At ZenHub, we’re striving to build the best project management tool for developers in the market. Project management typically involves a lot of manual updating and click-y actions, but what developers want is to spend more time coding and less time manually updating issue statuses. This is difficult when other stakeholders need to rely on accurate, up-to-date information for road mapping, planning, and grooming the backlog.
Our Development and Product teams identified that we could help streamline these processes for developers, project managers, and owners by improving how ZenHub handles linking pull requests.
Now, ZenHub gives you the ability to link multiple Issues to a single PR. Not only that – we've automated PR/Issue connections using GitHub keywords. To top it off, we’re also now showing pull request and reviewer statuses on the board so the information you need is available at a glance. And that's all without having to leave GitHub.
Less clicks means less opportunity for errors
It shouldn't come as a surprise that at ZenHub, we use ZenHub. We're always thinking of ways to make our lives, as well as ZenHub users' lives, easier. Within our internal development team, we took a step back and asked ourselves what manual processes existed in our workflow that were unnecessary. What we noticed was that every time we created a new PR, we added the 'closes' keyword in our PR description. However, to enable our Issue to move through the board with our PR, we had to manually link it.
This was an unnecessary step that we often forgot, leading to our QA or PM having to manually ask us for a status update. Automatic PR linking means you never have to worry about manual status updates or the Issue and PR being in different pipelines, reducing confusion and making everyone's lives easier.
This has given our team the ability to focus on our code knowing our stakeholders can see exactly where the Issue is. We know other teams who struggle with these challenges will find this valuable, as well.
One-to-many connections for added flexibility
In an ideal world, one Issue equals one PR. However, in software development, we know things don’t always go to plan. It’s not uncommon for a patch to fix multiple Issues (🎉) or for a bug fix to require changes across multiple repositories(😭).
To account for these situations, our team reworked our PR/Issue connection to handle one-to-many connections, so your team can get the benefits of PR/Issue connections for many use cases you may encounter in a given sprint.
Important data, at a glance
A feature we felt needed some extra love was how we displayed pull requests on the board. Previously, we had treated pull requests like any other issue. However, they actually contained much more useful information – especially for developers and QAs.
To make PR cards on the board more useful, we added PR and reviewer statuses, so you can see important information without having to open the issue.
We replaced the user avatar with a PR status icon (draft, open, closed, or merged) and added reviewer statuses, so you can see the information that applies to you at a glance. As a QA, I can easily see if a PR has been approved and is ready for testing. As a product owner, I can see if changes have been requested and know that the issue might not be completed by the end of the sprint. As a developer, I can see if a fellow developer’s PR is still in a draft state or if it’s ready for review. All this is now possible without leaving the board.
Watch our on-demand webinar with ZenHub's George Champlin-Scharff, VP of Customer Success, and Aaron Franks, Senior Frontend Engineer, for a comprehensive overview of these automation features.Watch now
We've already seen great improvements in how our team works with these small, developer-focused changes. As always, we’re excited to bring you new features and improvements and we will continue listening to your feedback through our public product roadmap.
And don't forget, we're on Slack! You can now stay up-to-date on what's new and share learnings, tips, and tricks with the ZenHub community. Click here to join.