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How we’re showing our customers some love in 2023

It’s been a few years since the Harvard Business Review declared that the era of “Move Fast and Break Things” was over. As a small and nimble team focused on helping companies work as efficiently as possible, we have been working hard to reduce what we break while moving fast.

Around the same time HBR made this declaration, we booted up a Customer Success team here at Zenhub. We got to work starting to get to know our users at some of the oldest, largest established companies and some of the smallest, newest startups in stealth mode. Every day, our Customer Success Managers (CSMs) talk with people that are changing the world. We work with teams to guide them through process changes, help them get the most out of Zenhub, and learn what outcomes they are trying to achieve. Our CSMs are not just there to be the voice of Zenhub to the customer, but also to be the voice of the customer to the rest of the team here.

So far, so good, right?

Well, like many small, fast-moving companies, we’ve also relied on data as we’ve scaled to help us make sure we’re building the things that enable good work and not breaking (or getting rid of) them. But even really great data can’t always tell the whole story. Good thing we have a Customer Success Team, right?

Well, there’s a balance you need to achieve between listening to the data and listening to your users. Sometimes we’ve gotten that balance wrong. We always try to learn when we miss the mark and always try to change for the better. We’ve made a few changes recently that I thought we should share.


The TLDR (too long, didn’t read!) rundown:

💚  We brought back some fan favorites

  • Support for GitHub milestones is back!
  • Multi-pipeline views (or “grid views”) are being slowly rolled out on Zenhub boards. Instead of a list of issues, you can view them in a grid format.

🔥  Zenhub is faster than ever

  • We’re continuously improving our backend to make the Zenhub platform faster and more reliable than ever.

☎️  Talk with us

  • Reach out through our idea submission process and early access program, and talk with an expert to let us know what you want to see in Zenhub!

Bringing back old favs

You never really know how much you love something until it’s gone – that’s a lesson we’ve all learned. For us, it was with GitHub milestones. 

Users used to tell us that managing Sprints with GitHub Milestones was painful. They had to manually create a Milestone each and every Sprint. They had to manually assign each and every Issue to a Milestone. To make matters worse, GitHub Issues could be assigned to one and only one GitHub Milestone, so if they didn’t get everything done within a Sprint, GitHub made it seem like they had completed everything they had planned. Teams then over-committed and under-delivered!

So, we set out to make things better. We looked at the outcomes people were trying to achieve and created Automated Sprints. Feedback from early adopters was great! People loved that their Sprints were automatically created on a regular schedule! They loved that we used their Velocity to automatically add Issues to a Sprint plan. If they didn’t get everything done at the end of a Sprint we could optionally carry things over for them all while keeping a record of what was planned vs. achieved. Teams were delivering what they said they would and were speeding up!

As the rest of our user base started adopting Automated Sprints, we watched GitHub Milestone usage start to drop. Usage dropped so much so that when we were building out a newer, faster board, we decided to drop support for GitHub Milestones altogether. 

Yeah, we got that call wrong. 

People we hadn’t talked with told us they were using GitHub Milestones for more than Sprints. Others had irregular cadences. Some used them to track monthly deliverables or longer-term initiatives. We learned these things not from data but from listening to our users. We got that balance wrong.

So, we’ve brought back GitHub Milestones support to Zenhub. Automated Sprints remain the best-in-class way to manage your Sprints, but for anything else you might want to do, Milestone support is here to stay.

Building on current favs

As we worked on Milestone support, we also took the opportunity to bring back another “classic” Zenhub feature: multi-column pipeline support, or as some of you have called it – the grid view. With this option, you can expand a pipeline to see dozens and dozens of cards on the screen at once. This makes backlog refinement so much faster when you have a big screen! Head to your board settings to flip the switch between the “wide cards” (which allow you to have in-pipeline list views) or the new “multi-column pipeline” option to get that grid view back that you’ve been craving! If you’ve never used it, check it out! It’s a much better way to prioritize your backlog. We’ll be rolling this out to our users over the coming weeks, so reload those tabs each morning!

So, what changed?

Reading through this, you might ask what prompted some of these changes. Why now?

In the second half of last year, we made an organizational change. I took over supporting not just the Customer Success Team, but also our Product Team. Having one person supporting both efforts is helping us hear the voice of the customer clearer than ever. We’re still getting going in our new world, but I’m super excited for you to see what we’ll be doing this year!

We want to hear more from you! 

Our customer success team has helped us learn a lot from our users. As a result, we’ve innovated on what was working best for our users, brought back some old favorites, and built some entirely new features we are confident users will love. 

Of course, there’s always more to learn, and we want to continue to work closely with users to bring more great ideas into Zenhub. But we need to hear from you to make that happen. 

One way to tell us what you want is to submit ideas to our product board. You can also ask to join our early access program to get early access to the newest Zenhub features and help us shape the product. You can request this anytime you contact our CS team or your account manager. 

The fastest way to get a hold of our team is to use the “Get help from an Expert” feature built into Zenhub. This will connect directly with a member of our Customer Success Team, who will help us get to know you, your team, and what you want or need from Zenhub today. Talk with our CSMs and help us get to know you and what you’d like to see! You can schedule a chat here or email our team here. 

There are many things I love about our team here at Zenhub. We aren’t a gigantic faceless corporate entity that sees you as a number on a balance sheet. We are a small team that will listen to what you have to tell us and do our best to help you achieve what you set out to achieve. 

This year, more than any other, is the year of the customer for us. 

Hope this helps,


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