How to create a project in OpenProject

Jack Wallen walks you through the steps of creating a new OpenProject project, adding members to it, and then setting it up as a template.

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Image: Visual Generation/Adobe Stock

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

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

SEE: Hiring Kit: Project manager (TechRepublic Premium)

what you will need

All you need to create a new project is a running instance of OpenProject and an admin user that you can log in with. Now, let’s do it like this.

How to create a new project

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

Figure A

projects listed in the main panel of OpenProject
Figure A: The OpenProject home 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: Since this is our first project, we can’t use a template or create it as a subproject.

In the Advanced section (Figure C), provide a description for the new project and check the box if it is to be a public project.

Figure C

advanced settings for a 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 is not until you actually start working with the project that you should change the status, from the On Track, At Risk and Off Track options.

How to add users to a project

Click Save once you’re done 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 add member page for your project.
Figure E: The add members page for your project.

After clicking + Member, you will see a dropdown menu (Figure F), where you can select the member you want to add and then assign them a role.

Figure F

new member added to a project
Figure F: Add a new member to my project.

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

How to set a project as a template

Now that you’ve set up your project and added members, you can set up 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 menu in the upper left corner of the window and click Project Settings from the left navigation bar.

In the resulting window, you should see a 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 in the Use Template dropdown list, making it easy for you to quickly create a new project based on the new template.

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