GitHub claims it is “the platform developers love,” as it comes with a ton of tools to accelerate development speed. GitHub Issues is one of those primary tools that helps developers plan and manage projects. Is GitHub Issues the right project management software for you? We will help you answer that question by discussing its benefits, disadvantages, and pricing.
What is GitHub Issues Project Management Software?
GitHub Issues is project management software built for developers that is used by some of the biggest names around, including NASA, Shopify, and Ford. It was created to solve the specific need for developers to have a way to plan their work, collaborate and discuss the products they build, and track issues. The tool offers unique issue tracking since it focuses on elegant formatting, simplicity, and references, and it can be found in each repository.
Benefits of GitHub Issues Project Management Tool
How does GitHub Issues help developers and project managers of software development teams plan their projects and promote productivity? Through these features and benefits that highlight the project management tool’s top offerings:
- Kanban-style project boards help you track progress to see what has not been started, what is being worked on, and what is complete.
- If you are tired of using boards similar to those found in other project management software, GitHub Issues also has project tables that act as a live workspace. Tables can be organized to your liking by sorting, filtering, and grouping issues and pull requests. Saved views and custom fields allow for more detailed customization.
- Custom fields help you extend issues and track metadata (dates, iterations, links, notes, story points). These fields can be easily added to project tables and edited as needed using the issue sidebar.
- Templates and issue forms reduce tedious, manual setup tasks and let you jump into critical work quicker.
- GitHub Issues increases productivity with keyboard shortcuts and commands for virtually every action, such as group, assign, sort, and filter, so your hands stay on the keyboard, and your mind stays focused.
- Custom workflows help you manage recurring tasks automatically. GitHub Issues gives you the power to automatically schedule things, react to changes, assess issues as they appear, and more.
- Project managers can create and save views (boards, tables, timelines) that fit your unique needs for teams, sprints, backlogs, and releases.
- If you have a complex issue, you can simplify it to make it more digestible and easier to accomplish with task lists in GitHub Issues. Break the complex issue down into several actionable tasks, and it becomes less daunting.
- Tasks can be converted into their own issues when necessary. Progress indicators make tracking task status a cinch and provide instant insight into what still needs to be done.
- GitHub Flavored Markdown helps team members collaborate and express ideas. You can mention specific team members to accelerate collaboration and get faster replies, add file attachments, use emojis for quick reactions, and view references from pull requests, releases, commits, etc.
- Regarding file attachments, you can even upload videos to comments for increased clarity. For example, if you were developing a video game and wanted to share proposed changes with team members, you could upload a clip of those changes within the comments without resorting to a separate app like email, Slack, etc.
- Assigning contributors and teams or adding them to milestones is seamless and simplifies coordination for project managers.
- Project insights help managers track the progress of custom fields, milestones, and current iteration cycles.
- You will no longer need to wonder what is holding your team back, as burnup charts pinpoint issues and bottlenecks that are stifling your team’s progress.
- GitHub Issues flexibility in terms of accessibility. You can use the project management software for developers in your browser, terminal, or on your iPad or phone.
Looking for other project management software that features Kanban tools? We have a list of the Best Kanban Tools for Developers to help you get started.
Disadvantages of GitHub Issues Project Management Tool
GitHub Issues has plenty of features that can offer your development team productivity-boosting benefits, but what about its downsides? Does GitHub Issues have glaring disadvantages that knock it down a few notches compared to other project management solutions? The answer is yes, but there are not too many cons to using GitHub Issues besides these:
- Some project managers and developers have complained that the GitHub Issues Free plan is too basic in terms of features, which may be a problem if you are on a limited budget.
- GitHub’s price can get quite costly as your team increases in size, especially if you want to enjoy its most advanced features.
- Navigating GitHub could be more intuitive or user-friendly for beginners, as there are competing project management platforms with less of a learning curve. It gets easier with practice, but anyone looking for PM software that they can jump into may feel dissatisfied.
- The search function may not always produce the results you are looking for.
- Launching projects can lead to long loading times, which can result in frustration or delays in your workflow.
- Features like merging pull requests can be challenging and should be easier to execute.
- GitHub’s mobile version could use improvement.
As you can see, the main disadvantages of GitHub Issues are that it takes some time to learn, has sluggish performance, and can get costly. While your mileage may vary, keep those cons in mind as you look for PM software that fits your development team’s needs, as you may want something more user-friendly out of the box with peppier performance.
GitHub Issues Pricing: How Much Does GitHub Issues Cost?
GitHub urges users to “Get the complete developer platform” on its pricing page, and it gives you three options to do so. Each option includes GitHub Issues to collaborate, manage your software projects, prioritize work, track bugs, etc., but since GitHub is the “complete developer platform,” you also get many more features that can help with your entire software development process from A-Z.
GitHub’s Free plan was created for individuals and organizations looking to enjoy the software’s most basic features. It gives you GitHub Issues in limited beta that offers flexible features for developers looking to manage projects alongside their code. Beyond Issues, the Free plan gives you 500MB of Packages storage, 15GB of Codespaces storage, 120 core-hours of Codespaces compute per month, 2,000 CI/CD minutes per month, unlimited public/private repositories, automatic security and version updates, and community support.
The Team plan is GitHub’s most popular offering geared toward individuals and organizations seeking advanced collaboration. It costs $4 per user, per month and gives you everything in the Free plan, plus 2GB of Packages storage, 3,000 CI/CD minutes per month, access to GitHub Codespaces, protected branches, multiple reviewers in pull requests, draft pull requests, code owners, required reviewers, and web-based support.
The Enterprise plan offers advanced compliance, security, and flexible deployment. It costs $21 per user, per month and gives you everything from the Team plan, plus 50GB of Packages storage, 50,000 CI/CD minutes per month, SAML single sign-on, advanced auditing, GitHub Connect, environment protection rules, user provisioning through SCIM, enterprise managed users, and an enterprise account to centrally manage various organizations.
Those are the highlighted features you get via each GitHub plan that display its status as a “complete developer platform,” but what about collaboration? In that department, each plan gives you GitHub Issues, unlimited collaborators for public and private repositories, project tables and boards, milestones, team discussions, pages and wikis, multiple issue assignees, and organization/team management.
GitHub Issues Alternatives
Still not convinced GitHub Issues is the right project management tool for your software development team? We have a list of the Best Project Management Software and Tools for Developers to help you find the perfect PM solution.