ZH Epic changes

Epics will no longer live inside of pipelines, alongside issues.
I’ve got to say that this a pretty big and disruptive change, both in terms of losing the ability to plan with Epics alongside their issues (which is a core part of our process) and losing the ability to use the easy ‘filter by epic’ button to quickly switch scope of what issues I am focused on.

Honestly this seems like an across the board downgrade - losing ability to view and work with epics alongside issues, losing comments on epics (which I find valuable, especially when turning an issue into an epic or using the epic to capture research and takeaways from the issues within), and sounds like also losing the ability to nest epics in exchange for…a list view and not needing github licenses to see epics? It sounds like Epics were just completely canned and roadmap “Projects” are being recycled as a replacement. Roadmap projects are useful as a way to craft a roadmap that can be shared to stakeholders without github licenses, but what’s the point of doing this to epics as well? I’m confused by the why here and what user needs are being solved for here, and honestly a little frustrated by how this may upend how our team uses the product.
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Also can I not edit my posts here? Wanted to correct the markdown typo at the topic but can’t see an option for it?

I noticed the announcement did not specify when this is rolling out. One of our biggest limitations we are facing with ZenHub is getting stakeholder involvement. Would love to give this a run and see how well this works from a SRUM Master workflow perspective, considering @Sebmono’s concerns. If a SM has to toggle between multiple views to get their work done, it might be problematic, but would love to run this through its paces before coming to a conclusion. :slight_smile:

Totally agreed on the stakeholder involvement front! I loved the additions to the Roadmap (shareable to non-ZH/GH users, descriptions for the project objects, manual re-ordering of items on the roadmap) and would love to see more in that direction (like a better way to visualize sequencing and dependencies of issues and any branching relationships). It’s the cheese moving involved with taking away Epic functionality that I’ve come to rely on and have trained my teams on that hurts :frowning:

@Laura.From.ZenHub in the article it says: “Nested epics - Teams can use projects on the roadmap to create hierarchy, although existing nested relationships will be preserved.”

Does that mean epics can be nested in epics or only gathered in projects? I would really like the ability to nest epics within epics.

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I just had this feature enabled and I also agree that it feels like a step backwards.

  • I can’t sort Epics manually in the sidebar. I always keep my epics in priority order, which helps communicate priority to the team.
  • The sidebar is full of completed epics, some from long ago (+1 year). These are mostly irrelevant to me now, I would prefer the option to see (focus) only what’s in progress and upcoming.
  • Managing the priority and pipelines of tickets is now more difficult. I can’t reorder tickets or move tickets between pipelines in the Epic view. This wasn’t as big of a problem with the old Epic view because it simply opened as a modal above the board, so it was quick to close and get back to the “Filtered by Epic” view to make changes.
  • The columns (sections) are not in the same order in the Epic view as they are on my board, which is frustrating because it’s meant to be a pipeline that tickets move through linearly (for the most part).

Working at a startup things move fast. The stuff I do most often is reorganizing the Backlog, in particular the epics currently in and their related tickets. This used to be simple - I had an “Epics in Progress” column that only included Epics we’re currently working on. I could quickly click “Filter by Epic” to see only the issues in the Epic, then click and drag to change the order and pipeline of all related tickets.

Now I can’t do that… I open the Epic dropdown in the Board view and it has hundreds of Epics, most closed, rather than the 6 that are in Progress. The only way to filter by epics is to keep the currently in progress Epics in my memory (or in a list elsewhere) rather than giving that responsibility to Zenhub (i.e. via the Epics in Progress column). I go to the new Epics view and it’s the same story - the sidebar has hundreds of epics in it, no way to reorder or sort. Plus, once I’m viewing an Epic I can’t easily reorder the backlog or move tickets between different pipelines.

It’s unfortunate because I’ve spent two years iterating and tuning my workflow with Zenhub, and now it’s completely different - many tasks now have a lot more friction. Zenhub is a productivity tool and I feel like that wasn’t taken into account when these sweeping changes were made. People’s daily workflow and productivity relies on this product.

With all due respect to those involved in making this feature, it really seems like an MVP. It should have been better fleshed out before shipping IMO. It feels like this was optimized for communication with stakeholders rather than making the lives of people who live in Zenhub easier. If that was the goal of the Epic view then fine - but we shouldn’t have lost so much functionality that improved daily usage for planning and organizing.

Furthermore, it looks like we currently can’t delete Epics, which means it’s not possible to clean things up (like the Epic search dropdown on the board) by removing the hundreds of completed epics from over the years.

Also, the Epic view is universal across teams. Is there a recommendation for using this across multiple teams and only seeing what is relevant to each team? We use labels for each team (i.e. team/a, team/b) and we have a board per team that uses a filter to show only relevant team tickets on the board. With the previous Epics feature, we were able to see only the relevant epics on the team board by adding the team label to the Epic.

Hey Chris,

Per request, your organization was added to the early access list, which is why you have new Epics before everyone else.

We’ll be continuously updating this over the coming Sprints. Today should bring open/closed filtering for the new list view. Additional filtering and sorting options will be coming soon, don’t worry, we aren’t done!

Keep the feedback coming as it helps us prioritize…

Hey George,

I appreciate being put on the early access list!

I doubt I would feel the same frustration if I knew I was opting in to an early-stage beta of a new feature, especially if there were a way to toggle the functionality on-and-off while in beta.

However, we were informed (via a banner in the board view) that this feature was rolling out by the end of August. Although we may be one of the earlier customers to get it, it doesn’t feel like it’s early access considering we’re now at the end of August and it was about to be rolled out broadly. Hence the expectation that this would be more feature-complete and not have a negative impact on core planning and organizational workflows.

I hope I have not come off as being negative, my intent is to be blunt and constructive.

With that being said, I am hopeful future updates will improve things. Looking forward to the improvements.

Today’s update…

Team just delivered some new stuff. Reload your Zenhub!

  • You’ll find the ability to show/hide completed Epics.
  • You’ll find the list view sorted by “recently updated”.
  • You’ll find “Delete Epic” as an option under the “triple dot” action menu on the Roadmap or inside the Epic itself.

More to come!

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You’ll find the ability to show/hide completed Epics.

Great addition! Definitely helped make the sidebar more manageable. Thanks for the update.

Best,
Chris

@George.from.ZenHub The new Epic view is quite snappy, which is nice, and having the sidebar hide completed items made a big difference. However, during planning I need a way to quickly move tickets between pipelines within an Epic. Having to open the board separately, open the Epic filter dropdown, search for the Epic and select it (repeatedly) is painful, especially when the entire team is watching on a screen share :slight_smile:

IMO a (hopefully) quick win that could add a lot of value is to have a shortcut link from the Epic view to the board view filtered by Epic (ideally opening in a new tab, though this could be accomplished with cmd+click on a Mac).

This way I can go over the Epics in one tab, then click this shortcut to open the board filtered to this Epic to make quick pipeline changes.

Ideally this would sync between tabs, so the changes would be reflected in the Epic view in real time. Alternatively, it would be nice to be able to refresh the Epic view to get the refreshed data, although currently the selected Epic is not serialized into the URL so refreshing the page loses the selected Epic.

A current workaround would simply be to select the Epic above the currently selected one, then select the desired Epic again (which refreshes the data).

board view filtered by Epic (ideally opening in a new tab…

Noted!

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