What is ZenTao?

2018-10-17 15:10:00
Renee Teng

ZenTao is an open source tool. It integrates product management, project management, test management, document management, organization management, and todo management. It is a project management software which covers the core process of software development projects.

The design philosophy of ZenTao is based on Scrum, the most popular agile project management method worldwide. Scrum is pragmatic, and it specifies the core management frame, but its details require the Scrum team to define itself. ZenTao integrates many requirements from development team, including bug management, test case management, release management, document management, etc. It is not only a Scrum tool but also an application lifecycle management. Based on Scrum, but not limited to scrum.

The most distinguishing characteristic of ZenTao is that it separates the concepts of product, project and test. In ZenTao, the three coordinate and restrict each other through story, task, and bug, and ultimately deliver the qualified products through the project.

ZenTao Flow

The three key roles in ZenTao are product manager, project manager, development team and QA team. If Agile is adopted by your team, these roles can correspond to roles in Scrum as Product Owner, Scrum Mmaster and team (developers and testers). They cooperate and coordinate with each other by developing a product.

  • Product Owners create products;
  • Product Owners create stories;
  • Scrum Masters create projects;
  • Scrum Masters identify the stories for projects;
  • Scrum Masters do task breakdown( aka WBS) and "assign" tasks to team members in ZenTao;
  • QA teams run test cases and report bugs.

The workflow in ZenTao is shown as below.

Relation of PO, Dev, and QA in ZenTao

In ZenTao, there are three key roles, Product Owners, Development teams and QA teams. The three roles cooperate with each other through stories, representing the Tripartite in project management. Product Owners gather stories; Development teams perform tasks, and QA teams guarantee qualities. Their relations are shown as in the diagram below,

ZenTao Achievements

Since the first release of ZenTao 0.01 Alpha which was very basic on July 30, 2009, ZenTao team has committed over 11,900 times, finished over 2,700 features, and released over 100 versions, while they keep it open source. ZenTao team has been providing this professional project management tool to over hundreds of thousands of companies/teams worldwide.

From the data collected by Alibaba in 2017 China Developer Survey, 37.3% of the respondents claim they use a self-developed tool, due to the special types of some jobs and business of that company. 21% of them claim they use ZenTao as the project management and collaboration tool. ZenTao is favored by more and more Chinese developers for its open source and professionalism.

Also in 2017 ZenTao(35%) and Jira(25%) were ranked the top 2 Most Often Used Test Management Tools according to the report from 51testing.com, the most popular software testing portal in China.

According to this report, ZenTao users keeps increasing since it was firsted included in this report in 2015.

Besides, ZenTao has been selected as one of Projects of the Week for multiple times on SourceForge .
Write a Comment
Comment will be posted once reviewed.

Why choose ZenTao


Serving 30,000+ teams

Serving 200,000+ projects

Serving 800,000+ developers

The #1 in local market share

Free & Open

Open source and unlimited to commercial

Powerful extension mechanism and various plug-ins

Available on Github

Either Self-Host or Cloud Apps


Refined ALM support

Zero downtime upgrades 

Integrate Git and SVN (pro)

Word and Excel import & export (pro)

Preview-Edit-Diff document online(ent)

Integrate OPS-Attendance-Feedback(ent)


ZenTao team has involved in open source since 2004

Frequent releases and free upgrade forever(even self-hosted) 

Instant and powerful support for 20000+ companies


Out of the box, Less config

Nice price for small team($9.9)

Design to adhere Scrum Best practice

For Agile but not restrict to Agile


Applicable for different sized teams

Applicable for Agile/Waterfall

Modules can be used in any combination

Convenient customization