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Zenhub: Agile Product Management for GitOps

ZenHub integrates features like Backlog Management and Sprints directly into Github.

GitOps – Embedding Work Inside Github

ZenHub is a tool for engineering and product management, with it’s most interesting characteristic being it operates within Github.

ZenHub is natively integrated into GitHub, using Issues and GitHub’s underlying data to keep project progress up-to-date and your software roadmap on track.

Zenhub emphasize the cost of ‘context switching’, where workers have to change between tools to continue their work.  A study by the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that people who multitask see a 40% drop in productivity. When interrupted from a task, it takes 20-30 minutes to refocus.

Zenhub eliminates this need to switch, by embedding the functionality of their application within another, in this case Github, thus augmenting the features that environment provides to your developers.

GitOps Roadmaps – Mapping Agile concepts into GitHub

In their blog How to use GitHub for Project Management, they describe their core approach of mapping agile concepts and working models on to the functionality of their app, such as:

Product And Sprint Backlogs – The team can feed in all the outstanding work and assign tasks to sprints, adding Estimates to issues (by time or complexity), requirements, and attach a Milestone.

Sprints, or “iterations”, are mirrored in GitHub with Milestones. Simply set a start and end date (typically two or four weeks), and add user stories to begin sprinting.

To groom things even further, use the Icebox pipeline to “freeze” stories that aren’t a priority, and the Backlog pipeline to prioritize issues for multiple Milestones. When a team member is ready for a new task, they simply filter the Board by Milestone, then drag issues from the Backlog to In Progress pipelines.

Epics – Epics help teams plan and collaborate on product backlogs; they’re essentially just big user stories. Epics have flexible scope, so you can add, edit, and remove issues as needed. Once you’ve set up an epic, you can track it alongside your other work in ZenHub Boards. Or, filter by epic to track only those issues.

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