Is there a way to move a dependant date further out without using lag?

I have a background of using MS Project where 'predecessors' are the equivalent of 'dependencies'. I have got used to smartsheets pretty quickly and for the most part get along with it but feel that there is a definite limitation when using dependencies as follows:

In MS project if I have line 1 completing 28/11/23, I can set it as a predecessor for line 2 and can then set line 2's start date as any date after 28/11/23. Setting line 1 as a predecessor simply stops me starting line 2 any earlier than line 1's completion.

In smartsheets however, setting line 1 as a dependency of line 2 forces line 2 to start on line 1's completion date and this cannot be moved any further out. I want to use dependency's to make sure that my plan is logical however it is not logical that every task will start as soon as it's predecessor is finished.

Note: I am aware of the lag function and that is what I am using currently however this is quite time consuming and seems silly. Surely, there should we a way of me being able to type in my required start date and either the lag will autofill or my task will shift out?


  • jmyzk_cloudsmart_jp
    jmyzk_cloudsmart_jp ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 11/28/23

    Hi @jamie.harbottle

    This may be what you call the lag function, but changing the predecessor from 2 to 2+1 automatically sets the predecessor as;

    2FS +1d

    So, If I want to start the next task on Thursday instead of Tuesday, I add 2. (2+2)

    If you are moving the Gantt bars, I will drag the predecessor task bar's tail until the next task's desired start date. (This makes the predecessor task duration longer, so I prefer the first method. You could add a task like a lag with a duration of 0.1m and place it between the real predecessor task and the next task.)

  • Hi @jmyzk_cloudsmart_jp

    Yes, that is what I was referring to as the lag function. It does work and it is possible to achieve the same thing however it does have its own issues.

    Let's say I say line 2 is 1FS+10d, if line 1 is then late by a day then line 2 will shift out and consequently my entire plan will be late.

    I was to say that line 1 is a dependency for line 2 but then manually enter a start date for line 2. Line 2 should then not move unless line 1 is 10 days late.

    Hopefully this makes what I am asking a little clearer.