LinearB

Reviewed by Nitish Singh
Updated Dec 13th, ’21

Tekpon Score

9.1

Users Score

7.5

LinearB Review

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LinearB is a SaaS solution that systematically improves the engineering process. It enables engineering leads to improve their product development process by providing the three-pillar solution: business alignment, pipeline observability, and workflow optimization. You access the project delivery tracker and workflow optimization using the WorkerB bot at the core. LinearB also comes with a free plan so that you can try it out before going for its Pro or Enterprise plans. In short, you can use LinearB offers metrics and visibility to identity bottlenecks, minimize idle time and improve time to market.

UI/UX

9.5

Ease of use

8.8

Value for Money

9.0

Features

9.0

Customer Support

9.0
Pricing Details

Starting from: $420/year

Pricing Model: Per Contributor

Yes, has free trial

Yes, has free version

PROs
  • Excellent onboarding process
  • The easy setup process with detailed instructions
  • Excellent dashboard
  • Access to tons of valuable metrics
CONs
  • Not for everyone out there
  • Plagued with few bugs
  • Kanban methodology is not fully supported
Best for
  • Freelancers
  • Small business
  • Medium business
  • Large enterprises
Deployment
  • Cloud, SaaS, Web-Based

LinearB – Project Management for development teams

If you are a software development company or a startup looking to improve its software development process, you need to look at LinearB. LinearB is project management for development teams that want to enhance their development process with systematic engineering improvement. LinearB is a software-as-a-service(SaaS) platform with automation features that works excellent with Git repository.

What is LinearB?

LinearB is a SaaS solution that enables business leaders, developer teams, and CTOs to visualize projects and automate them to improve productivity. LinearB takes a different approach to identify project flaws and improving them. Firstly, you get tons of metrics with LinearB. But, LinearB takes those metrics and provides meaningful answers to solve problems for your development team. In short, LinearB defines itself as a “systematic approach” to “engineering improvements.”  It adds visibility to the whole system, allowing leaders to take control of their projects in the best possible way.

At its core, LinearB utilizes a three-pillar system to achieve the desired result. These pillars include:

  • Business alignment: Using business alignment, you can learn about your team and see where they invest time and effort.
  • Pipeline observability: Next comes pipeline observability. Here, you can learn about your processes and the areas that need improvement.
  • Workflow optimization: Last is workflow optimization offers workflow automation and improves developers’ time and effort

In the end, you can use the pillars to optimize your product development. For example, you can find the project’s idle time and cut it down significantly using the tools. Teams can use LinearB to find the bottlenecks and then remove them to improve delivery time. In return, developers enjoy a better working environment with reduced cognitive load.

WorkerB — LinearB’s automation bot plays a crucial role in automating projects. It works with Slack and Microsoft Teams. Using WorkerB, you can configure performance alerts, put a snooze button on commands and bring it to your communication channel. Teams can also use Project Delivery Tracker to answer their project questions. It comes with multiple boards, different issue types, and configurable reports. Overall, LinearB is a perfect tool for startups, unicorns, and the development team looking to remove bottlenecks and improve time to market.

LinearB Features

LinearB is a Software as a Service(SaaS) solution that provides visibility to engineering leaders. On the other hand, engineering leaders can use visibility to improve developer productivity and deliver software faster. At its core, the features of LinearB are divided into the following categorized:

  • Workflow Optimization
  • Metrics & Visibility
  • Project Delivery Tracker

The three-pillar system includes:

  • Pipeline observability
  • Change automation
  • Business alignment

Apart from these, there are more subtle features that LinearB offers. First, go through the three major categories and then list the more minute features later.

  • Workflow Optimization

LinearB offers extensive workflow optimization. It enables developers to reduce cognitive load and hence save time. For Workflow optimization, they offer WorkerB – an adaptive developer bot that works excellent with Microsoft Teams and Slack. According to LinearB, 80% of the project time is idle time. And, that’s where the WorkerB workflow optimization comes in by improving idle time and cutting it by 60%. In total, teams can expect to save 50 minutes every day! Furthermore, WorkerB tends to work well with team improvement objectives by automating them using the developer productivity tools.

With WorkerB, you can do the following:

  • Configure preferences alert
  • Works with slack channel
  • Offers snooze button on commands

The benefits include:
  • Cut down idle time
  • Learn where your code lies within the pipeline
  • Get started with good information every single day

  • Metrics and Visibility

With LinearB, you get tons of metrics at your disposal. The metrics provide project visibility and make sure that you can visualize your project in the best possible way. The metrics also let you do the following:

  • Fix process bottlenecks
  • Visualize people efforts
  • Improve project quality
  • Monitor the project

The Metrics and Visibility also come with DORA(DevOps Research and Assessment organization) metrics. These metrics are developed by hundreds of DevOps leaders and engineers and offers four key metrics at disposal:

  • Change Failure Rate
  • Mean Lead Time for Changes
  • Deployment Frequency
  • Mean Time to Recovery(MTTR)

In short, you can use the metrics and visibility to communicate effectively and reach your business goals.

  • Project Delivery Tracker

LinearB also offers Project Delivery Tracker, which lets you learn more about your project and answer the right questions. Also, the metrics and visibility work great with the WorkerB developer workflow. The Project Delivery Tracker lets you focus on people’s efforts, learn how to invest your time, and get your deliverables right within the time frame.

With Project Delivery Tracker, you can work on:

  • Multiple boards
  • Different issue types
  • Work across different projects
  • Configure reports as per your requirement

Other key feature of Project Delivery Tracker includes:

  • Self-service configuration
  • Expanded project view
  • Excellent Project Delivery Dashboard for better visibility

With LinearB core functionalities explained, let’s explore their other key features below:

  • Data Retention: Retain data throughout your usage. The data retention period depends on your plan, starting from 45 days for the free plan to six months for the Enterprise plan.
  • Git Integration: All plans come with proper Git Integration. The Enterprise plan offers on-premise integration.
  • Project Integration: Project integration lets you add your projects easily to the dashboard. The Enterprise plan offers on-premise integration.
  • WorkerB for MS Teams and Slack: An automated bot that lets you improve workflow automation in your project. With it, you get WorkerB team bot and WorkerB developer bot. In the WorkerB team bot, you can do bottleneck remediation, project idle time detector, and high-risk work detector. The WorkerB developer bot offers personal pipeline alerts, review time estimation, and pull request suggestions.
  • Deployment Release API: The Enterprise plan comes with deployment release API, which lets you work with LinearB API and do integrations. It offers custom cycle time phases and custom release detection.
  • Dora Metrics: Gain access to DORA metrics, including cycle time, mean time to restore, change failure rate and mean time to restore.
  • Team Pipeline Acceleration: With Team Pipeline Acceleration, you get a code churn detector, bottleneck detector, burnout detector, and work-type investment profile. Using this, you can learn about your team and improve it with different detectors.
  • Pulse Feature Tracker: With Pulse Feature Tracker, you can detect shadow work, understand issue bottleneck and get live Git activity timeline by issue.

  • Customer Support

Lastly, you get customer support. LinearB offers live chat and email support for the Pro and Enterprise plans. The Enterprise and Pro plan also access a dedicated customer success manager and Slack/MS Teams support channel. Only the Enterprise plan comes with customized onboarding and training.

LinearB Pricing

LinearB offers three plans.: Free, Pro, and Enterprise. Let’s discuss the plans below.

  • Free

LinerB pricing model starts with their Free plan. The free plan is free forever — which means that you do not have to buy it if you fall within their requirements. To take advantage of the free tier, you need to have up to 8 contributors to 1 team. If you have more than eight contributors, you can try out their demo or get your free account converted to a full trial.

In the Free Plan, you get the following:
  • Up to 50 connected repos
  • 45 days data retention
  • Up to 8 connected repos
  • One team support
  • Supports Git integration(cloud)
  • Supports Project integration(cloud)
  • Observability metrics
  • WorkerB for MS Teams and Slack
The Free plan advanced features:
Accelerate DORA metrics
  • Deployment frequency
  • Cycle time
  • Change failure rate
  • Meantime to restore
Team Pipeline Acceleration
  • Code churn detector
  • Bottleneck detector
  • Burnout detector
  • Work type investment profile
WorkerB Team Bot
  • High-risk work detector
  • Project idle time detector
  • Bottleneck remediation
WorkerB Developer Bot
  • Pull request suggestion
  • Personal pipeline alerts
  • Review time estimation

However, the Free plan doesn’t include any of the following features:

  • Pulse Feature Tracker
  • Project Delivery Tracker
  • Deployment API
  • Customer Support

  • Pro

The Pro plan is the first paid plan. It starts from $420 per contributor/year. Unlike the Free plan, here you get the ability to add 9 to 19 contributors with five teams. The connected repo number is also increased to 100 from 50, with data retention going up from 45 days to six months for the PRO plan. Right now, LinearB is offering four free contributors with their plan.

To summarize, with the PRO plan, you get the following:

  • Git integration with cloud
  • 100 connected repos
  • 9 to 19 contributors
  • Five teams
  • Observability metrics
  • WorkerB for MSTeams and Slack
  • Project integration with cloud

As for Advanced features, you get everything that the Free plan offers, including access to Accelerate DORA metrics, Team Pipeline Acceleration, WorkerB team Bot, and WorkerB Developer Bot. In addition, you get access to the following features in the PRO plan.

Pulse Feature Tracker
  • Issue bottleneck detector
  • Live Git activity with issue timeline
  • Shadow work detector
Customer Support
  • Email support and live chat
  • Slack/MS Teams support channel
  • The dedicated customer success manager

  • Enterprise

Enterprise pricing starts at $549 per contributor/year with no limitations on teams, contributors, and connected repos. The data retention sees an increment for six months from PRO to 3 years. As for features, you get every feature that the Pro plan offers. Additionally, you get the following features:

Project delivery tracker
  • Planning accuracy meter
  • Project-level bottleneck detector
  • Epic progress visualization that works on multi-board
  • Effort dashboard and people allocation
Deployment release API
  • Custom cycle time phases
  • Custom release detection

As for customer support, you get additional customized onboarding and training.

LinearB Alternatives

LinearB is an excellent project management solution. It aims to engineer leaders to improve developers’ productivity and improve their growth trajectory in any circumstances. However, LinearB is not for everyone. LinearB themselves acknowledge that their solution is unique and hence not ideal for every company out there. That’s why you need to look for LinearB alternatives which offer similar features and a different take on improvement projects and developers’ productivity.

Before we check the alternatives, it is good to reiterate what Linearb offers. It is a SaaS solution that offers a systematic engineering approach. It offers business alignment, pipeline observability, and workflow optimization using various methods and tools.

So, what are your options? Let’s go through them below.

  • GitLab

GitLab is an open-source source control platform. It is a great alternative to LinearB as it lets you manage your projects in a streamlined way. However, do not expect high-level metrics or a clean dashboard to provide you insight into your project with GitLab. If you have a small team working on development projects and want a free-to-use solution, then GitLab is a good choice.

  • Waydev

If you are looking for a worthy alternative to LinearB, you can check out Waydev. It lets you manage your project holistic while offering engineering performance reports to engineering leaders. Moreover, it provides useful metric collection and acts as a single record system. It measures costs per feature and resources allocation to understand the project well. As for teams, it manages to capture teams and individual performance. Waydev also comes with custom reporting and API integrations. Apart from that, Waydev offers both on-premise and cloud solutions. The other key features offered by Waydeve include:

  • SOC 3 certified
  • Access to industry benchmarks
  • Availability to DORA metrics
  • Calendar integration

  • Pluralsight Flow

 Pluralsight Flow(previously GitPrime) lets teams work together with the help of profound insights. With Flow, you can improve your engineering workflow and faster release products to the market. Flow aggregates the historical git data and transforms the data into reports and insights to provide teams with the necessary data. Engineering teams can utilize the insights to work efficiently. With Flow, teams can identify bottlenecks. The visibility also lets the team compare trends. The other things that you can do with Flow include:

  • Include time spent refactoring code
  • Learn about project bottlenecks
  • Get data before you make risky decisions
  • Understand if the code reviews are productive or positive
  • Manage pull requests at scale
  • Offers collaborate effort improvement

LinearB Review Conclusions

LinearB improves developers’ productivity by providing them with the tools, metrics, and methods, resulting in faster delivery times with less idle time and better output. It is crafted for engineering leaders who can control the pace of their projects with access to the right information. LinearB is a Software-as-a-Service(SaaS) solution with an on-premise deployment option for Git and Project Integration. Its ability to provide visibility and understand delivery risk and process bottlenecks enable developers to reduce cognitive load and save time.

As a business, startup, or unicorn, you can emphasize what LinearB offers. However, they also make clear that it is not for everyone. But, if you require a systematic approach to development, then LinearB is a great pick. With plenty of features and a free plan, you can see if it fits your organization and then go for any of its paid plans.