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OpenProject: The project management alternative to Asana

Asana is one of the best known players in the project management software space. It focuses on simplicity and usability and has made it its mission to replace email.

With its focus on issue tracking it covers similar areas as OpenProject.

Let’s compare both tools.

Issue & task tracking

Both OpenProject and Asana provide a simple way to quickly create and manage tasks.

 

Asana

Asana starts out with an empty task list. To create a new task, simply click on the list or on the Add Task button and enter the name of your task.

When creating a task, a panel with detailed information appears on the right side.

Create a task in Asana

After the initial creation, users can specify a description or perform further activities. For instance, the task can be assigned to a user or relationships to other tasks can be created.

 

OpenProject

OpenProject offers a similarly easy way to create new tasks: Simply navigate to the work package list and click on the link at the bottom of the page to create tasks.

In contrast to Asana, it is not only possible to create tasks but also other work packages (e.g. Milestones, Phases, Bugs).

You can modify the list of work packages and display additional columns aside from the subject (e.g. the priority or the assignee). These attributes can easily be adjusted simply by clicking on the respective attribute and changing its value.

OpenProject as Asana alternative: Create work packages inline

Additionally, you can modify attributes in a split screen view and create relationships to other work packages.

Update work packages from split screen

Project planning with Gantt chart

A key requirement for many projects is the ability to plan and track a project’s progress through a Gantt chart. This provides a visual representation of a project’s tasks and deliverables.

 

Asana

Asana does not support Gantt charts. You can however use integrations to other tools (such as Instagantt) which can create Gantt charts for Asana.

However, users need to switch between applications to display the Gantt chart.

 

OpenProject

OpenProject enables progress visualization using Gantt charts both for single projects as well as multi-hierarchy projects.

Gantt charts are automatically filled with existing work packages and can be filtered / configured to meet specific needs.

Project managers can thereby create and visualize the progress even for complex Gantt charts which span multiple projects and even display planning changes.

OpenProject timeline

Cost and time tracking

An essential feature for any larger project is the ability to track the time as well as the cost spent on a project.

 

Asana

Asana does not not provide time or cost tracking.

 

OpenProject

You can enable time tracking separately for each project within OpenProject.

Additionally, OpenProject allows users to track costs – both personnel costs as well as unit costs.

Furthermore, you can create budgets within projects in order to compare planned and realized costs.

A sophisticated permission model allows users to restrict the data that users can see. This includes for example whether they can only see and edit their own tracked time or that of all users within a project.

Track time in OpenProject

 

Additional criteria

OpenProject and Asana do not only differ in functionality but there are also additional criteria which are relevant.

Data security is one important aspect when choosing a project management tool. Therefore both OpenProject and Asana offer regular data backups.

Large companies often have strong data privacy and data security guidelines which prohibit the use of purely web-based solutions.
While Asana is offered exclusively online, OpenProject not only offers a web-solution but is also available as on-premise installation.

The OpenProject enterprise edition enables companies to install OpenProject on their own servers and offers additional functionality especially relevant for larger companies, such as 2-factor authentication, custom logos and corporate design.

When software is open source it provides maximum flexibility and independence: Users can make their own adjustments.
Therefore, OpenProject is open source. Asana on the other hand is proprietary.

 

Conclusion OpenProject vs Asana

In conclusion: Asana offers an easy and intuitive way to create and track tasks. It is very well suited for teams who want to move their communication from email to a task management system.

OpenProject offers easy task management as well but offers additional features which enable users to also visualize the progress in Gantt charts, track time and costs.

In addition to a web-based solution, OpenProject is also available as on-premise installation.

 

You need a demo or want to switch?

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2 responses to “OpenProject: The project management alternative to Asana

  1. Jörg Thiem says:

    Wir testen seit einigen Tagen OpenProject. Es fühlt sich auf den ersten Blick sehr gut an.
    Leider haben wir schnell einen entscheidenden Nachteil erkannt. Man kann nämlich die Reihenfolge der Arbeitspakete nicht frei wählen. Dies ist aber manchmal wichtig. Irgendwie scheint op die Reihenfolge nach dem Index des Tasks festzulegen. Dies geht aber schief, sobald man über 100 kommt. Es ergibt sich z.B. die Reihenfolge 100, 98, 99 !
    Auch wenn man nachträglich die Reihenfolge ändern möchte, geht dies nicht.

    1. Robin Wagner says:

      Hallo Herr Thiem,

      Sie können die Sortierung auf der Arbeitspaketseite anpassen und damit auch die Reihenfolge der Aufgaben steuern. Dabei können Sie z.B. nach dem Start-Datum, End-Datum, etc. sortieren.
      Die manuelle Sortierung von Arbeitspaketen ist bei uns aktuell in Evaluierung und wird vorauss. mit einer der nächsten OpenProject-Versionen verfügbar sein.

      Viele Grüße
      Robin Wagner

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