Which do you recommend?

Options

Hi there- I'm currently deciding on what would be the best approach for helping my organization keep track of our projects so that the data remains clean and it's easy to capture on dashboards. I know you can create multiple sheets and have it feed into one master sheet and that you have the option to use one sheet to track multiple projects. Is it more complicated to have multiple sheets to feed into one master sheet? How does that affect reporting?

Answers

  • Lauren Dominique
    Lauren Dominique ✭✭✭✭✭
    Options

    I don’t think one option is necessarily more complicated than the other, and pulling the data for dashboard reports will be similar regardless of what you decide to do. I would recommend you consider 1) how many people are working on different projects and 2) how customized/complex the management of each individual project is.

    Regarding #1 (person-power)…

    If you have 10 projects with unique team members, I’d be inclined to recommend you build out one standardized project sheet that can be copy & pasted 10 times so each project has its own sheet that can be shared with the appropriate people. Then, you could have one master report that pulls together all of the data across all 10 sheets for the smaller group of leaders who want easy oversight into all project activities.

    If you have 10 projects with the same team members working on each one, I might recommend one sheet that has all of the projects’ information in one place, set up with child/parent groupings to make it easier to navigate.

    Regarding #2 (project uniqueness/complexity)…

    If you don’t think it will be possible to have a standardized project template that can be used across all projects, then I think making them individualized will be the way to go and then creating an intermediary metrics sheet that pulls together the information you want from each project sheet so it can be displayed on one collective dashboard.

    My last piece of advice: In terms of keeping the data “clean” - I’ve recently gotten really into the concept of an archive sheet. There is an automation to move a row from one sheet to another sheet when it meets certain criteria, which means you could set something up to move project tasks into from one sheet into an archive sheet when its completed date is X days in the past. That way, you don’t end up with a project sheet that has 500+ rows and is overwhelming for folks to noodle through.

    Hope this helps… happy building!

    If this comment helped you, please help me and help others by using the buttons below if you found it 💡 Insightful or ❤️ Awesome!

  • jordan_manor
    Options

    Hi @Lauren Dominique thank you so much for the detailed answer! The information really helps. I did have a question about the first option you mentioned:

    "If you have 10 projects with unique team members, I’d be inclined to recommend you build out one standardized project sheet that can be copy & pasted 10 times so each project has its own sheet that can be shared with the appropriate people"

    Do all the users in the sheet have to have a Smartsheet license in order to make copies of the sheet? Also, if they make a copy of the sheet for their own purposes will the information automatically feed back into the main sheet?