Is Zenhub the best project management platform for your software development team? Keep reading to find out, as we will discuss its features, pricing, and pros and cons to help you make the right PM software decision for your needs.
What Is Zenhub?
Zenhub is a project management solution for software development teams that use GitHub. Through its wide range of features that help developers focus and accelerate their work speed, Zenhub claims it has been able to boost team productivity by 75 percent. Here are some stats taken from the software’s home page that display just how powerful this project management solution can be:
- 93 percent of Zenhub users say the software helps their team prioritize tasks so they can focus on what needs to be done.
- 92 percent say Zenhub reduces the time needs to update project progress, giving them more time to code.
- 97 percent of Zenhub users say the PM software assures them that project progress is accurate and up-to-date.
- By using Zenhub, users claim they have an extra 2.5 hours per week to work on essential tasks like coding.
- Once Zenhub was installed, many devs said they dramatically decreased their time spent outside of GitHub.
Zenhub was launched in 2014 by a software development team that sought to do the following:
- Stay productive and focused.
- Keep a project’s status up-to-date.
- Make critical business decisions based on timely and accurate data.
Instead of taking software teams out of GitHub, Zenhub brought project management to it so they could enjoy the best of both worlds. By injecting the Zenhub UI into GitHub via a browser extension, Zenhub’s creators found that teams could be much more productive while reducing context switching and increasing project status accuracy. Context switching has the potential to be one of the biggest threats to developer productivity. Whenever something like a third-party project management tool drags a developer away from their code, that distraction can be costly. With Zenhub, project management and code come together, making context switching nearly nonexistent.
Once project management was brought closer to the code, Zenhub added extra bells and whistles to boost dev team productivity even more, such as customized workspaces, organizational structures like Epics, robust reporting, Kanban boards, and more.
You can learn more about the role of Kanban boards in our tutorial: Kanban for Project Managers and Developers.
Who Should Use Zenhub?
As mentioned, Zenhub was created for teams that use GitHub. More specifically, it was created for teams both big and small that use the Agile methodology. Whether a software developer, project manager, product owner, data scientist, etc., Zenhub has many features that can help you collaborate with other team members to quickly release high-quality products.
What Zenhub’s Features?
How can Zenhub boost your team’s productivity and give them more time to code? By putting the following features at your fingertips.
If you want complete transparency during development, Zenhub’s Kanban boards will give you just that. Use them to track projects, prioritize tasks, attach pull requests to corresponding issues, filter by labels, etc. And for enhanced planning and tracking, group various issues into a single epic. With drag-and-drop functionality, using these boards is a breeze, as is getting real-time insights into where your team may be struggling.
One of Zenhub’s biggest pros is the flexibility it provides through its customized workspaces. Teams can design their unique workflows without interrupting others.
Thanks to Zenhub sprints, you can automate your team’s sprint planning process to decrease the time spent in meetings. This set it and forget it feature lets you create a schedule where your next three sprints will always be planned automatically. If there are any incomplete issues, they will be spotted automatically and moved to the next sprint. With burndown and velocity charts, you can track individual and multiple sprints. And if you want your sprints to become more predictable, you can use Zenhub’s Planning Poker feature.
Zenhub’s primary integration is with GitHub. Use the Zenhub Chrome or Firefox extension, and you will see its tab at the top of the GitHub UI between Pull Requests and Projects. Use the dedicated web app, and you can get all of your essential GitHub data pulled into Zenhub’s interface. In short, Zenhub transforms GitHub into a potent platform for Agile project management.
Zenhub also integrates with Slack to boost team collaboration. If your team integrates Zenhub with Slack, everyone can stay updated on critical GitHub happenings in real-time on any device.
One way Zenhub gives devs more time to code is through its workflow automation feature. You can automate everyday tasks to stay focused on what is important. Once GitHub issues are updated and completed, this feature will automatically sync your project. Instead of doing it manually, let Zenhub remove status check-ins, tedious tasks, bottlenecks, etc. Automate hand-offs, and you can avoid timing bottlenecks and delays. Automate as much as possible via Zenhub, and you can also eliminate excessive meetings that take time away from coding.
Zenhub’s Workflow Automation automatically syncs your project as GitHub issues are updated and completed. Remove bottlenecks, tedious tasks, and excessive status check-ins.
By combining GitHub with Zenhub, dev teams can get highly-accurate insights into what is going on in their workflows. There is no need to rely on third-party tools to see where a project stands, as Zenhub will do it for you using live GitHub data. Use Zenhub’s robust reporting features, and you can pinpoint workflow bottlenecks that can often hide in plain sight. Zenhub offers Kanban reporting, cumulative flow diagrams, release reports, control point charts, burndown charts, velocity tracking, and more.
How Much Does Zenhub Cost?
Regarding pricing, Zenhub keeps it rather simple. You have three options to choose from, with the first being the Free plan that is geared toward individuals or academic or open-source teams that are getting their feet wet. The Free plan offers complete access to all of Zenhub’s features and functions, which is excellent news if you want to use the software and have a minimal budget.
The Growth plan costs $10 per user per month and is ideal for teams seeking advanced collaboration features and support. Like the Free plan, Growth gives you access to all of Zenhub’s features and functionalities. But, since you are paying more, you get the bonus of unlimited private repositories.
The final Zenhub pricing plan is the Enterprise. You will need to contact Zenhub’s sales team to discover its cost. It offers everything the Growth plan has, plus the option to host it on-premise or in the cloud. You also get priority support via a dedicated customer success manager.
Zenhub Pros And Cons
Is Zenhub the perfect project management software? No, but you will be hard-pressed to find such a flawless solution anywhere. Luckily, Zenhub’s pros outweigh the cons.
Zenhub offers the following pros to software development teams:
- Flexibility – No two teams work the same, and Zenhub kept this in mind when creating its software that offers customized workspaces. Teams can create individual boards that represent their unique workflow without feeling restricted to something that does not fit their needs, styles, or tasks. Beyond customizable workspaces, Zenhub offers added flexibility through its web app and browser extension, giving you two convenient ways to use the software. And you can also deploy the software on-premise or in the cloud.
- Save time – By significantly reducing context switching and fusing project management with GitHub, your dev team can save a ton of time and invest more effort and focus into coding versus unnecessary tasks.
- A fully-loaded Free plan – Teams with limited budgets or individuals looking to get their feet wet without investment can do so with Zenhub’s Free plan that offers all of the software’s features and functionalities.
- Works seamlessly with GitHub – Some devs claim that Zenhub flows so well with GitHub that they forget the two are different products.
Below you will find some of Zenhub’s cons:
- Sluggishness – Depending on the size of your boards, you could sometimes experience some sluggish performance.
- Support could be lacking – Unless you have an Enterprise plan, you could feel frustrated by the slow support from the Zenhub team.