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Migrate From Jira to Zenhub: A Step-By-Step Guide

So you’re switching over from Jira to Zenhub – excellent choice! We know it can be challenging moving data over to new tools, so we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves you can steal to move data over to Zenhub with minimal manual effort.

Before we begin, you should note that the easiest way to move over to Zenhub is to leverage Zenhub’s native integration with GitHub. This means you’ll need to go ahead and set up a GitHub username, download the Zenhub browser extension, and open at least one GitHub repository before getting started. If you don’t have a username, join Github here. If you don’t have a repository, see how to create one here.

Because Zenhub is so closely integrated with GitHub, moving issues over to GitHub automatically makes them available for use on Zenhub boards. If you’re not using GitHub’s JIRA integration, you’ll have to export your data. This article will cover how to export Jira issues to CSV and import issues to GitHub for use in Zenhub.

How to export Jira issues to CSV to migrate from Jira to Zenhub

  1. First, select which issues you want to export in Jira by searching for all relevant issues using the “Search Issues” filter.
  2. Then, navigate to the top right-hand corner and click “Export.”
  3. Then, select the “Export to Excel CSV” button.

How to bulk import issues into GitHub

Now that you have your CSV file filled with issues, it’s time to import them into GitHub. Here’s how:

  1. If you don’t have it downloaded, download and install Node.js.
  2. You will need to download GitHub CSV Tools, a tool for converting Issues into GitHub Issues. You can do that by placing the following code in your command-line utility: npm install -g github-csv-tools
  3. Create a token by going to “Settings” → “Personal access tokens” here, and then click “Generate new token.” From there, check the boxes next to “Repo” to allow your repositories to be edited.  Once it’s created, keep your token ready for later use.
  4. Copy the filepath for your CSV, and then in the command line, enter: githubCsvTools (—Your File Name Here—).csv
  5. Depending on the version of JIRA that you are using, you may have to edit the CSV to match the fields required by githubCsvTools. The required fields are: Title, Description, and Tags.
  6. If you are importing anything beyond a small project, you may be rate limited. You may need to break the CSV down and run the import in batches. Start small, with 20 issues at a time, and build up until you hit a limit.
  7. Enter your GitHub token and the organization that hosts your repository, and finally, your desired repository.

That’s it! If all issues were successfully uploaded, you should see a message similar to this: Created X# of issues and had 0 failures.

For more information about importing Jira issues into Github, see here.

Getting started with GitHub issues in Zenhub

Now that you’re all set up in GitHub, you should know a few things. First of all, if you haven’t yet at this point, you will need to download the Zenhub browser extension for GitHub.

Once you’re set up with a Zenhub account and have issues populated in GitHub, they will be automatically sorted into relevant pipelines within your workspace.

Right now, Issues will be sorted according to these triggers:

  • Issues with no recent activity will be moved to “Icebox”
  • Issues with connected pull requests will be moved to “In Progress”
  • Issues in the current Milestone will be moved to “Sprint Backlog”
  • Issues updated in the last 30 – 90 days are moved to “Product Backlog”

From here, you can choose to move issues across your Kanban board and workspaces as they move down your team’s pipeline, edit the pipeline names, and create workflow automations to save yourself time in the future.

To learn more about getting started with your Zenhub account, check out our onboarding articles here, and don’t forget to sign up for a free onboarding session with our success team who can assist you with your board configuration.


Q: Jira Server is being turned down. Does Zenhub offer on-premise project management options?

Yes, Zenhub is proud to offer both cloud and on-premise options, which are SOC 2 Type II certified. Zenhub’s project management platform is a great alternative to Jira for security-conscious companies that need software to be managed on-premise. Zenhub’s on-premise offering runs on your own private infrastructure, providing full control over security and maintenance. We also provide custom on-premise installation to help your team get set up. If your company is impacted by Jira Server’s end of life, get in touch with our sales team for more information on switching to Zenhub on-premise.

Q: I can’t access my Jira account. Is there any easy way for me to move issues over?

If your issues are already duplicated in GitHub, either manually or through a Jira automation, you will be able to populate your Zenhub board with these issues automatically. However, the content of the issues will reflect whatever is in GitHub, so if items have been updated in Jira and not in GitHub, those updates will not be reflected in Zenhub.

Q: Is there a way for me to move over epics or sprints into Zenhub?

You cannot move sprints and epics from Jira over to Zenhub. However, you can move issues and the content within them from Jira via CSV into GitHub, which automatically populates them into Zenhub and takes care of most of the heavy lifting.

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