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A look back on 2023: Zenhub’s year-end review

2023 was a big year for technology–from countless breakthroughs in AI and machine learning to advancements in AR and VR, to sustainable computing–the world feels like a different place than it did just 12 months ago. 

Zenhub is no exception. We’ve never seen Zenhub evolve (for the better!) quite like it has in the past few months. Looking back at 2023, our product is more purpose-built, and our vision of increasing agility without the overhead is clearer and more tangible than ever before. 

So, let’s take a look back at how we got here.

Beyond GitHub: Evolving Zenhub into a platform

If you’ve worked at any tech-centric company, you’ve likely encountered the occasional “divide” between technical and non-tech teams. We were hearing about this challenge a LOT from our users. Knowing that innovation doesn’t happen in silos, we decided to do something about it. 

Enter Zenhub Issues–a way to create Issues and work in Zenhub without a GitHub account.

Removing the reliance on GitHub seems simple, but wow, it enables a lot of visibility for non-technical team members. What makes it so powerful is how it enables developers to keep their non-technical team members in the loop with everything happening in GitHub without ever leaving GitHub. It’s a win-win for everyone in the organization. 

filter issues by Author in the Zenhub board

 

The rise of AI: Supercharging agile experiences with AI

Most people in the tech world are calling 2023 the “year of AI” (everyone else is calling it the year of Taylor Swift). At Zenhub, this meant embracing this new tech with open arms and rethinking what it means to do agile. 

AI Labels

Our guiding principle around building AI into our product was that we didn’t just want to do AI for AI’s sake. We wanted to focus on how it could really improve Zenhub’s user experience for the better. So, we started somewhere we knew teams struggled a lot with: labels. 

We’ve heard from many project managers that labels get messy fast–from duplicate labels to poor tagging–data hygiene is difficult to maintain and tedious to fix. This made it the perfect first task for AI to take the wheel.

AI-Sprint Reviews, Automated Sprints, and Predicted Sprints

Sprints are central to agile success, but they do come at the cost of time spent sprint planning–well, not anymore. With Automated Sprints, sprints are automatically created from prioritized and estimated issues in the backlog. Zenhub helps you commit to the perfect number of story points by allowing you to set a maximum per sprint. 

Want to see in which sprint other issues that don’t fit the current sprint will end up? Zenhub now predicts this the moment you create an issue based on your team’s velocity and the issue’s story point value. 

Predicted Sprints
Predicted Sprints

The best part is when your sprint is finished, you can look back at your success in all its glory with AI-Sprint Reviews, an AI-generated snapshot of what happened the previous sprint.

AI Acceptance Criteria

It’s no secret generative AI is having a moment in 2023. For Zenhub, the obvious application for this tech was Acceptance Criteria (AC)–a critical part of getting the details of a product or feature’s creation “just right.” 

Zenhub’s AI Acceptance Criteria is trained on the Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) AC format, one of the most common AC formats popular for its thoroughness. While thoroughness is great, doing it manually is tiresome, which is why this is such a fabulous use of AI in Zenhub.

Now, to generate AC in Zenhub, all you need to do is write a user story and give a bit of context into what the feature will be used for, and BAM! You’ve got an in-depth set of Acceptance Criteria that will help keep your developers focused on building exactly what users need. 

AI Acceptance Criteria

Psst–there are more AI experiences to come! Sign up for our AI Waitlist to be notified when new AI features are launched. 

Lighting the path: Zenhub’s enhanced insights and recommendations 

Shedding some light on how teams are performing and how they can improve has been one of our big goals for 2023. We made huge progress in enabling this type of visibility through our GitHub Insights and Sprint Insights and Recommendations features.

GitHub Insights report

Software teams spend a lot of time in GitHub, but for some reason, a team’s performance metrics have never been easily available there. To make things tougher, since most orgs are private, getting reliable engineering benchmarks is close to impossible. But this year, we solved all of these challenges (seriously!) with our GitHub Insights reports. 

Zenhub’s GitHub Insights report surfaces all the key engineering metrics like lead time,PR merge ratio, code review time, and more straight from GitHub. This enables unparalleled visibility into a team’s performance straight from the source–GitHub.

To further provide context into how a team is doing, Zenhub also calculates a team’s percentile score based on the top 100 best-performing public repositories.

Sprint Insights and Recommendations

In the spirit of providing more visibility across our product, we introduced something called “Insights and Recommendations” into our Sprint Reports tab. Insights and Recommendations (I&Rs) empower teams with actionable, custom-tailored insights to help you determine how to improve your sprint results and keep sprints on track. I&Rs also help you quickly identify if a sprint is on track or not at your team’s current pace. 

Starting the day off right: Zenhub’s Daily Feed for prioritization and team alignment

This year, for the first time ever, a feature has replaced “Boards” for the top spot on the Zenhub navigation bar. That feature? The Daily Feed. 

The Daily Feed in Zenhub is like your daily run-down of the most pressing items you are currently working on, what you’ve just completed, and what you’re blocked on. It’s the perfect way to get a head start on your day’s priorities without filtering through board items. Better yet, you can also check and see where your team is blocked, reducing the need for stand-ups.

Supporting on-premise users: Zenhub 4.0 and 4.1 

Zenhub’s releases this year were some of the most game-changing we’ve built. But that doesn’t stop at our cloud solution. We’re continuously committed to upgrading our on-premise solutions, and this year, that cutting-edge tech was made available in the releases of Zenhub Enterprise 4.0 and 4.1.

We understand that, especially in the age of AI, security is a critical concern for many organizations and that on-prem hosting is a key part of their security strategy. With many vendors moving away from supporting on-premise hosting, we’ve been staunch advocates for our on-prem users, working hard to keep them up-to-date with the latest tech. Learn more here.

Final thoughts

Zenhub is truly the best that it’s ever been. And we couldn’t have done it without your feedback and support. So, what’s next?

We’ve already got plenty of new features and updates brewing for 2024, from integrations with your favorite tools to new Agile AI experiences you just won’t want to miss (be sure to sign up for our AI Waitlist!), and we’re so excited to reveal them to you in the coming months.

More importantly than us spilling the beans on what’s upcoming, we want to hear what you want to see on our roadmap. We only build the features that solve the problems you care about, so let us know what those challenges are in Zenhub’s product portal so we can make 2024 even better.  

 

Happy New Year! 

-The Zenhub Team

 

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