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How Zenhub’s Marketing Team Uses Zenhub

The recent release of Zenhub Issues is an exciting development in our platform. With the ability to work and create issues in Zenhub without GitHub, it’s easier than ever for non-tech teams to collaborate with developers. Given that Zenhub is a platform purpose-built for Agile software development, you may wonder how, say, a marketing team can use it effectively. 

Well, wonder not. While Zenhub is indeed Agile, its goal is to enable teams to focus more on their primary work and not “busywork.” Most teams can get behind this, which is why every team at Zenhub works in Zenhub. 

We know you probably already have a few teams in mind with whom you’d like more cross-collaboration. So, in this blog, we will look at how one of our “non-technical” teams, our marketing team (of which I am a content manager), manages work and collaborates in Zenhub. 

Getting marketing pipelines “just right” 

As a marketer, my first glimpse at a scrum board felt like reading a foreign language ( Icebox, who?!). But I quickly realized that the workflow of a development team isn’t too far off from a marketer. So much so that our marketing team has embraced many familiar dev pipelines: “new issues,” “icebox,” “upcoming,” and “closed” are all commonplace in software development. 

Of course, there were a few tweaks to get it just right – our marketing-specific pipelines include “grab-and-go” (ad-hoc tasks), approvals, the design pipeline, and the ready-for-configuration pipeline. It’s slightly different, but not entirely – the approval pipeline is akin to a QA or “Review” pipeline in software development. And the “design” pipeline (which branches off to its own board) may be comparable to one dev teams working closely with UX designers may have. 

Overall, the simple design of a Kanban board makes visualizing everything the team is up to very clean. I love how we all collaborate on the same Issues as they move down the pipeline instead of creating separate tasks for things like design or approvals. Check out a screenshot of our actual board below. 

The Zenhub Marketing Team Board

Sprints + marketing, an unlikely perfect pair

Sprints are at the core of agile development, enabling software teams to launch regular releases after each sprint. At first glance, sprints may seem like an unusual way for marketers to work, as marketing projects often exist on longer timelines, but it’s a little shift that might make your team more impactful. 

Thinking in sprints has shifted our team’s thinking to be more iterative – considering what tasks can offer immediate vs. long-term impact. For example, what if you implemented a website copy update before the design was ready for publishing? In some cases, this could make sense. And why not? The updated copy itself can render its own benefits like SEO, for example, independent of design. 

While this doesn’t always fit perfectly with everything marketers do, it does get us out of the mindset of “waiting for perfection” to see results. It should be noted, however, that our sprints are much longer than our dev team’s sprints  – we sprint every 4 weeks.

In addition to thinking iteratively, sprints have given us the advantage of understanding our team’s velocity. Knowing how much work our team can realistically complete in a given timeframe makes planning and stakeholder management a breeze. 

The fact that we’re now tracking velocity with Zenhub also enables project end-date predictions to appear on our Epics and roadmaps. I’ve found this critical in quickly identifying projects at risk of missing a deadline.  

Keeping in sync with automations

As the marketing team, we have a lot of our own internal stratification. Luckily, this is where we find some of Zenhub’s cross-collaboration capabilities (Workflow Automation, we’re looking at you!) shine the most. 

For example, our design team has a workspace that links up with the central marketing board. Designers use the same Issues as the rest of the team, but have their own focused pipelines. With Workflow Automation, their work-in-progress pipeline connects with marketing’s main board. This allows designers to focus on priorities while the rest of the team has visibility. 

Another example is our onboarding team. This team comprises reps from across the org (including marketing). Rather than clogging up the workspaces of every team that intersects with onboarding (pretty much everyone), they have one 2-pipeline board. The board is a single home for all the reps to connect, assign, and be assigned work. This also gives each rep the flexibility to add workflow automation to their own teams’ boards when visibility is needed. 

Agile isn’t just for software engineers…

When I was first introduced to Agile tools like Epics, story points, and Issues, I’m not going to lie, my head was spinning. But, when putting it into practice in Zenhub, it’s immediately obvious how Agile can help marketers simplify planning and focus on their top priorities – a sentiment I know is felt across most Agile teams. 

The recent release of Zenhub Issues is a big step in helping more non-technical teams take advantage of these benefits. As a marketing person, my first intro to GitHub was a little daunting, so having the ability to collaborate closely with technical members of my team without using their tools or them having to use mine is a huge win.

If your team hasn’t tried  Zenhub Issues yet, why not ask someone from marketing or another non-technical teammate to join your board? Check out this article for how to add new team members to your board. 

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