Gantt Chart & Cell Linking. What is the workaround?

Nichol Schroeder
edited 08/14/23 in Smartsheet Basics

Gantt charts cannot have cell linking when there is a predecessor assigned.

My challenge is I need to have my sheet reference my vendor's sheets so that it automatically updates when they enter their date. This does not seem possible in all avenues I have ventured down.

I tried using the Vlookup formula and I am unable to even do this and receive the following error message. Other businesses must be doing this somehow otherwise someone has to manually enter the new dates once any action is complete which just seems silly if you have 100 projects going at once.

I have mulled this over so much and am hoping I am missing something. Currently trying to operate in the Project Management Office Template. There is so much potential if we could just get this connection to function.



  • Nichol,

    What is happening is the desired function of Smartsheet, and most other PM software. The end date is currently calculated based on the predecessor relationship. This cell is then populated in that manner. If you want to change the date in the main sheet, you wither need to change the predecessor, or remove the predecessor link. Pulling in from another sheet only add complexity, but does not change the function of the sheet.

    One option would be to have the predecessor to link to the vendors sheet in a column showing desired completion date. The vendor could see when they are expected to complete the date and enter in their date in another column that would link back to your sheet. You would need to put in a initial date for your vendor so it will appear on your schedule, but the vendor could see the reference date and then adjust the actual date. The other benefit to this is you could then build a report showing the task, planned dates and the actual dates.

    Otherwise you are going to get the dialog box above. Hope this helps.

  • Thank you for the feedback! I am still new to using Gantt charts, it seemed like having predecessors is a requirement for the timeline to update properly based off of the start/end dates. Would I just want the durations entered and not link any predecessors so the timeline is there, but the linking of the actions does not happen, therefore the end dates can be cell linked out?

    I like the idea you are laying out to give the expectation to the vendor! Just confused on the execution based on the predecessor cell link issue. How does the vendor's "actual" date get onto our project timeline in a live update? Or would this still not be possible with your suggestion?