Manage GitHub Issues milestones in Trello

In doing product management on an engineering-led project, GitHub Issues rock. The killer features are that it’s a) really simple, b) tightly integrated with code (you can reference/close issues via commit messages), and c) facilitates discussion of issues just like it does of code.

What GitHub Issues suck at is being able to get a high-level view, where you can see more than 30 issues at a time, and broken out by milestone or by person. (You can only filter to see issues for one milestone or one person, but not easily move multiple issues between them.)

I’d really like to see a Trello-style interface for managing GitHub Issues. Some very limited integrations exist, but what I’m looking for would let you quickly move issues around between milestones. This would help plan a product roadmap and be able to visualize what the upcoming milestones look like in one place.

The closest thing I’ve seen is Huboard (GitHub, site, blog post), but it doesn’t do milestones currently [edit: now it does!].

[Edit again: Waffle.io also looks like it would do a good job of this]

Zapier has some existing hooks for both GitHub Issues and Trello, but they seem to all be around creation, rather than a 2 way sync of moving around and editing. It’s possible that some improvements to the Zapier Apps would make the integration possible.

I’m thinking it would make a cool side project to use the Trello API and GitHub API to do this. Basically:

  • Look for all GH issues from a repo with specific labels (whether that be “trello”, “feature”, etc.) – but on big projects you likely don’t want to see every little bug in Trello.
  • To “link” a Trello card to a GH Issue to allow 2-way sync, you could just use the GH Issue # in the card name, like “Add Twitter integration (#187)”, unless Trello support saving some custom source key field.
  • If new cards are created in Trello, their titles should get updated with the GH Issue #, once saved.
  • If new issues are created in GitHub, have them show up in the Trello board in the list corresponding to the milestone or else “No Milestone”.
  • Moving a card from one list to another should change the GH issue milestone, and vice versa.
  • Creating a new list in the board would create a new milestone. Same renaming strategy for milestones as we have for cards/issues.
  • 2-way sync is always tricky and open to conflicts,  but we should be able to just take whichever action had a later updated date.
Anyone have a better idea? Or something I’m missing?

For completeness, there are two other semi-related projects. Hubboard (GitHub, site) seems inactive and also has the same limitation as Huboard. Also 280 North has a very nice looking GitHub Issues viewer (site, GitHub, blog post) but it looks to be completely abandoned and no longer working.

 

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6 Comments »

  1. Jess Martin said,

    January 9, 2013 @ 11:05 pm

    It looks like Huboard just got a major update that now includes milestones. Not exactly what you are talking about, but it might give you enough.

    Jess

  2. Torsten Feld said,

    January 11, 2013 @ 3:23 am

    Hi Phil,

    I like the idea and I’m searching for such a solution for some time now. I added you on twitter (@feldstudie) and I would be glad, if you could update me, if you find something you described.

    Best regards,
    Torsten

  3. Alex said,

    January 11, 2013 @ 10:36 am

    I would kill (and/or) pay for this.
    Have you found any other services? Huboard is great but is more of a replacement for Trello, which I’d rather not do right now.
    I can confirm that 280 North’s viewer is out for the count.

  4. Dario said,

    February 20, 2013 @ 4:25 pm

    Phil, I’ve been looking for the same kind of lightweight github issuetrello card 2-way syncing, any interesting update since January?

    It shouldn’t be hard to crowdfund some development if this is a popular community request.

  5. Phil Freo said,

    February 21, 2013 @ 1:30 am

    Huboard has actually added this feature — check it out

    https://github.com/rauhryan/huboard/issues/94

  6. Dale Zak said,

    October 11, 2013 @ 9:50 am

    Although it doesn’t do two way sync, there are a couple of ways to push GitHub commits into Trello.

    GitHub Service Hooks to create Trello Cards for commits and pull requests
    http://www.mirosvrtan.me/blog/2012/10/github-and-trello-integration/

    Manage Trello Cards through Github commit messages
    https://github.com/zanker/github-trello

    We were previously using GitHub Issues but now switched entirely to Trello because its easy for the rest of the team (aka non-developers) to work with.

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