Project management methodologies and frameworks for OpenProject

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Are you looking for a suitable software for your project management methodology? The OpenProject software offers a wide range of features and is well suited for many methodologies. Get an overview of which project management methodologies are suitable for OpenProject - and why.

Agile project management methodologies with OpenProject

OpenProject works very well with agile project management. We’ll take a look at specific agile methodologies that OpenProject is best suited for later.

The following features of OpenProject are particularly well suited for agile project management:

  • Agile boards: OpenProject provides agile boards (Kanban and Scrum boards) that allow teams to efficiently visualize and manage work items. Agile teams can create and prioritize user stories or tasks, move them through different stages, and track progress.
  • Backlog management and sprint planning: Agile teams can manage a backlog of user stories or tasks in OpenProject. They can easily prioritize, estimate, and edit backlog items.
  • Customizable workflow: Agile teams often have unique workflow requirements. OpenProject’s customizable workflows allow teams to define their own process phases and transitions to ensure the tool aligns with their specific agile framework.

Good to know: We ourselves work on OpenProject with OpenProject in an agile methodology - with sprints, story points and so on. Therefore, we can say from our own experience that OpenProject works very well for agile methodologies.

Waterfall project management methodologies with OpenProject

OpenProject also works very well with classical waterfall project management. The structured task tracking and documentation features of OpenProject align well with the linear and sequential nature of the Waterfall methodology.

The following features of OpenProject are particularly well suited for Waterfall project management:

  • Gantt charts: OpenProject provides Gantt charts that are well suited for waterfall project planning. For example, you can create detailed project plans and define dependencies between project phases and tasks.
  • Baseline Comparison: OpenProject’s Baseline feature is valuable for waterfall projects that need to track changes over time. You can compare work package tables to a specific point in time, which helps you evaluate deviations from the original plan and maintain control over the scope and schedule of the project.
  • Document management: Waterfall projects typically involve extensive documentation. OpenProject’s document management features allow you to maintain a clear and organized repository of project-related files, including project plans, specifications and reports. OpenProject’s Nextcloud integration in particular helps organize documents.

Hybrid project management methodologies with OpenProject

Since OpenProject is suitable for both agile and classic water management, hybrid methods can also be easily applied with OpenProject. The flexibility and customization capabilities of OpenProject allow you to mix elements from different methods to create a customized hybrid approach. For example, plan your overall project in a waterfall approach and let your teams execute the different project phases in an agile way. However, working with a hybrid approach always requires careful planning and can involve complex configurations.

List of project management methodologies and frameworks best suited for OpenProject

Let’s take a look at popular project management methodologies and frameworks – and analyze how well each of them is suited to be used with the OpenProject software:

  1. PM²
  2. Scrum and SAFe
  3. Kanban
  4. PRINCE2
  5. PMI / PMBOK

1. How well is PM² suited for OpenProject?

PM² is a free and open project management methodology, developed by the European Commission. This alone makes it a perfect fit for the free and open source project management software OpenProject: “Software wants to be free and open – and so does project management methodologies” (Niels Lindenthal, founder of OpenProject).

In 2019, OpenProject joint forces with the PM² Alliance. Since then, the PM² methodology is seamlessly integrated into the OpenProject software and is taken into account in new developments. For example, OpenProject’s task management features match PM²’s focus on structured task management: you can create and manage tasks (in the form of work packages), assign responsibilities, and track progress. This way you ensure that project activities are well organized and monitored.

Another important element in PM² are clearly defined project phases. With OpenProject, you can customize workflows just as you like. This way you ensure that the predefined phases of PM² are mapped correctly in your project management process. From the initiation phase, through the planning and execution phases, to the completion phase, OpenProject is the tool that allows everyone involved in the PM² project to work together efficiently.

2. How well is Scrum or SAFe suited for OpenProject?

Scrum is an agile project management methodology and well suited to use with OpenProject.

A lot of customers of the OpenProject software manage their projects with Scrum based methodologies. Create and prioritize a product backlog with user stories in OpenProject. Plan your sprints and visualize their progress with burndown charts.

Example of a project management plan created with OpenProject

Then there is SAFe, the “Scaled Agile Framework”. It is used to scale agile and lean practices to large organizations. OpenProject works well with SAFe, since one of the core objectives is that different groups and stakeholders can collaborate well on one project. The OpenProject software is very flexible and offers a lot of customization options which align with SAFe principles and practices.

3. How well is Kanban suited for OpenProject?

Kanban is probably best known for its agile boards, which are well integrated into OpenProject. Customize your different stages (e.g. To DoIn ProgressDone) and change the status of a card by dragging and dropping it to another column. OpenProject’s Kanban boards facilitate continuous workflow management.

4. How well is PRINCE2 suited for OpenProject?

If your organization follows PRINCE2 principles and processes, OpenProject can be configured to conform to PRINCE2’s structured project management framework. As OpenProject is highly customizable, it supports the seven processes, seven principles and seven themes laid out by PRINCE2. You can customize the project templates to match the PRINCE2 phases and roles.

With OpenProject, you can, for example, …

  • use Gantt charts to create project schedules aligned with PRINCE2’s stage plans and milestones,
  • create work packages associated with specific products and attach detailed specifications,
  • track and monitor risks or issues (also in form of work packages),
  • manage your documents in a secure and efficient way, using the Nextcloud integration.

5. How well is PMI / PMBOK suited for OpenProject?

PMBOK is a guide by the Project Management Institute (PMI) about project management terminology and guidelines. OpenProject can be used to implement principles of PMI/PMBOK:

  • Create detailed project plans with Gantt charts, set dependencies and timelines.
  • Create tasks, sub-tasks and milestones according to PMBOK principles.
  • Manage risks and communicate them efficiently among project members.
  • Track changes with Baseline Comparison and stay ahead of your project.

Choose your methodology or framework and customize OpenProject to use it

If we conclude by looking at all these methodologies and frameworks, it can be generally said that OpenProject is suitable for many methods and frameworks due to its strong flexibility and customizability. In the end, therefore, it depends on you to what extent you are willing to configure OpenProject to fit your methodology. Nevertheless, at OpenProject, we support PM² in a very special way because we are built on shared values: Being open and free.

Try OpenProject for yourself to see how well it adapts to your favorite methodologies: