This is the first post of our series, "ZenHub Boards For...". The ZenHub Board structure is inspired by Kanban, an agile development methodology. This configuration works well for many teams, but of course, one size may not fit all.
Since Boards are fully customizable, we'll provide you some strategies to configure ZenHub Boards for a variety of different workflows. Whether you're a developer or a recruiter, we hope ZenHub's Task Boards help your North Star shine a little brighter.
Your writing team has great ideas, and a streamlined editorial strategy will help those ideas materialize into rock-solid content. Editorial strategy and blog management become collaborative and streamlined with this ZenHub Board configuration. Here, we'll review some best practices around using ZenHub Boards for editorial strategy, and will take a deeper dive into each pipeline (or "swim lane").
Think of the Ideas pipeline as a holding place for your spontaneous brainstorms – a no-judgement zone. The details can come later. Note that we’ve set our Ideas pipeline to the far right of the Board to minimize distraction and keep priorities clear.
Invite whomever you like to submit ideas: the more, the better. The Ideas pipeline need not be fully-fleshed outlines; sometimes as little as a line will do, ready to be explored further when the time is right.
Drag your issues from Ideas to Backlog when you’ve decided they deserve more attention.
At this stage you can draft an outline within the issue. Then, assign a writer. This is the the stage to make a list of requirements the article needs, such as people to interview, statistics to research, or design elements required. Finally, remember to drag-and-drop issues in this pipeline to order by priority.
Tip: In any team, each member holds a unique set of knowledge and experience. Valuable content possibilities are everywhere, but putting ideas to paper (or laptop, as the case may be) can seem insurmountable. Anyone, from a manager to a front-end engineer, might submit a worthy blog idea. Assign a writer to help ghostwrite an article, and watch as your content multiplies.
Time to dive in. In this stage, you’ll want to link your in-progress articles within each issue. Create collaborative Google Docs and let others in your team make comments and suggestions. You’ll be surprised how articles improve with input from different disciplines.
This pipeline is analogous to the "In Progress" pipeline used in software development and a good candidate for WIP (work-in-progress) limits. WIP limits are designed to avoid bottlenecks. Adjust your WIP limits according to the size your editorial team. Each team is different, but we suggest each writer (labeled by Assignee) should focus on a maximum of two pieces at once.
Even the best copywriters need a fresh pair of eyes to squash lingering comma splices or dangling modifiers. Once an article is ready for editing, change the assignee to the designated editor. You should also tag a designer (by @-mentioning them in an Issue comment) if the article requires graphic elements. If you’ve adhered to WIP limits in the Writing pipeline, this pipeline will always contain a small number of articles.
Once done with the review process, the editor can drag each Issue to the Live pipeline. Here, your team can make checklists of where the article will be cross-posted, or a list of tweets/posts to promote the soon-to-be viral article.
“Done” might mean that the article is posted or live; it may mean it’s been submitted to the editors of another publication for review. It may mean that it’s been posted, but is remaining open so your team can analyze engagement or reach, and adjust promotion accordingly. It’s vital to define what “Done” means to your team.
What's your editorial strategy? Tweet us at @ZenHubHQ, and happy writing!