We use Github and / or Bitbucket with Trello and sometimes Jira, all connected via slack.
In this approach, each project gets an internal slack channel. In a normal project with reasonably technical clients, we make a Trello board with a load of lists and give the client access. On the board we create an ‘incoming’ list. This is where we and the client drop in new issues and questions.
We also create a list for each person working on the project like “For Fred”, “For Jill” and “For Tom”.
The team then moves the cards to the relevant list, depending on who is best suited to fix the issue. It’s fine if the client feels like dropping cards to a particular person directly if they want.
We also have a list called “Doing” where cards are placed when the work is in progress, another list “For Testing” and finally another list called “Done”. This works well because the client can see what’s happening and can even chip in and move cards if needs be.
If the issue is trivial, then the team member will just do it, and pass the card to either “For Testing” or “Done.”
If the issue is indeed an issue in the software development sense of the word, the team member creates an issue in either Github or Bitbucket.
This all works like a dream because every action across all of these platforms causes a notification to drop into the relevant slack channel. The Trello slack integration is particularly flexible and allows you to configure exactly what triggers a message to the channel.
It also means that incoming issues get filtered before actual issues get created on the code repository. Slack also provides a great place for private internal discussions around the commits, card moves, issues, etc.
We’ve been running like this for years, and thanks to the mobile version of slack, I can be anywhere on the planet that has an internet connection and I can see exactly what is happening across all of our projects.
Jira only comes in to play when you have less technical clients who just want to send an email to support. You have to pay for the Jira slack integration but it works a treat too.
When using Jira as the client facing help desk, we still run a Trello board internally. It’s dead simple to create a card and drop it into incoming. (Edit: Atlassian bought Trello so this is going to get easier!)
Also, We find that using Trello is a great way to get a beta site polished up before launch. Testers will go through the site with a fine toothed comb and drop cards into “Incoming”. These then get shared out by the team in the normal way. I thinks it’s better than using the issues system on the code repo because a lot of these things are not really issues, more like small tweaks and changes. Trello also makes it simpler to get less technical people working productively on the team. The slack integration handles keeping everyone up to date with exactly what’s happening at all times.
There are a ton of other useful tools that integrate with slack. The good news is that to recreate the system as described above, you can use the free versions of everything except Jira.
Hope that makes sense!