How to create a Project in OpenProject

Jack Wallen will walk you through the steps to create a new OpenProject, add members to it, and then set it as a template.

asana slack project manager
Image: Visual Generation / Adobe Stock

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

Once OpenProject is up and running, and you have Basic configuration is interested, 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.

UNDERSTAND: Hiring Department: Project Manager (TechRepublic Premium)

What you need

The only things you need to create a new project are a running instance of OpenProject and an administrative user that you can log in to. Now, let’s do the same.

How to create a new project

Before you create your new project, I recommend making sure to add the users who will need access, which I covered in the basic configuration guide linked above. Once you have added at least some users who will be working on the project, then you can click +Project on the main OpenProject page (Picture A).

Picture A

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

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

Figure BUG

New project configuration in OpenProject
Figure B: Since this is our first project, we cannot use the template or create it as a subproject.

In the Advanced section (SIZE), provide a description for the new project and select the checkbox if it is a Public project.


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

Since this is a new project, you probably won’t select Status or describe the status. It’s not until you actually start working on 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 done and your project is ready for users. From the left navigation (Visualization), click Members.


project sidebar in OpenProject
Figure D: The Project sidebar gives you access to several features.

On the results page (Figure E), click + Members in the top right.

Figure E

Add members page for your project.
Figure E: The Add Members page for your project.

After clicking + Members you will see a drop down menu (Figure F), where you can select the member to be added and then assign a role to that member.

Figure F

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

Select the new user, give them the role of Member, Viewer or Project Administrator and click Add. The new member will be sent an email with instructions to log in and set their password. If you find that to be an issue, you can always go to the Administration dashboard, click on Users & Permissions, select a user, and set a password for them.

How to set a project as a template

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

In the window that appears, you will see a Set as Template button in the upper right corner (WOOD Figure).

WOOD Figure

Set as template button for new projects
Figure G: Set button as a template for our new project.

Click Set as Template and you’re done. Now, the next time you create a new project, you will see the template listed in the Use Template drop-down menu, which makes it easy to quickly create a new project based on the new template.

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