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What’s New: Introducing Automated Sprint Planning and Predicted Sprints

As 2023 unwinds and we peer into the unknowns of 2024, one thing is sure: we all crave a little predictability. While we can’t foresee the twists and turns of the coming year, there’s one realm where foresight is becoming a reality–well, at least for software development teams.

Today, we’re launching Zenhub’s new Automated and Predicted Sprint capabilities for all our users. Zenhub can now automate sprint planning by creating new sprints based on your team’s velocity. And then takes it a step further to predict when the rest of the issues in your backlog will be done.

Automatically Build Sprints from the Backlog

With this latest update, Zenhub now gives teams the ability to automatically build a sprint based on issues they’ve already prioritized and estimated in their backlog. If teams don’t use estimates, Zenhub will simply count each unestimated issue as 2 points.

Teams can configure which board pipelines they want new sprints to be built from, along with the total number of story points they’d like added. Zenhub will then automatically assign issues (up to the specified number of story points) into the sprint.

For example, you can tell Zenhub to build a sprint from your board’s “Product Backlog” pipeline and add “up to the first 32” story points worth of Issues. The resulting output will be a sprint candidate that contains issues from your Product Backlog, up to (you guessed it) 32 story points worth of work. As always, teams retain full control, so additional issues can be manually added to the sprint afterward where necessary.

Last but not least, Zenhub also gives teams the ability toggle on the option to move unfinished Issues to the next sprint. This helps ensure that any work that wasn’t completed during the current sprint doesn’t get missed and automatically gets carried over into the next sprint.


Predicted Sprints

Have you ever wished you could visualize and plan work several sprints ahead?

Our new predicted sprints feature does just that! When a new issue is added to your Product Backlog pipeline on your board, Zenhub will now automatically predict which of your upcoming sprints it’s most likely to be included in—up to eight sprints ahead. Sprint predictions take into account the story point estimate of issues, along with the team’s current velocity that you’ve configured.

Anticipating future work is crucial for Agile teams, and Zenhub’s predicted sprints serve as a valuable tool in providing teams with a proactive overview of what’s coming next. This enhanced visibility empowers teams with a heightened level of predictability and helps streamline the backlog refinement process.

Auto Sprint Assignment When Moving Issues Between Pipelines

Despite our best efforts, scope creep during a sprint can sometimes be unavoidable. What is avoidable is forgetting to reflect those scope changes within the current sprint.

With this latest release, Zenhub now automatically assigns the “current sprint” to an issue whenever it’s moved into the “Sprint Backlog” or “In Progress “pipelines on your board. For example, if you move an issue from the “Product Backlog” pipeline to the “In Progress” pipeline on your board, Zenhub will now automatically assign that Issue to the current sprint. Gone are the days of having to remember to update sprints and manually add new issues.

Sprint Goals

Sprint goals play a crucial role in ensuring the team is focused on a clear objective over the course of the sprint cycle. With today’s release, teams can add a written “goal” directly to each sprint to ensure that the entire team is aligned around what needs to be delivered. Once added, the visibility of sprint goals extends to several areas within Zenhub, including our new Sprint reports (formerly Burndown charts) as well as our Roadmap.

Final Thoughts

With predictive sprints, automated assignments, and sprint goals, Zenhub makes your sprint planning hands-free, helping your teams spend time on work that increases throughput and velocity, not on meetings that derail productivity. Embracing these capabilities equips software development teams to navigate the complexities of agile methodologies with confidence and bring predictability to the ever-unpredictable world of software development.

Want to learn more about Sprint Planning in Zenhub? Our team would love to show you around. Book a quick chat with us here.

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