Epic changes to Zenhub?

Spoiler: it involves epic list views, sharing with epics stakeholders, and more…

We think epics are pretty, well, epic. And we know you do too - since our inception, users have created over 4 million epics in Zenhub! Now we’re updating the platform to improve the experience for you and your team. Our goal is to make epics automated, shareable, and more streamlined. There’s big updates coming so we wanted to share a little background on why we’re making these changes, what it means for you, and what’s coming next.

A little background

We noticed that users were experiencing challenges around where epics should live on their boards. The most common solution - a dedicated epic pipeline - interrupted the flow of their boards and caused discrepancies in reporting. We also noticed that users were spending a significant amount of time manually updating the epics or forgetting to update them altogether (hey, we’re all human!).

Most importantly, users were restricted in who they could share epic information with, meaning only teammates who also have GitHub licenses had visibility into project and epic progress. This made it difficult to keep stakeholders in the loop and often led to unnecessary status update meetings.

As of today, epics are built on top of Github issues. This has limited the changes we can make and prevented us from addressing the challenges users have encountered. By converting epics to Zenhub entities, we’ll have more control and flexibility in the design and functionality. For you, this means that starting mid-August, there will be more exciting features and a few (good) changes to the way you interact with epics today.

So, what does this mean for you?

In addition to a number of UX improvements, we’ve improved the experience in two major ways:

  1. Users no longer need a GitHub license to create epics and view progress.

    No more paying for extra licenses! Stakeholders and collaborators will be able to see epic dates and description, how much work has been completed, and what’s upcoming. Specifically, users with a Zenhub account only (i.e. no Github account) will be able to create epics, as well as see dates, issue/story point progress, epic issue titles, and issue pipeline status.

  1. Epics can be viewed in a list view

    You asked, we delivered! Users can now view and interact with all epics in a dedicated tab, displayed as a list. This view makes planning upcoming work much more streamlined, and creates a simpler way to view groups of work.

What about your existing epics?

The data in your current and closed epics will all be preserved. The epic will look a little different (which we’ll get into below), but we’ll also attach an archived version of the epic in its original format for your reference.

Here’s what will be different:

  • Viewing your epics - the epics list view will replace epics on the board. Epics will no longer live inside of pipelines, alongside issues.
  • Nested epics - Teams can use projects on the roadmap to create hierarchy, although existing nested relationships will be preserved.
  • Uploads - Images can be copied and pasted using markdown in the epic description.
  • Comments - comments will no longer appear on epic pages, where conversations often get lost. Users can leverage comments directly inside of issues instead.

But wait, there’s more!

These new features are just the start - we’ve got more epic improvements in the “pipeline”! (Yes, that’s a Zenhub board pun. Groan.) Here’s a little sneak preview into what’s upcoming:

  1. Automated progress - epic progress will be automatically updated based on the work that’s been completed, or closed when the work is done.
  2. Improvements to the epic list view - Additional views and filtering to help users narrow down their epics. Also users will be able to create and delete epics directly from this page.
  3. Improvements to the epics themselves - we’re exploring other options for deleting and removing epics, such as archiving, to help with workspace deculttering.

Get in touch

We know that all these new features will streamline your team’s productivity and improve stakeholder visibility. We also know that change isn’t easy. We’re here to help! Our support team is available to answer any questions you have about your workspace, epics, or the meaning of life. Ok, maybe not the meaning of life, but they do give great advice on all things Zenhub and Agile. We’d love to hear from you! You can reach us at support@zenhub.com.