Linking Tasks in Projects with Different Working Days

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Kariv
Kariv ✭✭✭
edited 03/21/24 in Smartsheet Basics

I have some teams that have a 5 day work week and other teams with a 7 day work week (I know how to adjust the working days for individual project plans in the Project Settings). This is creating a couple issues, and I am wondering what best practices are in this scenario.

Issue-when hyperlinking tasks between two project plans with different working days, I cannot set up a hyperlink to the End Date. I typically set up a hyperlink to the Duration and Start Date, and the End Date is calculated. However, Smartsheet calculates the End Date based on individual project plan, and so the date does not calculate properly when the working days are not aligned between the two project plans.

Issue-I could set up all of my project plans with a 7 day work week, however, when I use Predecessors, the Start Date and End Date might fall on a weekend, which is not ideal for my 5 day work week teams. I realize I can +/- days to my Predecessor, but it is inefficient to have to always check to see if tasks are starting or ending on a weekend, which is the beauty of setting up projects with the 5 day work week in the Project Settings.

Issue-When switching a project plan from a 5 day work week to a 7 day work week, Smartsheet adjusts the End Dates for task. I've been creating an Excel copy before I change the Project Settings, then I have to go through and update the End Dates. I have lots of project plans, so this is a decent lift to update existing plans if I go the route of changing them all to a 7 day work week. It would be nice if Smartsheet asked you if you would like to keep the current Start Date and End Date when making a shift in the working days.

How have others worked around these issues?

Thank you!

Kari

Answers

  • brianschmidt
    brianschmidt ✭✭✭✭✭
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    @Kariv , I'm not sure exactly what the use case is for "hyperlinking" tasks. It can be a bit tricky when you need variable project settings.

    Assuming you have multiple teams working on one base project...One idea would be to have the base project sheet separate with tasks, start dates and durations. Then, linking your tasks into project plan sheets for the different teams, you can pull the starts and durations from the base project plan while the dependency and project settings remain the same in each respective sheet.

    Again, I may be missing context for what you are hoping to achieve or how your sheet is already set up. If I'm missing something, are you able to upload a screenshot (with sensitive data redacted) to give me an idea of what you're dealing with?

    Hope this helps!:)

  • Kariv
    Kariv ✭✭✭
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    Hi @brianschmidt Thanks so much for your response! The use case is our technical teams have a 7 day work week as they often perform work on weekends to avoid disrupting everyday users. The rest of our teams have a 5 day work week, but they often have tasks that cannot start until the technical work is done. When I add the hyperlink to the technical task's "Duration" and "Start Date", the "End Date" does not compute correctly in the 5 day project plans. Therefore, the dependent task can have an erroneous "Start Date".

  • brianschmidt
    brianschmidt ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Gotcha. I'm not sure exactly what is going on. I linked a finish date from one of our project schedules (with dependencies enabled) into the "Start" cell of another project just now to test our Issue 1 that you identified in your original post. It worked just fine... To clarify, though, this is a cell link rather than a predecessor reference per se. I may not be understanding what you mean by "hyperlink".

    In any case, I think you definitely would need to keep the project plans (or at least parts of it) in separate sheets to ensure you can set separate dependency settings.

  • Kariv
    Kariv ✭✭✭
    edited 03/25/24
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    @brianschmidt You are correct that I was using a cell link when I said "hyperlink". I didn't know I could link a finish date into the "Start Date" cell in another project. It's interesting that you can do that, but you can't link it into an "End Date" cell. This is a great workaround that I can use-thank you so much!!!

  • brianschmidt
    brianschmidt ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Awesome! Glad it will work for you:)