The Ultimate Guide to Open-Source Project Management Software: 10 Best Tools Compared


Project management software has become a vital tool in businesses of all sizes. It helps teams to work more efficiently, collaborate better, and stay on track with project timelines. Open-source project management software is an attractive option because it offers businesses the ability to use a tool without having to pay for licenses. In this guide, we will define open-source project management software, discuss the benefits of using it, and provide an overview of the top 10 open-source project management software tools.

The Ultimate Guide to Open-Source Project Management Software: 10 Best Tools Compared

Definition of open-source project management software

Open-source project management software is a type of software that is freely available for businesses to use, modify, and distribute. This type of software is created and maintained by a community of developers who contribute to its development and upkeep.

Benefits of using open-source project management software

The benefits of using open-source project management software include:

  • Cost savings: Businesses can use the software without having to pay for licenses.
  • Flexibility: Open-source software is highly customizable and can be adapted to meet the specific needs of a business.
  • Security: The community of developers who maintain the software work to ensure that it is secure and free from vulnerabilities.
  • Collaboration: Open-source software fosters collaboration among teams because it is accessible to all team members.

Importance of choosing the right tool for your project

Choosing the best project management software tool for your project is critical to its success. There are several factors to consider, including the size of the project, the number of team members, and the complexity of the project. It’s important to choose a tool that is scalable, flexible, and customizable to meet the specific needs of your project.

Top 10 Open-Source Project Management Software Tools

Here are the top 10 open-source project management software tools:

Tuleap: An Overview


Tuleap is an all-in-one open-source project management and software development tool for Agile and DevOps teams. It offers on-premises and cloud deployments and helps increase collaboration among multi-functional teams so they can continuously deliver valuable and compliant software.

OpenProject: The Agile-Friendly Tool


OpenProject is one of the most secure project management platforms. It is user-friendly and supports Agile development teams. It offers features like Gantt, kanban, calendar and table views, project templates, dashboards, risks, and fully customizable Kanban boards.

GitLab: A Comprehensive DevOps Platform


GitLab is an all-in-one DevOps platform that allows teams to manage their projects from start to finish. It offers features like source code management, continuous integration and deployment, issue tracking, and project management.

MeisterTask: The Task Management Tool


MeisterTask is a task management tool that is free for personal use. It offers features like customizable project boards, task automation, and integration with popular tools like Slack, Zapier, and Google Drive.

ProjectLibre: The Microsoft Project Alternative

ProjectLibre is an open-source alternative for Microsoft Project. It supports Mac, Windows, and Linux and provides multi-project management options for teams. It offers features like resource calendars, baselines, and cost management.

Taiga: The Agile Project Management Tool

Taiga is a project management tool that is designed specifically for Agile teams. It offers a user-friendly interface, customizable boards, and features like sprint planning, backlog management, and issue tracking. Taiga also integrates with popular tools like GitHub, Slack, and GitLab.

Odoo: The Business Management Suite


Odoo is an open-source suite of business management software tools, including project management. It offers features like project planning, task management, time tracking, and invoicing. Odoo also integrates with other Odoo modules like CRM, inventory management, and accounting.

Redmine: The Popular Choice


Redmine is a popular open-source project management tool that supports multiple projects and multiple users. It offers features like issue tracking, time tracking, Gantt charts, and calendar views. Redmine also integrates with popular tools like GitHub, Slack, and Microsoft Office.

GanttProject: The Simple and Intuitive Tool


GanttProject is a simple and intuitive open-source project management tool that is ideal for smaller projects. It offers features like Gantt charts, resource allocation, and task hierarchy. GanttProject also integrates with Google Calendar.

Kanboard: The Minimalistic Tool


Kanboard is a minimalistic open-source project management tool that is ideal for small teams and personal use. It offers features like customizable boards, task management, and time tracking. Kanboard also integrates with other tools like GitHub and Slack.

Key Features to Look for in Open-Source Project Management Software

When selecting open-source project management software, there are several key features that you should look for to ensure that it meets the needs of your project. Here are some of the most important features to consider:

  1. Project Planning and Scheduling: A good project management tool should offer robust project planning and scheduling capabilities. This includes features like creating and assigning tasks, setting deadlines, and managing dependencies between tasks.
  2. Task Management and Assignment: The software should have the ability to manage and assign tasks to team members, set priorities and deadlines, and track progress. It should also allow team members to communicate with each other and provide status updates on tasks.
  3. Collaboration and Communication: The tool should facilitate collaboration and communication between team members, including the ability to share files and documents, discuss tasks, and receive notifications and alerts.
  4. Reporting and Analytics: The software should provide reporting and analytics features that allow you to track progress, identify potential bottlenecks, and make informed decisions based on data.
  5. Customization and Integration: The software should be highly customizable and able to integrate with other tools and platforms that your team uses. This includes the ability to customize workflows, fields, and dashboards to meet the specific needs of your project.
  6. Security and Privacy: The software should have robust security features to protect your data and ensure that it is only accessible to authorized team members. This includes features like two-factor authentication, data encryption, and user permissions management.

How to Choose the Right Open-Source Project Management Software for Your Project

When choosing the right open-source project management software for your project, there are several key factors to consider. Here are some steps to guide you through the process:

  1. Assess Your Project’s Needs and Goals: Before choosing a tool, it’s important to identify your project’s specific requirements and goals. Consider the size and complexity of the project, as well as the scope and timeline.
  2. Consider Your Team’s Requirements and Capabilities: It’s essential to take into account the needs and capabilities of your team members. This includes their technical skills, experience, and preferred work methods.
  3. Evaluate the Tool’s Features and Functionality: Look for a tool that includes the key features you need for your project, such as project planning and scheduling, task management and assignment, collaboration and communication, reporting and analytics, customization and integration, and security and privacy.
  4. Check User Reviews and Ratings: User reviews and ratings can provide valuable insights into the performance and reliability of a project management tool. Look for reviews that address the specific features and functionality you are interested in.
  5. Take Advantage of Free Trials and Demos: Many open-source project management software tools offer free trials and demos that allow you to test the tool before committing to it. Take advantage of these opportunities to ensure that the tool meets your project’s needs and your team’s requirements.

By following these steps, you can choose the right open-source project management software tool for your project, ensuring that you have the features and functionality you need to successfully manage and complete your project.

Comparison Table of the 10 Best Open-Source Project Management Software Tools

Here is a comparison table of the 10 best open-source project management software tools:

Tool NamePricing ModelDeployment OptionsKey Features and CapabilitiesProsConsUser Reviews and Ratings
TuleapFree, premium plans availableOn-premises, cloudAgile and DevOps management, software development, collaborationHighly customizable, compliance-ready, multi-functional teams collaborationSteep learning curve, some features limited to premium plans4.3/5 (Capterra)
OpenProjectFree, premium plans availableOn-premises, cloudAgile management, Gantt, kanban, table views, project templates, dashboards, risks, fully customizable Kanban boardsUser-friendly, secure, supports Agile development teamsSome features limited to premium plans, limited integrations4.3/5 (Capterra)
GitLabFree, premium plans availableOn-premises, cloudSource code management, continuous integration and deployment, issue tracking, project managementComprehensive DevOps platform, seamless collaboration, highly scalableSteep learning curve, some features limited to premium plans4.5/5 (Capterra)
RedmineFreeOn-premisesIssue tracking, project management, collaborationEasy to set up, customizable, highly extensibleOutdated interface, limited reporting, steep learning curve4.0/5 (Capterra)
KanboardFreeOn-premisesFocused on kanban methodology, simple and intuitive interface, customizableEasy to use, highly visual, highly flexibleLimited features, not ideal for complex projects4.7/5 (Capterra)
ProjectLibreFreeDesktopMulti-project management, resource calendars, baselines, cost managementComprehensive project planning and scheduling, fully compatible with Microsoft ProjectOutdated interface, steep learning curve4.2/5 (Capterra)
ProjeQtOrFreeOn-premisesProject management, time tracking, issue tracking, collaborationIntuitive and user-friendly interface, customizableLimited integrations, limited support4.2/5 (Capterra)
LeantimeFreeOn-premises, cloudLean methodology, design thinking, and agile practices, project management, time tracking, collaborationEasy to use, highly visual, customizableLimited reporting, limited integrations4.5/5 (Capterra)
TaigaFree, premium plans availableOn-premises, cloudAgile project management, Kanban, Scrum, customizable workflows, time tracking, reportingFeature-packed, user-friendly, supports multiple methodologiesSome features limited to premium plans, steep learning curve4.5/5 (Capterra)
OdooFree, premium plans availableOn-premises, cloudComprehensive business management suite with a project management moduleHighly customizable, easy to use, supports multiple languagesSteep learning curve, limited integrations4.2/5 (Capterra
Comparison Table of the 10 Best Open-Source Project Management Software Tools

How do you manage an open source project?

To manage an open source project, you need to first define the project’s goals and objectives, and establish a clear roadmap for development. This involves setting up a project plan, breaking down the work into manageable tasks, and assigning responsibilities to team members.
Communication is key in managing an open source project. You need to ensure that team members are communicating effectively and regularly, using tools like email, chat, and project management software. Encourage an open and collaborative environment where team members can share ideas and feedback.
It’s also important to establish guidelines and standards for contributing to the project, including code reviews, testing, and documentation. This helps maintain consistency and quality throughout the development process.
Finally, you need to be proactive in managing the project’s community. This involves engaging with users and contributors, responding to feedback and issues, and maintaining a positive and inclusive culture within the project.

[1] [2][3] [4] [5]

Follow me
Professor Emeritus of Educational Leadership University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at Camford Publishing
Founder of On the Horizon (camford publishing)and The Technology Source, and professor of education at North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Dr. Morrison is author and co-author of over 200 publications focusing on educational planning and using information technology tools.Dr. Morrison has delivered numerous conference presentations and workshops for associations such as EDUCAUSE, AAHE, the College Board and others.He has served as a planning consultant to a number of colleges, universities, university systems, community colleges, educational agencies and public agencies such as the U.S. Department of Labor, and Department of the Army.His consulting activities focus on assisting organizations to integrate information technology tools in teaching and management.

The title of his Speech is “The Future of Distance Learning.” Professor Morrison will describe the driving forces that will affect education and distance learning in this decade and will focus on the implications of these forces for education and distance learning
Dr. James Morrison
Follow me

Leave a Comment