your methodology, we’ll find it. The end result is the ability to continuously improve team productivity, backed by real world insights.
Problem ZenHub Solves: No Two Teams Work The Same Way
Every team has their individual preferences and knows what works best for them to be most productive. Yet, many project management platforms are overly prescriptive in applying Agile concepts to a team’s workflow.
Unlike many tools, ZenHub is highly flexible.
This allows each team to craft its own individual workflow across multiple GitHub Repositories even when working from the same set of underlying Issues. Using customized Workspaces to create individual boards to reflect their own workflow, each team gets a customized view into work being done.
Every software team works differently, even when working on the same set of GitHub issues.
With the flexibility of ZenHub Workspaces, these teams work more collaboratively without losing the benefits of their unique workflows. Now every team can work in a way that fits their specific needs, tasks and styles.
For example, individual developers can set up a workspace that matches their workflow. Product Owners can set up a board to track feature releases against the annual roadmap. And the executive team can track software project progress against quarterly goals. While the underlying GitHub Issues are the same, each stakeholder gets their own individualized and highly relevant view into the work being done.
What’s On The ZenHub Roadmap?
Since ZenHub was launched in 2014, the product has continued to evolve. Just this year alone ZenHub has rolled out several new features including a robust Reporting Suite and fully customizable Workspaces. The product roadmap for the coming year has some exciting updates as well, including:
1. Product Roadmapping
Just as we brought project management closer to the code, we are now doing the same with Product Roadmapping. Slated to be released later this year, this feature will help with software project planning. A roadmap enables start and end dates for Epics, allowing teams to organize work in a gantt-style timeline view.
2. Issue priority
Not all Issues are of equal priority. During development or sprint planning, we often encounter one or more issues which require immediate attention from our team such as a high priority bug. This newly shipped feature lets you Pin an Issue to the top of a Pipeline to mark it as high priority. Best of all this can all be done without having to rely on Github Labels.
3. Sprint Planning View
In an upcoming feature release we will be adding a dedicated view for planning sprints. It will allow you to review current and past sprint progress, plan for upcoming sprints, and understand how shifts in team velocity might impact future planning.
ZenHub Features Overview
To get an idea of how ZenHub works, here’s a tour of the main features and how they can help you reduce context switching, continually improve, and stay more productive.
Browser Extension and Web App
ZenHub gives you two easy ways to manage your projects. You can either install an easy to use browser extension that adds the ZenHub tab to the GitHub UI or work inside of our dedicated web app. Both leverage GitHub data and pull in all your GitHub Issues.
Task boards keep priorities clear and allow you to define your Workspace, track projects, filter by labels, assign Issues, and get visibility on priorities. Task boards use your existing GitHub data to provide complete transparency in your development process. Define a Workspace, drag and drop Issues between pipelines, identify blockers, and prioritize what matters most.
Caption: Define your Workspace, track projects, filter by labels, assign Issues, and get visibility on priorities.
Workspaces gives software teams the flexibility to design their individual workflows without affecting the workflow of other collaborators across the business. Build and define your own Workspace based on what makes the most sense for your team.
Using GitHub with ZenHub offers a uniquely data-driven view into your software development process. Rather than relying on third-party tools that only show you when the project status was last updated, ZenHub is tied to code development inside GitHub to give you the most accurate view of what is really going on in your workflow.
Some of the biggest bottlenecks can hide in plain sight across your workflow. ZenHub uses live GitHub data, so the information is always accurate and actionable. Get Release Reports, Velocity Tracking, Burndown Charts, Cumulative Flow Diagrams, and Control Point Charts.
Deploy Your Way, On-Premise or Cloud
ZenHub is available in a Cloud version as well as an On-Premise Enterprise version. Sign up for the Cloud version directly on ZenHub.com. It offers the full ZenHub features set and is well suited for teams of any size. ZenHub also offers an On-Premise Enterprise version for use with GitHub Enterprise Server. Both versions share all of the same features.
The founding principle behind ZenHub is its tight integration with GitHub. We built the tool to keep our own engineers from having to context switch by leaving GitHub to update projects. To make this a reality we’ve closely integrated with GitHub. Most developers choose to use our browser extension, available for both Chrome and Firefox, that adds a ZenHub tab between Pull Requests and Projects along the top of the GitHub user interface (UI). Our dedicated web application leverages the GitHub API to pull all the necessary data into the ZenHub interface.
This tight integration allows us to leverage the real time data around Issues, Milestones, Pull Requests, and more. With ZenHub, GitHub becomes a powerful Agile project management platform.
We also offer an integration with Slack. We believe that software development is a team sport. ZenHub’s Slack integration notifies the team in real time about important project updates, on any device. By integrating ZenHub with Slack, your team will stay in the loop about key GitHub activity.
ZenHub offers pricing for every size team. Whether you’re a small team getting started, or an organization looking to scale, ZenHub has a plan to fit your team’s needs.
ZenHub comes in two versions:
1. Cloud-hosted Growth plan
Our Cloud-hosted Growth plan includes a free 14-day trial, unlimited private repositories, and full access to all of ZenHub’s features and functionality. No credit card is required to get started. This plan is $50 per user, per year when billed annually. You can sign up for a free trial of our Cloud-hosted Growth plan at zenhub.com/signup.
2. Enterprise Plan that is available as either On-Premise or Cloud-hosted.
Our Enterprise plan offers a 30-day trial, unlimited private repositories, full access to all of ZenHub’s features and functionality, priority support, invoice billing, early access to our beta program, and a dedicated customer success manager for your account. This Enterprise plan is geared towards organizations looking to scale and costs $149 per user, per year when billed annually.
Also, personal, academic, and open source projects tied to public repositories are always free.
Try Out The ZenHub Trial (Free!)
We built ZenHub to solve our own challenges in building better software, faster:
- Our engineers wanted to stay close to the code and not have to context switch to a third party tool just to update a project’s status.
- Our team leads, project managers, and product owners needed to have the data required to drive continual improvement through iterative Agile practices.
- Business stakeholders who weren’t involved with a project day-to-day needed to have visibility into the critical software projects that were responsible for our success.
ZenHub meets all of these diverse needs and serves as a central hub for the entire team.
If you want to see what Agile project management inside GitHub looks like, try our free 14-day trial to check out all of the features with your team. We’re always happy to provide a walkthrough for your team as well.
We appreciate any and all feedback from developers, project managers, program managers, and product owners. So please share your thoughts with our team.
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