How to configure Redmine for healthcare industry project management

9 min readOct 7, 2020


2020 is a year defined by the rapid growth of all companies in the healthcare market- including laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, medical devices manufacturers, research institutes, telemedicine, services and software providers for hospitals, clinics, and the rest of the sector.

For all of them, the fast-paced pandemic time showed that the traditional way of handling projects is unsustainable. It cannot keep up the current pace of work and need to be transformed.

That’s why they all lean on digital tools that would help them to cope with the challenges and manage the projects better in the new business settings. To help them in this mission, we compared health sector and startup environment. We reviewed their challenges and prepared recommendations on how to stay focused and productive in rapidly a changing business environment.

Companies that rely on RedmineUP Cloud for their healthcare project management

New challenges faced by the health care industry in 2020

According to the 2020 Global Health Care Outlook, there has been considerable progress in the digital transformation of the health care industry, which is expected to continue beyond 2020. However, with the rapid growth, there comes a disturbance of the normal processes in which businesses operated in previous years.

Here are the top 5 challenges that we identified and will provide solutions to.

1. Choosing a tool to coordinate projects between different departments and organizations and setting Redmine for win

Keeping effective coordination of the healthcare projects between different teams and even companies is more important and difficult than before. All project members and stakeholders must raise above various goals, org charts, ERP systems and other challenges and adapt “issue-mindset” known from startups. Such an approach to breaking down big problems into smaller objects help collaborate effectively, especially in remote work settings.

2. Getting more results faster by taking smaller steps — applying an Agile mindset

Another challenge is transforming from traditional project management into an Agile approach — “small steps, big results faster”. Agile mindset helps to measure the impact of the various elements on the overall project and correlate it with the progress of the project. Applying Agile project management tools will help to keep the team synced.

3. Leaning on Cloud IT infrastructure to support remote work

Staying nimble in difficult times helps business to cut unnecessary cost and quickly start new initiatives effectively. Selecting Cloud infrastructure is the right move to gain such flexibility and to be able to scale operations both up and down, depending on the demand.

4. Security and data privacy

Digital tools used by healthcare products and services providers must be able to meet to most rigorous norms for security and data protection. Default out-of-the-box Redmine configuration is not enough.

5. Lack of professional support

The main problem with mission-critical projects is the need to get assistance or support as soon as possible. Sometimes minutes and hours are days and weeks when the health and well-being of many people are on the line. That’s why a professional manager who stands in the shoes of the project manager and the team is a very valuable resource.

1. Setting for successful collaboration and project management with Redmine

Redmine is one of the most popular open-sourced project management tools. It’s a cross-database platform distributed for free that is developed and used by a community. It connects over 100.000 members around the world. Its flexibility and open-sourced roots make it easy to fulfil any specification or requirements of various organizations.

Free comes at a cost

Often the cost of utilizing a free/open-sourced solution in medium and large organizations is prolonged implementation time and troubles with getting everything to run all smooth.

When you compare Redmine with Jira, Asana, Wrike, or other market leaders, there are a few aspects that are needed to be discussed.

  1. Open-source software is excellent; however, it means there is no overarching company that looks after the quality of code, security issues or bugs.
  2. Elements seen as standard in other tools, such as Agile project boards, don’t come as part of Redmine out of the box.
  3. Keeping Redmine up to date requires dedicated resource. Adding customizations require hiring Ruby developers that aren’t cheap.

On rescue with pre-installed and pre-configured Redmine

For rescue comes cloud-hosted version — a pre-installed and pre-configured Redmine version of the system that’s quick to start and cost-efficient. It is the shortest path to obtain all benefits of Redmine without suffering from the downsides.

Adjusting Redmine to work to manage your healthcare project is reasonably simple because the platform has built-in tools for that.

Project kick-off
Redmine in the Cloud let you quickly lay the foundation for the project plan. Its project/version/issue structure allows determining objectives as well as map out the influence of various elements on the project.

Project planning
RedmineUP Cloud has all the tools to define the project scope and break it down into milestones, time, costs and resources necessary to reach your business objective successfully.

All stakeholders are updated and engaged.
Redmine provides full visibility and control over who sees what. On top of that, it provides one platform for communication and connection between various roles.

Controlling time and cost
Taken out of the box Redmine already has advanced reporting module. In the cloud-hosted version, it comes with additional improvements for controlling, reporting, invoicing and resource management.

Execute project
Once your healthcare project starts, you can efficiently distribute the work among all project members keeping excellent visibility. Assigning tasks, priorities, commenting on the issues can be delivered by clear and simple interface design.

Knowledge management, Wikis and Documenting progress
There are plenty of build-in solutions in Redmine that make the documentation of the project progress easy. Keeping the excellent case practises, reasons for any adjustments made on the way, and other feedback will double the benefits in future projects.

2. Adapting Agile mindset — the most popular way to run projects in unpredictable situations

Benefits of Agile Development for Healthcare

Agile mindset gives better control and allows to better collect input and feedback from end-users as well as other parties engaged in the health care project.

The list of benefits for the healthcare project from the Agile mindset is way longer:

  1. Improved resource management — project managers can easier allocate resources, reducing the lockdown of them.
  2. Better Pace — The final solution can be brought to market much quicker, getting end-user feedback on sooner stages. It also reduces the costs/resources required to implement the changes.
  3. Transparency — All stakeholders can see the visible project progress, share feedback, and for software projects also test new features.
  4. Compliance — Health care organizations, with all pharmaceutical and manufactures of life-saving equipment, can easier comply with industry standards and regulations, which helps them to avoid penalties or risk in injuring the patient’s health.

The impact is made into an issue and may be broken down into sub-issues containing e.g., software-requirements. The requirement-issues will follow some software development lifecycle, supported by workflow, statuses, tackers, checklists, and working instructions in RedmineUP.

“The integration of GitHub with RedmineUP makes it possible to track changes to documents (typically source code) stored in GitHub — back to the original risk element, design input, bug report, regulatory requirement or other impacts that initiated that change.

Peeter Gaarde -Medical Device manufacturer from Denmark

Listen to the market and adjust your offer quickly.

Another critical factor is keeping an open and tight feedback loop with the market. By getting quick feedback from customers, companies can equally quickly improve their products and services.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of Agile project management in your development project, we covered the differences in a separate blog post.

3. Transitioning to the remote work and cloud

With the majority of the team that shifted to remote work and keeps this setting, the cloud is a practical solution. With no installation or operational costs, your team can start with Redmine in a minute. The only cost factor is the number of users, yet comparing to Jira, Redmine hosting providers are more flexible, providing pricing plans based on user tiers.

An arguably the most engaging point in discussion with every CTO is which way of hosting Redmine is better — in-house or cloud-hosted. As in the old saying — the shoemaker’s son always goes barefoot — similarly in IT in the healthcare sector. The audits and investments in the security of internal systems are often in the backlog, being pushed down by more priority projects.

In the words of our customer, Healthcare Deutschland:

We used Bitnami instalation of Redmine, but [we] decided to go [into] Cloud with one of leader of market — RedmineUP.

As for the reasons I can say that we don’t want to spent out resourses on maintanance of Redmine. We work closely with customers, suppliers, and across the ecosystem to deliver the service needed for people. [It’s] Nice to have a team of proffecionals behind. Success requires collaboration.

We appreciated the data migration from Bitnami — it was well coordinated and well done.

If your team also consider migration from Bitnami to new Redmine, we covered the process in a previous blog post.

Healthcare Deutschland Team

4. Data privacy and security is the priority

An enterprise-ready solution that meets both global and regional standards

The US and European medical device, pharmaceutical, and healthcare industries have stringent regulatory norms to protect patients’ safety and privacy. In the delicate process of launching a new product, they must comply with the regulatory landscape.

To protect proprietary know-how and private data, the IT systems and IT tools must meet the strict requirements. The first things to verify is whether your provider holds such certificates such as:

  • PCI DSS Level 1
  • ISO/IEC 27001:2013
  • SOC 1 Type II and SOC 2 Type II
  • Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) STAR self-assessment
Must-comply with security certificates

At RedmineUP, we take privacy and data protection very seriously. Have a look at the RedmineUP’s Security Statement for details. We protect customers’ data as data of our children.

Nowadays, Redmine hosting providers such as EasyRedmine, Planio, and RedmineUP put data security and safety in the first place. They provide 2-factor identification, strong password enforcement and other safety measures.

5. Getting prompt support when it’s needed

Redmine doesn’t have a support channel that’s open 24/7/365. Contrary to open-sources version and tech-giants where support is moving with snail-speed, the RedmineUP Cloud team provide you with a direct line with the support team that’s here to help you.

Dedicated account manager versatile in your industry

You don’t need to wait for the potential response from the Redmine community if you face a roadblock, or your team is uncertainty how to set something up. Dedicated assistance of the account manager let you keep the speed even in a troublesome situation.

Apply standard work procedures and templates from your industry.

Apart from the technical support, you can count on the assistant of the experienced account manager. Among benefits, it means you can leverage proven procedures and standard work templates tested and verified in real business scenarios.

With the second wave of COVID-19, the challenges described above are very actual. Healthcare product and services providers need to address them with their teams to secure delivery of their solutions in the uncertain future.

Redmine is rising in popularity, but it needs to be tweaked to fit your organization and project needs. Manual setup on-premises can take up a lot of precious time and resources. The default configuration doesn't provide full security and compliance with international norms, nor professional and reliable support.

Leaning on a ready-to-use Redmine hosting is the best way forward. Well-configured Redmine streamlines your operation, improves your cost base and future-proofs your investment. RedmineUP has proven time and again that it supports its clients, especially in the mission-critical sector.

We genuinely hope that Redmine helps you to deliver success in current turbulent time and beyond, and our tips will help you configure it for your healthcare project. Give it a try for two-weeks — it’s quick, easy and free.




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