Moving assigned issues on project boards

You can use GitHub Actions to automatically move an issue to a specific column on a project board when the issue is assigned.

GitHub Actions is available with GitHub Free, GitHub Pro, GitHub Free for organizations, GitHub Team, GitHub Enterprise Cloud, GitHub Enterprise Server, and GitHub AE. GitHub Actions is not available for private repositories owned by accounts using legacy per-repository plans.

Note: GitHub Actions is currently in beta for GitHub AE.

Warning: Self-hosted runners are currently disabled for GitHub AE. This is because GitHub AE offers guarantees for security boundaries which are incompatible with how self-hosted runners work. However, if you do need to use self-hosted runners with GitHub AE and understand the security implications, you can contact GitHub support for a security exception that will enable self-hosted runners.

If you don't need self-hosted runners, then you can use AE hosted runners to run your workflows. For more information, see "About AE hosted runners."

Introduction

This tutorial demonstrates how to use the alex-page/github-project-automation-plus action to automatically move an issue to a specific column on a project board when the issue is assigned. For example, when an issue is assigned, you can move it into the In Progress column your project board.

In the tutorial, you will first make a workflow file that uses the alex-page/github-project-automation-plus action. Then, you will customize the workflow to suit your needs.

Creating the workflow

  1. Choose a repository where you want to apply this project management workflow. You can use an existing repository that you have write access to, or you can create a new repository. For more information about creating a repository, see "Creating a new repository."

  2. In your repository, choose a project board. You can use an existing project, or you can create a new project. For more information about creating a project, see "Creating a project board."

  3. In your repository, create a file called .github/workflows/YOUR_WORKFLOW.yml, replacing YOUR_WORKFLOW with a name of your choice. This is a workflow file. For more information about creating new files on GitHub, see "Creating new files."

  4. Copy the following YAML contents into your workflow file.

    YAML
    # This workflow uses actions that are not certified by GitHub.
    # They are provided by a third-party and are governed by
    # separate terms of service, privacy policy, and support
    # documentation.
    
    name: Move assigned card
    on:
      issues:
        types:
          - assigned
    jobs:
      move-assigned-card:
        runs-on: ubuntu-latest
        steps:
          - uses: alex-page/github-project-automation-plus@5bcba1c1c091a222584d10913e5c060d32c44044
            with:
              project: Docs Work
              column: In Progress
              repo-token: ${{ secrets.PERSONAL_ACCESS_TOKEN }}
  5. Customize the parameters in your workflow file:

    • Change the value for project to the name of your project board. If you have multiple project boards with the same name, the alex-page/github-project-automation-plus action will act on all projects with the specified name.
    • Change the value for column to the name of the column where you want issues to move when they are assigned.
    • Change the value for repo-token:
      1. Create a personal access token with the repo scope. For more information, see "Creating a personal access token."
      2. Store this personal access token as a secret in your repository. For more information about storing secrets, see "Encrypted secrets."
      3. In your workflow file, replace PERSONAL_ACCESS_TOKEN with the name of your secret.
  6. Commit your workflow file to the default branch of your repository. For more information, see "Creating new files."

Testing the workflow

Whenever an issue in your repository is assigned, the issue will be moved to the specified project board column. If the issue is not already on the project board, it will be added to the project board.

If your repository is user-owned, the alex-page/github-project-automation-plus action will act on all projects in your repository or user account that have the specified project name and column. Likewise, if your repository is organization-owned, the action will act on all projects in your repository or organization that have the specified project name and column.

Test your workflow by assigning an issue in your repository.

  1. Open an issue in your repository. For more information, see "Creating an issue."
  2. Assign the issue. For more information, see "Assigning issues and pull requests to other GitHub users."
  3. To see the workflow run that assigning the issue triggered, view the history of your workflow runs. For more information, see "Viewing workflow run history."
  4. When the workflow completes, the issue that you assigned should be added to the specified project board column.

Next steps

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