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OpenProject is an open-source project management platform that makes it pretty easy to manage projects from the security of your own data center or your third-party cloud host. OpenProject can easily be deployed with the help of Docker, so you don’t have to worry about the complications of installing it manually.

Once OpenProject is up and running, and you have the basic configurations taken care of, it’s time to create your first project. We’ll first create a new project, then we’ll add members and even set the project as a template, so you can more easily recreate it.

SEE: Hiring kit: Project manager (TechRepublic Premium)

What you’ll need

The only things you’ll need to create a new project is a running instance of OpenProject and an admin user with which you can log in. Now, let’s make it so.

How to create a new project

Before you create your new project, I suggest you make sure to add the users that will need access, which I demonstrated in the basic configurations tutorial linked above. Once you’ve at least added some of the users that will work on the project, you can then click + Project on the OpenProject main page (Figure A).

Figure A

projects listed in the OpenProject main dashboard
Figure A: The OpenProject main page lists your current projects and allows you to easily create new ones.

In the resulting window (Figure B), give the new project a name and expand the Advanced Settings section.

Figure B

New project configuration in OpenProject
Figure B: Because this is our first project, we can’t use a template or create it as a subproject.

In the Advanced section (Figure C), give the new project a description, and check the box if it’s to be a Public project.

Figure C

advanced settings for new project in OpenProject
Figure C: Adding a description for our new project.

Since this is a new project, you probably won’t select a Status or describe the status. It’s not until you actually start working with the project that you should change the status, from the options On Track, At Risk and Off Track.

How to add users to a project

Click Save once finished, and your project is ready for users. From the left navigation (Figure D), click Members.

Figure D

project sidebar in OpenProject
Figure D: The Project sidebar gives you access to a number of features.

On the resulting page (Figure E), click + Member at the top right.

Figure E

The Member add page for your project.
Figure E: The Member add page for your project.

After clicking + Member, you’ll see a dropdown (Figure F), where you can select the member to be added and then assign a role to that member.

Figure F

new member being added to a project
Figure F: Adding a new member to my project.

Select the new user, give them a role as a Member, Viewer or Project Admin, and click Add. That new member will be sent an email with instructions for logging in and setting their password. If you find that to be a problem, you can always go to the Administration dashboard, click Users & Permissions, select the user and set a password for them.

How to set a project as a template

Now that you have your project configured and members added, you can set the project to be used as a template. This makes it easier for you to recreate projects. To do this, navigate to the project you just created using the Projects dropdown in the upper left corner of the window, and click Project Settings from the left navigation.

In the resulting window, you should see the Set As Template button in the upper right corner (Figure G).

Figure G

The Set As Template button for new projects
Figure G: The Set As Template button for our new project.

Click Set As Template, and you’re done. Now, the next time you go to create a new project, you should see the template listed in the Use Template dropdown, which makes it easier for you to quickly create a new project based on the new template.

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