Constraining a deadline that has predecessors

DanR ✭✭✭✭

Since Smartsheet does not have constraints built into the scheduling software, I have trouble with drifting deadlines. A proper schedule has predecessors and dependencies assigned to tasks and this string of links needs to logically end with the deadline. The problem is that as soon as someone makes an adjustment to a duration or finish date, the deadline is automatically changed.

I know the logical answer to holding the deadline will be to use the Start-to-Finish predecessor relationship, but people find that confusing and it can be hard to teach. It also limits predictive functions when you do have the option of extending a deadline. The default Finish-to-Start predecessor is so much easier to set up and is the most versatile. Does anyone have a trick for locking that deadline in a Finish-to-Start dependency schedule that will not allow preceding tasks to exceed it?

So far, my only solution has been to eliminate that final dependency link to the deadline. Then I enhance it with a conditional formatting rule to highlight any finish dates that exceed the deadline date. But this gets complicated, especially when there are multiple deadlines in a project.