Our Score: 86/100
OpenProject is an open source project management software that has the ability for the comprehensive management of a project. It is a powerful tool designed to record all activities related to corporate projects. Also, to make communication between users available (through comments to tasks, forums, wiki).
This project management software provides tools to monitor the budget, time-consumption of a task/project, and timeline. In addition, it has some functions related to agile methodologies. It is worth mentioning that the system has an API enabling easy integration with other software used by the company. You can download OpenProject from their website.
Table of contents
OpenProject provides almost all the features required for efficient project management. With this software, you are able to specify and break down work packages and deliverables into manageable tasks and activities.
Furthermore, OpenProject offers the possibility to track the estimated and spent time and can also be used to book costs. When a project is closed, you can create closure reports and summarize the main results.
|1.||Project Planning & Scheduling|
|1.1.||Setting priorities and deadlines||√|
|1.2.||Resources & Workload Management||√|
|1.3.||Support Agile Methodologies||√|
|2.1.||Assigning tasks to team members||√|
|2.2.||Attach files to the task||√|
|2.3.||Comments on task||√|
|2.8.||Progress Tracking / Status||√|
|4.||Project Financial Management|
|4.2.||Payments / Billing|
|4.4.||Integration with Accounting Systems|
Project Planning and Scheduling
OpenProject provide timeline project management that allows you to schedule your tasks and visualize the required steps to complete your project. As a project manager, you are directly informed about delays in your project and can act accordingly.
The dynamic open source Gantt chart in OpenProject displays the phases and milestones in your project as well as relationships between them. Each element in the timeline has a start date and a due date. To update the dates simply drag and drop the element on the timeline: The phases and all related elements are updated automatically.
Product Roadmap and Release planning
A product roadmap is a high-level visual summary that maps out the vision and direction of your product offering over time. A product roadmap communicates the why and what behind what you’re building. It’s a guiding strategic document as well as a plan for executing the strategy.
In the roadmap, you can see all work packages listed by version (such as product backlogs and sprints). This view also provides information on the project’s progress by displaying the percentage of closed vs. open work packages. The status of each work package can be assessed from the list displayed in the roadmap view. Titles which are crossed out represent closed work packages.
Task Management and Team Collaboration
With OpenProject’s task management software, you can easily create, assign and manage your work. As a project manager, you stay always on top of the latest development.
The dynamic task list provides an overview of all the work that has to be completed. See the progress, who is working on which tasks and what tasks have an approaching deadline. You can also transition easily to project planning by activating the Gantt chart and setting dates as well as relationships between tasks.
Kanban, Agile and Scrum
Agile project management is fundamentally different from classical project management. Agile development teams are small and self-managing. Unlike following a waterfall approach like in classical project management, Agile project management is iterative and aims at constantly incorporating user feedback.
OpenProject supports the Agile development process from start to finish. Create product and sprint backlogs, estimate your work in story points and organize your work in storyboards. The Scrum functionality is tightly integrated into other OpenProject modules, such as roadmap planning, bug tracking, and task management.
In OpenProject, you can create, prioritize and assign bugs to the respective person. Additionally, the dynamic bug lists provide a detailed overview at any time. Furthermore, customized workflows based on detailed roles and permissions allow best tracking and visibility. Also, custom fields empower QA managers and testers by providing additional information regarding the occurrence, system or date of the bugs.
Through seamless integration with your software engineering process, as a result, OpenProject bug tracking software helps to shorten the feedback loop to deliver well-tested products in time and on budget.
Time Tracking, Cost Reporting, Budgeting
OpenProject provides time tracking software that allows you to stay on top of your project budgets and your spent time. Time and costs can be easily tracked on tasks. Define project budgets, easily assign tasks to it and stay informed about how your team is performing. Use cost reports for in-depth analysis and share your reports with other users.
Budget dashboards provide a top-level overview of your project budgets as well as a detailed analysis of time and costs. Export budgets for further processing. Use OpenProject’s sophisticated roles and permissions to define project access for different stakeholders.
Manage project documentation, references, guidelines, user manuals, and much more at one central place and create a knowledge base for your projects and share it with your team and other stakeholders.
You can easily insert, edit and format texts (e.g. copy and paste from Word), including tables, pictures, links, and other references to OpenProject (e.g. work package tables, Gantt charts or tickets). In the project Wiki, you have all changes at one sight, or export texts (e.g. in Markdown). Furthermore, you can create a detailed navigation structure with a side menu, table of contents, and site hierarchies.
OpenProject allows users to try an online trial version for 14 days, no credit card required. Here is my experience using OpenProject that may useful for you before choosing this software to manage your project.
OpenProject is one of the feature-rich project management software on the market. But in our opinion, this open source project management software is not easy enough for the first time use. For example, when I create a new task for the first time, I can’t assign the task to myself. I must invite myself to the project members because I’m not a member of the project even I’m a project creator. I think it would be better if the project creator automatically becomes a member of the project.
Other confusion when trying this software for the first time is when I create a new task without an Assignee inadvertently. A task without assignee only has “New” status option, there are no other status options such as in progress, closed, on hold, etc. Actually, the task status can’t be changed because I’m as task author has no permission to change it. The permission to change task status can be set up in the workflow management which will be explained later
In OpenProject, you can edit or create a work package on the work package list (inline edit). But to edit the start date, end date, estimate hours, and other fields which not available on the work package list, you must edit them via a detail view. Unfortunately, when I try to edit the task via the details view, it does not give a simple way to edit the task. I must click each field to edit them and can’t use the TAB key to shifts the input focus from one field to another field.
Furthermore, in detailed views, I can’t distinguish fields that can be changed and cannot be changed. I must click all fields on the detailed views to know it. When I click “Spent Time”, the app takes me to “New Cost Report” page. So I start searching for articles about Spent Time in OpenProject’s user guide to find a way to edit the Spent Time. And I found the answer that Spent Time can be edited through the Logging Time feature that can be found on the top right menu of detailed view panel. Unfortunately, OpenProject has no task timer to fill the Spent Time.
OpenProject also provides task dependencies feature named “Work Package Relations”. I think this feature is the most flexible task dependencies that let users not only create work package hierarchies but also define relations. For example, indicate that work packages address a similar topic or create status dependencies. But I have been confused when trying this feature for the first time, because of the Relation options has no quick tips like tooltips in each option. So I search this topic on OpenProject’s user guides and I found the explanation of each option:
- Related to – This option adds a link from the work package A to work package B, so that project members can immediately see the connection, even if the work packages are not members of the same hierarchy. There is no additional effect.
- Duplicates / Duplicated by – This option indicates that the work package A duplicates a work package B in one way or another. For example, both address the same task. This can be useful if you have the same work package that needs to be a part of closed and public projects at the same time. The connection, in this case, is semantic, the changes you make in work package A will need to be adapted in work package B manually.
- Blocks / Blocked by – This option defines status change restrictions between two work packages. If you set a work package A to be blocking work package B, the status of work package B cannot be set to “Closed” or “Resolved” until the work package A is closed (in a close meta-status).
- Precedes / Follows – Defines a chronological relation between two work packages. For example, if you set a work package A to precede a work package B, you will not be able to change the starting date of B to be earlier than the end date of A. In addition, when you move the start or due date of A, the start and due date of B will be updated as well.
- Includes / Part of – Defines if work package A includes or is part of work package B. This relation type can be used for example when you have a rollout work package and work packages which should be shown as included without using hierarchical relationships. There is no additional effect.
- Requires / Required by – Defines if work package A requires or is required by work package B. There is no additional effect.
A workflow in OpenProject is defined as the allowed transitions between status for a role and a type, i.e. which status changes can a certain role implement depending on the work package type.
Users can add automation like an automatic assignee on status change using a Custom Action feature that can be found on the Administration menu. For example, when the task’s status changed to “Developed”, the Task automatically will be assigned to Quality Assurance to be tested. So with Workflow Management and Custom Action, OpenProject is one of project management software with the most flexible workflow.
Customer Service & Support
OpenProject supports German, English, Spanish, French, Italian Portuguese and many more. Users can access the Getting Started guide to learn more about OpenProject.
OpenProject offers installation support by their technical partner Ionas to assist you with your on-premise installation and integration with your other systems. OpenProject also offers several options for maintenance and support plans.
OpenProject has three pricing options — Community, Cloud, and Enterprise. Prices range between $0 and $6 per month (per user) on annual billing. The main differences between the plans include professional support, installation support, premium features, repositories, and security features.
Pros and Cons
OpenProject offers almost all the features required for effective project management, including agile project management features.
OpenProject is not easy-to-use project management software. This software needs to be configured from the first time use before create projects and tasks, especially the User Permissions and Project Members.
Overall, OpenProject is one of the most project management software with powerful and flexible features. But this software is not really easy-to-use. In our opinion, OpenProject is best used for a software development project, but it also good enough to be used for any project types. So if you are looking for low-priced or free project management software with the most powerful and flexible features, OpenProject is one of the best choices for you.
As open source project management software, OpenProject offer the packaged installation since November 2014. You can install the software in Linux distributions, such as Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Red Hat, and CentOS. For Windows OS, you might be able to run the Docker image or use the unofficial Windows stack provided by Bitnami.
Reviewed by Audrey Addison
About OpenProject Foundation (OPF)
One of the main objectives of OpenProject is to create a place for open source software, driven and inspired by the users, the community and by the utilization of state of the art technology. For this challenging goal, the OPF wants to provide a firm basis with active support and guidance – the vision of the OPF.
The OPF is incorporated as a membership-based, non-profit organization (Verein). It is registered in Berlin, Germany, and of course, the OPF is designated to the global OpenProject community.
The foundation supports and guides the software project, the community and its growth, furthermore, ensures that OpenProject continues to exist beyond the participation of individual members or companies.
Not sure if OpenProject is the right fit for you? Read our following reviews: Best Project Management Software, Top Free Project Management Software, Top Open Source Project Management Software, Top Agile Project Management Software.