Recommendation question on Automation setups


I'm working on some simple automations and revisiting some other ones that were built before I was using smartsheet and wanted to get an opinion on best practices.

When setting up automation with condition path's, do you recommend multiple automations or 1 with multiple conditions.

For example, I've got a field called department (Dropdown box) in my smartsheet and the data is filled out from a form initially.

When the form gets submitted, there is an automation that says depending on which department was selected, assign the following person (contact field). This was done with multiple automations instead of multiple condition path's in the same automation.

I'm now working through something similar where i need to set a similar process but the person assignment is a manager (used for escalation purposes). Since it seems like you can't

I'm looking at it from the point of view of one larger automation.

  1. If Departments A,B,C then assign to Joe
  2. If Department D, then assign to Steve
  3. If Department E, then assign to Mary etc…

Is there one way that is recommended over another ? I had thought about doing both sets of assignments in the same automation but assigning people is a dead end in automations and I've got 2 different contact fields in play.


  • PCG Sam Harwart
    PCG Sam Harwart ✭✭✭✭

    Hi @tovythomas ,

    Having multiple smaller automations can be easier to troubleshoot, but it can also be difficult to manage if there are a lot of automations on the page.

    For these type of assignment flows, I tend to use lookup tables from a helper sheet instead. Then on the main sheet, use an index/match combo to grab the values. I find that is easier to keep updated for when things change.

    Just my 2 cents.


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  • bisaacs
    bisaacs ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hey @tovythomas,

    I don't know if there's a "best practice" per se when it comes to creating automation conditions, but I generally separate workflows by individual functions. So, in the case you provided where you want to assign a person based on the dept selected, I would have that be one workflow, with the trigger being the row being added, conditionals based on the dept selected, then assigning the person based on the conditionals.

    From here, I would create another workflow (if needed) based on the assigned person cell being changed, and create a workflow for that.

    To me, this makes it easier to troubleshoot because if the automation is breaking at a specific point/function, the whole function is built out in one workflow, vs being spread out over multiple ones.

    If my response was helpful in any way (or answered your question) please be sure to upvote it, mark it as awesome, or mark it as the accepted answer!

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  • tovythomas
    tovythomas ✭✭✭✭

    @PCG Sam Harwart , thanks I haven't worked with helper sheets (more helper columns with formulas) so may look into that at some point. Do you just leverage a formula referencing the helper sheet then to auto pull it ? I'm not great with formulas but I am intrigued.

    @bisaacs , Thanks, that was my thought as well.

    This sheet has 85 different automations in it (assignments/alerts/Update Requests/moves etc..) but I was considering trying to skinny it down (take 6 seperate assignments rules and make it into 1 anywhere i can to make it easier to manage.