- Web-based project management tools can replace more complex paper-based systems.project plan image by Christopher Hall from Fotolia.com
Managing large projects that involve diverse groups of people can be challenging. High end project management systems can be expensive and can require expensive custom servers. However, open source project management systems are available that allow web-based access from many different platforms and locations. Open source project management tools are often built using open source programming tools and use open source databases, thus minimizing costs and reducing computing system overhead. Open source software is usually developed as a public collaboration and made freely available.
- Redmine is an open source web-based project management system that was written using Ruby on Rails. It works on many platforms and can use many different database back ends, including Oracle or MySQL. It supports multiple projects, role-based access and permissions, Gantt charting and a calendar. Redmine also supports wiki and forums assigned on a project level to help centralize information and communication.
- ProjectPier is a PHP-based application that helps manage projects, tasks and teams through an intuitive web interface. It features three overall levels of access, including administrator, owning company and client company. These levels give data views to support the needs of the three types of organizations. Further granularity of access are available under each overall organizational class. ProjectPier requires PHP5 or later and MySQL 4.1 or later.
- ProjectHQ is another web-based open source project management tool. ProjectHQ supports different role-based access views, such as team members, client companies and project-based views. It supports tasks, task lists and project milestones. Designed primarily as a software project management system, ProjectHQ supports a ticketing system to help developers keep track of and manage bug discovery and correction. In ProjectHQ, tickets are assigned based on known tasks, unlike systems where the issuance of a ticket generates a task. ProjectHQ was created using Python, Pylons, and SQLAlchemy. It will work with any database back end.
- eGroupWare is a more complete group-based system. In addition to project management tools, it includes a calendar, address book, email system, file manager, version tracking system, time sheet and wiki. The Project Manager module is designed to create and manage multiple hierarchical projects. It supports milestones and tracks both working time and costs. Projects can be managed by lists or by using a Gantt chart. User accesses can be customized to allow for efficient work and administration. Contacts, tasks and calendar information are shared among all eGroupWare applications to help create more accurate project models.