Whether you own a small business or you’re just starting one, every dollar counts; finding free software to help you manage, communicate, collaborate and keep projects progressing smoothly isn't easy. We have taken some of the guesswork out of it by sharing a list of 6 (alphabetically sorted) open source project management tools that can help make lighter work of managing your projects, reduce manual workarounds and give you a chance to start off on the best footing.
Although most PM software providers offer additional advanced and robust features for an additional cost, these picks have free basic or community offerings with more than enough functionality for most projects. In fact, it should be mentioned that these solutions aren’t just used by small start-ups, many of them are still being used by Fortune 500 companies today due to scalability, powerful features, and versatility.
Freedcamp launched in 2010 and offers on-going access to their free version of agile PM software with unlimited projects, users, and storage. This includes many features like dashboards that give all users a customized at-a-glance view of their projects, the ability to work with tasks, subtasks, discussions, milestones, time, files, and calendars. A PM can even convert tasks into Kanban cards. To find out more about the features, go to Freedcamp.
Developed in 2009, Libreplan is a free web-based PM planning software focused on resourcing and scheduling. It assists project leaders and teams with planning projects, managing resources, monitoring and controlling projects, tracking information, collaborating, managing risk, setting role-based security and much more. See all the available features by visiting Libreplan.
Founded 2002, Odoo allows companies to scale up to 49 users with their free web-based PM solution. This software offers great flexibility where more than one project can be viewed at the same time and includes portfolio management capabilities. Odoo handles task management, issue tracking, communication, and collaboration, reporting and has at-a-glance dashboards. Check out Odoo for a complete list of free software features.
Developed in 2010, OpenProject provides companies the ability to plan projects, schedule, develop roadmaps and release dates for product development, manage tasks, calendar, collaborate, monitor time, quality and cost, and also issue tracking. This software works for Agile/Scrum environments, and the free community edition is feature rich. Go to OpenProject to find out more.
Project-Open also offers a free community edition of PM software with many features including, portfolio and resource management, financial management, time & expense tracking, collaboration, reports, at-a-glance customizable dashboards, scheduling, and workflow management. To find out more about the features visit Project-open.
ProjectLibre’s community edition is compatible with Microsoft Project and offers features like Gantt charts, network diagrams, work breakdown structures (WBS) charts, earned value costing (EVC) and resource histograms, among other features. Their software is scalable from small business all the way up to Fortune 500 companies. Visit ProjectLibre to see what their solution has to offer.
If you are looking for open-source PM software, check these out and spend time researching and trying each of them to find out which will best meet your project needs. There are many other open source offerings in areas like task, resource, process and requirements management, but for the purpose of this article, we’ve only covered software specific to project planning and management. Stay tuned for other articles on the other solutions just mentioned.
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Moira Alexander, PMP, I.S.P., ITCP/IP3P, is a recognized project management influencer, thought leader, a regular correspondent for PMI’s Projectified podcast, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of PMWorld 360 Magazine, Founder of Lead-Her-Ship Group, and author of “LEAD or LAG: Linking Strategic Project Management & Thought Leadership”. Moira has over 25 years of experience in business (IS&T) and project management for small to large businesses in the US and Canada and has been quoted in various publications including Forbes. She writes thought leadership content for top-tier publications and business blogs and oversees or writes sponsored content and software reviews on PMWorld 360 Magazine.