Track Project Durations from Creation to Closeout

Steven R.
Steven R.
edited 01/30/24 in Smartsheet Basics

I'm curious if there is a way to track project delays and/or timeliness between when a project plan is first made to when a task completes.

We typically go through a period of project analysis before we create a fully detail project plan and actually begin work on the various tasks. The initial creation of this project plan includes dates and task durations. This is where I want to record the "Start" dates. However, these dates and durations never match the reality of a project duration. In some cases a task might be started earlier or finish later than anticipated. At the end, dates and durations have changed throughout the project and no longer match what the initial project plan was.

Is there a way for me to track these differences? I recognize that I can simply record the dates for each task after plan creation and then compare the end results, but I'm looking for a more automated solution. Its also VERY helpful in the middle of a project to know how many days you might be behind schedule.

Is Smartsheet capable of automating this?

Best Answer

  • brianschmidt
    brianschmidt ✭✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓

    Smartsheet is actually set up for this exact thing through "Baselines" settings! First, you'll want to make sure that project settings have enabled dependencies. Then, view your sheet in Gantt View (likely shifting from Grid view). Then, in the top right hand corner of the page, you'll see Baselines and Critical Path settings. The baseline creates a set of new columns that record the baseline dates and durations. Then, as you adjust things in your initial date columns, it will show variance from the baseline. Here's a Smartsheet help page on this topic: https://help.smartsheet.com/articles/2482093-baselines

    Hope this helps!

Answers

  • brianschmidt
    brianschmidt ✭✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓

    Smartsheet is actually set up for this exact thing through "Baselines" settings! First, you'll want to make sure that project settings have enabled dependencies. Then, view your sheet in Gantt View (likely shifting from Grid view). Then, in the top right hand corner of the page, you'll see Baselines and Critical Path settings. The baseline creates a set of new columns that record the baseline dates and durations. Then, as you adjust things in your initial date columns, it will show variance from the baseline. Here's a Smartsheet help page on this topic: https://help.smartsheet.com/articles/2482093-baselines

    Hope this helps!

  • Thank you very much. It's always nice when there is a button that does the entire process you're looking for. That is exactly what software like this should help simplify.