Github Projects vs Zenhub

Github has announced new features that make it easier to collaborate on projects.

A whole new GitHub Universe: announcing new tools, forums, and features

Github Issues is my tool of choice for tracking tasks and bugs on bigger development projects, and we rely on notifications in the Slack project channel & Zenhub to overlay a Kanban view and workflow.

So, the rollout of a Kanban-style interface for Issues and PRs caught my eye.

From Github's announcement post

— from Github’s announcement post

I took Projects out for a spin to see if we should be making a switch from Zenhub. My conclusion: no(t yet).

Here are the notes that I shared with the team on the differences between the two.

Installation and pricing
Projects is a free feature of github.com. Zenhub requires a Chrome plugin and costs $5 user/mo for teams bigger than six.

Number of Kanbans
You can have multiple Projects per repo — this could be useful at some point? Zenhub gives you one Kanban.

Flows
Clicking on an Issue in Projects takes you to the Issue page, whereas Zenhub opens it up in a popup. The popup works better if you’re in a role to do a lot of triaging and overseeing of what Issues are in which column.

Adding Issues to the Kanban
There’s no way to create a new Issue from the Projects interface. On the Zenhub Board there’s a button, and the issue you create joins the left-most column, which is usually the Icebox column.

Issues are manually added to Projects, while in Zenhub you sort all Open Issues and PRs.
This difference is huge, and actually a show-stopper for us. It’s another step to add to the workflow but most importantly, I can’t take the risk that some open Issues are not included in the Kanban.

Tell me if I’m missing anything!

Note that my evaluation is in response to how we use Zenhub — and we don’t use Estimates, Burndown Charts or ToDos — so there could be other, and possibly more important, pros and cons.

It’ll be interesting to see what Github has planned in the future for Projects and its other new features. I’m glad they’re working towards more effective collaboration.

And Zenhub seems to be rising to the challenge, from updating their pricing structure to an early integration with Projects. Carry on!

2 thoughts on “Github Projects vs Zenhub”

  1. I would see use for multiple Kanban is you chose to separate different aspects like dev / content op or dev / bugs. Could also be potentially interesting to separate internal / external communication depending on how the access credentials are managed.

    I’m not super keen myself on the popup part of Zenhub board.

    I can’t agree more than having an extra step to add you the board and risk of having issues slip between the cracks is making me uncomfortable. Wondering why they chose to make it that way.

    1. Right, I’m also keen to see Github functionality that allows for a curated view for clients or the public. Maybe the recent re-structuring of Teams is a step in that direction.

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