Zen in product management

Zen in product management

Hello everybody!

Contact GlowByte Soft. In a series of articles, we want to talk about different approaches to managing products, projects and services in terms of the practical implementation of frameworks. We will use it as a tool ZenTao – A professional tool for project management, development and testing.

How fast install ZenTao Max on Windows or Astra Linux, told in our previous articles. Install and try!

You can read more about the system itself and what IT and business processes can be implemented in ZenTao here: ZENTAO is more than just an ITSM platform.

This will serve as the basis on which we will build an understanding of more complex and specialized practices, which we plan to talk about in the following articles.

The basic concept of ZenTao: roles, processes, quality control, etc.

So let’s go!

Before we start building the product, let’s understand the ZenTao concept.

The concept of ZenTao

Levels of management and implementation

ZenTao is based on “Program” – A set of coordinated projects linked at the highest level. In it, the stakeholder formulates strategic directions, allocates resources at the macro level and supports the hierarchical principle of management.

Managers can build a strategy using a multi-level structure: “Program” -> “Product” or “Program” -> “Subroutine” -> “Project”. As shown in the diagram below, “Program” is at the top level, under which one or more “Programs”, “Products” and “Projects” can be managed.

“Program”, “Subroutine”, “Product” and “Project” in ZenTao can be isolated from each other through access control.

Key objects

In ZenTao, the concepts of product, project and test are clearly defined: the product team, the development team and the test team work together, testing each other, configuring and using the frameworks of the respective practices. Teams interact with each other using basic objects: stories, cases, tasks and bugs.

Work process

In ZenTao 15 workflows are already configured: “Program”, “Product”, “Project”, “Plan”, “Release”, “Story”, “Feedback”, “Request”, “Case”, “Bug”, “Task”, “Build” “, “Sprint”, “Library of cases”, “Test set”.

Teams can create and customize workflows based on practice, functional modules, and project type in the module “Processes“.


ZenTao Max has 5 frameworks to simplify customization and adaptation to the needs of a specific project.

  • scrum (Scrum),

  • Cascade (Waterfall),

  • Kanban (Kanban),

  • Agile+ (Agile+): Scrum + Kanban,

  • Cascade+ (Waterfall+): Cascade + Scrum + Kanban.

The user selects the framework in the module Project -> Create a project

Scrum framework at ZenTao

Scrum team

Product Owner
Scrum master
Development team

ZenTao for the Product Owner in Scrum

The role of the product owner (“Product”, or PO – Product owner) is key in controlling the realization of the maximum value of the product created by the team. Its main artifact is a product initiative. For its successful implementation, the task of the product owner is divided into two main directions:

  • organization and maintenance of the list of product functions – backlog;

  • work in close cooperation with the development team.

ZenTao Framework for Product Owner

The main tool for the product owner in ZenTao is the module of the same nameProduct“. All the functions that the product owner uses at work are centralized in it – from the development of the product structure to the analysis of feedback based on the results of the release.

Interface dashboard for the product owner


Let’s start with the top level of a standard IT product (and not only) – development and implementation planning.

In order to implement “Road map” (or Roadmap) in the ZenTao system, the product owner uses the submodule “Plan”. Here, a list of all key stages is compiled, subsidiary plans are created, planned implementation dates and others are determined.

Product -> Plan -> Create Plan

On the basis of such a “Product Plan” a “Roadmap” is formed in the system by default. It visually shows the entire product life cycle, illustrating assembly, plans and deadlines.

Product -> Roadmap

Product backlog management

In classic Scrum, the concept of “User story” is known to everyone – a brief description of functionality on behalf of the user.

In the ZenTao system, the product owner uses the submodule “Storey“. Here, a list of functional requirements with descriptions is drawn up, priorities are assigned, control is carried out, etc.

Product-> Plan -> Select the desired one -> Create a page


Product -> Stories -> Create Stories

Product backlog management includes:

  • description of product backlog elements;

  • determining the priority of these elements;

  • optimization of the quality of work of the scrum team;

  • ensuring transparency and understanding for all team members.

Any member of the scrum team can create “Stories” for the product. The owner of the item will receive the “Store” for consideration, and only if he approves it will it eventually be included in the backlog.

When creating a “Story”, it is important to specify the priority and category according to the stage of the product life cycle and deadlines.

Product->Stories->Create Story->Priority

The Product Owner can customize and edit Stories, manage reviews and link Cases using the sidebar by selecting the desired Story from the list.

In the management of complex products, you can use the submodule “Epic – for grouping several “Stories” of the backlog.

Interaction with the team

Effective communication among all scrum team members is the key to a successful release. The Product Owner acts as a liaison between the team and the users and is responsible for articulating the product vision for the stakeholder so that the latter can visualize the expectations through the product roadmap.

RV work with the team is conducted in the following configurations:

  • in tracking the progress of backlog tasks in each sprint;

  • in participation in scrum meetings, including planning, review and retrospective of the sprint;

  • in adapting the team to obstacles in the product development process.

Backlog progress tracking

Control and visualization of the degree of impact of changes in requirements.


The whole history of changes


Participation in Scrum meetings

According to the Scrum approach, the product team and the development team hold regular “sprint planning meetings”. During meetings, the product owner explains to the team members the requirements that need to be implemented in the current sprint and ensures a consistent understanding of these requirements by all participants in the process.

All scheduled meetings can be viewed in the personal “Calendar” without leaving the system.

Home-> Calendar

Product release

Once the product plan is implemented and tested, it must be finally accepted by the Product Owner, after which the product/new version is released.

Product -> Release -> Create Release

Feedback management

After the release, the product owner can collect feedback from customers, users, marketing departments or customer support.

Feedback can be turned into stories or bugs, and priorities are set and linked to the next development sprint.

Contact -> Reviews

To be continued… In the next article, my colleagues and I plan to talk in more detail about the frameworks and functional use of ZenTao for scrum masters and development teams. We also talk about this and more in our Telegram community created by GlowByte. Be sure to join and ask questions. Let’s get to know Zen together!

Related posts