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Getting Started With Zenhub Sprints

Note: Zenhub's full feature set is unlocked when you connect your GitHub Organization to Zenhub

Understanding Agile Sprints

In Agile methodology, sprints are fixed timeframes—typically two to four weeks—dedicated to completing a set amount of work. Regular sprint cadences help teams focus and deliver immediate value through quick, iterative cycles. Zenhub enhances this process by allowing teams to group issues in sprints and automate their sprint planning, offering tools for better efficiency and collaboration.

Sprint Planning with Zenhub

Creating and Modifying Your Sprint Schedule

To set up your sprint schedule in Zenhub:

  1. Click the green "+" icon at the top right corner of your Workspace.
  2. Choose "Sprints" for initial setup or "Modify recurring sprints" to adjust existing sprints.
  3. Select the start and end dates from the calendar view, which prompts Zenhub to generate a sequence of sprints, typically beginning on Monday and ending on Friday, to match standard workweeks.
  4. After selecting your dates, click the "Create sprints" button in the green box at the lower right of the Sprints menu. Zenhub will then automatically generate eight sprints and add them to your workspace.
  5. With the sprints listed, you can now add specific goals to each sprint, providing clear direction and facilitating progress tracking.

Sprint Automation Options

  • Move Unfinished Issues to a Sprint: If enabled, unfinished issues automatically transfer to the next sprint when the current sprint ends.
  • Build New Sprints from the Backlog: When this option is activated, Zenhub automatically facilitates the creation of your next sprint using issues from your backlog pipeline, once your current sprint concludes. Enabling this feature introduces additional settings to fine-tune your sprint planning:
    • Workflow Configuration: By selecting "configure pipelines" from the dropdown menu, you can define your board's pipelines and designate the pipeline(s) that correspond to each stage of your team's workflow.
    • Add up to First 'X' Story Points: This feature allows you to specify the amount of story points worth of issues you want automatically included from the backlog into the new sprint. For guidance, your team's average velocity is displayed at the bottom of this menu, assisting you in making an informed decision based on past performance.
    • Unestimated Issues: When issues from the backlog are automatically added to the new sprint, those without existing estimates are assigned a default value of 2 Story Points. This ensures a standardized approach to sprint planning, allowing for consistent and predictable sprint progress.
    • Backlog Priority: Zenhub respects the priority order of your backlog, adding issues to the sprint based on their proximity to the top of your pipeline, ensuring that the most pressing tasks are addressed first.

Enhanced Sprint Automation Features

  • Auto Sprint Assignment: When moving issues, Zenhub now automatically assigns the current sprint to an issue if moved into your sprint backlog or onwards. Alternatively, if an issue is moved back to the backlog, the sprint assignment is removed.
  • Sprint Prediction: When placing issues outside the current sprint or into your Product Backlog, sprints will be predicted on the issue card.
  • Sprint Description and Goals: Add a description or sprint goal during Sprint Planning in the 'Modify recurring Sprints' section.

Manually Adding Issues to Your Sprint

To add issues to your sprint in Zenhub:

  1. Bulk Assign Issues on the Board:

    • Click on the avatar icon of any issue on the board to enter the multi-select mode. You can select up to 50 issues.
    • Once you've selected an issue, the bulk edit toolbar will appear at the top of the board.
    • After selecting all the desired issues, click on "Set sprint" in the bulk edit toolbar, choose the sprint, and then click "Done."
  2. Individual Issue Assignments: 

    • Open the a Github or Zenhub issue on the board.
    • Within the issue, click on the cog icon next to "Sprints" located in the right side panel.
    • Select the desired sprint from the dropdown menu.

Filtering by Sprint

In Zenhub, effectively managing and tracking the progress of your sprints can be streamlined by using the "Sprint" filter on your board. Here's how you can utilize this feature:

  1. Navigate to your Zenhub board.
  2. Click on the "Sprint" filter located at the top of the board interface.
  3. Use the search bar at the top of the dropdown menu to quickly find a specific sprint within your workspace.
  4. Choose between the "Open" and "Closed" tabs to view active or completed sprints. Within the "Open" tab, you also have the options to filter by:
    • "Current Sprint" to focus on the issues that are part of the ongoing sprint.
    • "Issues with no sprints" to identify items that haven't been assigned to a sprint yet.
  5. When a specific sprint is selected from either tab, you can clear your selection and view all issues again by clicking the "Clear Filter" option that appears.
  6. To make changes to your sprint configuration, click the "Edit sprints" link at the bottom of the menu. This will take you to the "Modify recurring sprints" menu where you can rename sprints, add sprint goals, or adjust the sprint schedule.

By filtering issues according to their sprint status, teams can maintain a clear overview of their current workload and plan more effectively for upcoming sprints.

Sprint Renaming and Goal Setting

Once sprints have been created in Zenhub, they can be renamed to better reflect their objectives or align with team conventions. To rename a sprint:

  • Navigate to "Modify recurring sprints" within your Workspace.
  • Hover over the sprint you wish to rename until the edit symbol appears.
  • Click on the sprint name to edit it and add a brief sprint goal, providing focus for the upcoming sprint cycle.

Sprint Closure

After a sprint closes in Zenhub, the next sprint becomes active, and a new sprint is scheduled, ensuring continuous workflow.

Turning Sprints Off 

To disable sprints:

  1. Access the Sprints menu.
  2. Click the "Turn off sprints" button in the lower left corner.

Zenhub Reporting and Roadmaps

  • Sprint Report (formerly Burndown report): Provides a visualization of sprint progress, showing completed, open, and incomplete issues.
  • Velocity Report: Displays sprints side-by-side, reflecting each workspace's total value, enhancing long-term planning and visibility. Each sprint in Zenhub is specific to a workspace, allowing for separate sprint cadences. However, for consistency and ease of management, it's recommended that teams align their schedules as closely as possible.
  • Roadmaps: Align your sprints with broader timelines by viewing them in Zenhub's roadmap feature.

Understanding Epics and Sprints 

While Epics are for grouping related issues and planning long-term goals, sprints focus on short-term achievements within a fixed timeframe. Using both gives a comprehensive view of your project, combining broad objectives with detailed iterations.


Q: How does Zenhub automate sprint assignment for issues?
A: Zenhub automatically assigns the current sprint to an issue moved into the sprint backlog or further. Alternatively, if an issue is moved back to the backlog, it removes the sprint assignment.

Q: Can I add descriptions or goals to my sprints?
A: Yes, you can add descriptions or goals to your sprints in the 'Modify recurring Sprints' section during Sprint Planning.

Q: What happens to unfinished issues at the end of a sprint?
A: Unfinished issues at the end of a sprint will only be moved to the next sprint if the "Move unfinished Issues to the next Sprint" toggle option is turned on, ensuring tasks continue seamlessly.

Q: Do I need to manually create new sprints in Zenhub?
A: No, Zenhub continuously creates new sprints automatically based on your chosen schedule. You can modify this schedule as needed.

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