How to add Kanban boards to OpenProject

Estimated read time 4 min read

The OpenProject project management platform is a powerful solution for any business looking to gain control of the projects. Jack Wallen is here to show you how to add Kanban boards to that deployment.

An agile software developer is updating Kanban board
Image: Berk/Adobe Stock

Any time I have to start a new project, one of the first things I consider is if it would benefit from a Kanban board. Depending on the size and complexity of the project, most often that answer is a resounding “yes.”

Because of that, I’m always on the lookout for a new Kanban solution, which led me to OpenProject. I’ve covered OpenProject here on TechRepublic before and have found it to be a solid project management solution. Recently, the developers pointed out to me that the latest release of the platform (v12) has built-in Boards.

Now, in the name of transparency, if you deploy OpenProject in the same way I do (via Docker), you’ll find v12 fails to deploy. For example, if I deploy the container as I did in the tutorial I referenced earlier with the command git clone --depth=1 --branch=stable/11 openproject, everything works fine, but Boards are not built-in. However, if you attempt to deploy the v12 release with git clone --depth=1 --branch=stable/12 openproject, the deployment will succeed, but two containers — the database and the core — fail to run.

The developers have been made aware of this issue and as far as I know are working on a solution. In the interim, if you want to test the OpenProject Kanban boards option, all is not lost.

Let me show you what you can do.

SEE: Hiring kit: Project manager (TechRepublic Premium)

What you’ll need

To follow along, you’ll need to deploy OpenProject with the process I illustrated in the article referenced above. Go ahead and deploy v11 until the developers get the v12 issues resolved. You’ll also need access to the admin user account for your OpenProject deployment.

Now, let’s add those boards.

How to add Kanban boards to OpenProject

Log into your OpenProject deployment and click the profile icon in the top left corner. From the resulting menu (Figure A), click Administration.

Figure A

The profile menu in OpenProject gives you access to your profile settings and the admin console.

In the admin console (Figure B), click Enterprise Edition.

Figure B

The OpenProject Administration console is ready for you to customize your deployment.

In the resulting window, click Start Free Trial (Figure C) and walk through the process of applying for a 15-day trial license for the Enterprise Edition. You don’t have to enter your credit card information, so there’s nothing to lose here. Hopefully, the developers will have the issue with v12 fixed before your trial license expires.

Figure C

Requesting a trial license for OpenProject is quite simple.

Eventually, you’ll retrieve your trial license via email. In that email will be a file named enterprise-token.txt. Open that file and copy the contents. With the token copied, paste it in the Enterprise Support Token section — the same page from where you requested your token. Click Save and your Enterprise License will be applied.

How to access your Kanban boards

Now that you have the trial license applied, go to one of your OpenProject projects and click Boards in the left navigation (Figure D).

Figure D

The Boards entry in the left navigation will now actually open the Kanban board feature.

You will see there are no boards by default, so you must first create one by clicking +Board in the top right corner (Figure E).

Figure E

Creating a new Board in OpenProject.

When prompted, select from the type of board you want to create (Figure F), and the board will be created and ready to go.

Figure F

Select a Board template that best fits your project needs.

Congratulations, you now have a Kanban board associated with your project. As I said, hopefully, the developers will resolve the issue with the OpenProject v12 container image so you don’t have to go through the process of signing up for an Enterprise Trial. And given the Boards feature is now free with version 12, it’ll be worth the wait.

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