GitHub Projects: A Beginner’s Guide
I primarily use Asana for project management, but I’m always on the lookout for other tools to understand their strengths and weaknesses. One tool I’ve been exploring is GitHub Projects, a free project management tool offered by GitHub. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at what GitHub Projects is and its key features.
What is GitHub Projects?
GitHub Projects is a project management tool that helps you and your team organize tasks, issues, and bugs. It provides a kanban-style board or list view to visualize your work. With GitHub Projects, you can create organizations, projects, repositories, and issues to track and manage your work effectively.
GitHub Projects Overview
Before diving into the details of GitHub Projects, let’s understand its structure:
- Organizations: Projects are created within organizations. Each organization can have multiple projects.
- Projects: Projects can include multiple repositories. A project is not limited to a single repository.
- Repositories: Repositories contain issues, which are the individual tasks or items to be worked on.
GitHub Projects offers several basic features:
- Board and List View: Choose between a visual board or a list view to organize your tasks.
- Multiple Views: Create different views, such as “All” or “Urgent,” to filter tasks based on priority.
- Drag and Drop: Easily reorder tasks by dragging and dropping them.
- Notifications: Receive notifications within GitHub for updates and changes to tasks.
Pros of GitHub Projects
GitHub Projects has several advantages that make it a powerful tool for project management:
- Create Private or Public Projects: You can create both private and public projects within your organization.
- Convert Tasks into Issues: Tasks can be easily converted into issues, allowing for more advanced features like commenting and referencing.
- Integration with GitHub: Once a task is converted into an issue, you can take advantage of GitHub’s referencing system for commits, mentions, and pull requests.
- Custom Fields: Add custom fields to tasks, such as priority, due date, and start date, to enhance task management. This feature is not available in some other project management tools.
- Automated Workflow: Define workflows that automatically move tasks to different stages based on certain actions, such as closing an issue.
- Flexible Permissions: Easily manage permissions for team members and external collaborators, without any user limits.
- Free to Use: GitHub Projects is free to use, making it a cost-effective choice for small teams and organizations.
Cons of GitHub Projects
While GitHub Projects offers many benefits, it also has some limitations:
- Limited Discussion: You can only comment on tasks once they are converted into issues, limiting collaboration and conversation on initial ideas or drafts.
- No Task-to-Task Referencing: It is not possible to reference one task from another task directly. Referencing is only available between issues.
- No Task Import: GitHub Projects does not support importing tasks from other tools like Asana, which can be inconvenient if you’re transitioning from another platform.
- Notification Confusion: GitHub Projects uses the same notification system for pull requests, comments, and issues, which can become confusing when managing multiple projects or repositories.
While Asana has served me well, I have been exploring alternatives, especially for code-related projects. GitHub Projects seems like a suitable choice for small engineering teams working primarily with code on GitHub. However, for larger organizations with multiple teams and diverse needs, it may not be the most optimal solution. Consider your specific requirements and team structure before deciding on a project management tool.