Template for IT Services

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Duraid
Duraid
edited 07/07/24 in Smartsheet Basics

As an IT manager, I'm responsible for various simultaneous and sometimes unrelated areas, including:

  • Maintenance of existing apps
  • New development projects
  • Recruitment
  • Operations
  • Company websites
  • Procurement
  • Billing

I'm looking for a template to help me manage these areas efficiently without overwhelming me with details. For instance, I prefer to manage dates and durations in sprints rather than actual dates to better manage visibility across projects.

I have started using the Project Management Office template, but I'm wondering if there is a better choice.

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Answers

  • Brian_Richardson
    Brian_Richardson Overachievers Alumni
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    There's a ton of templates to browse, but if you're not finding something that fits well then you may want to take a template that's reasonably close, like PM office, and tweak it to your needs.

    One thing you could do is setup a sheet for each of those areas with the data that you're interested in tracking and include a consistent Sprint column with the same choices in all sheets. Then, setup a report that looks at all the sheets and has the columns that you want. You can edit data inside reports and the data is automatically synced to the sheets…and Card View / Gantt View are available in reports for easier management.

    BRIAN RICHARDSON | PMO TOOLS AND RESOURCES | HE|HIM

    SEATTLE WA, USA

    IRON MOUNTAIN

  • Duraid
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    Thank you Brian. having a ton of templates is part of the problem. It's makes it really hard to find what you want without expert advise. Unfortunately I didn't find any template that managed sprints correctly. The agile temple puts sprints as phases which makes it hard for moving tasks across sprints and calculating sprint velocity. Sprints are time indicator and should be managed like start/end dates. It seems that Smartsheet is primarily a waterfall /Gantt tool.

  • Brian_Richardson
    Brian_Richardson Overachievers Alumni
    edited 07/09/24
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    Ah, well you can have a simple Sprint dropdown that you can then use to assign work to sprints, and move work between sprints as needed. If you want to time-bound your sprints then a second lookup sheet with each sprint name and the start/end date can be used, then in date columns on the first sheet do an INDEX/MATCH for those dates. That way, you can leverage Card/Board to drag work between Sprints and still date-bind your work if you want to.

    You can skip the templates entirely if they aren't working for you, setting up a sheet like above with just the data you want is pretty quick.

    For work type, instead of multiple sheets, you can simply use the single sheet with a Type dropdown column. Then in Card/Board you have the option to change the lanes from Sprint to Type to manage work.

    Similarly, if you setup a dropdown with your epics, you can flip lanes from Sprint to Epic and rearrange your work by Epic, or Product, or Theme, or Story, etc etc.

    Hierarchy is also good for some of this. If you use indented child tasks, those show up on Card View (not yet in Board view) as subtasks on your cards, which can be expanded and checked off for completion as desired.

    In Smartsheet if you click Create…Card sheet then you'll get a sheet with basic Agile values to play with.

    BRIAN RICHARDSON | PMO TOOLS AND RESOURCES | HE|HIM

    SEATTLE WA, USA

    IRON MOUNTAIN

  • Duraid
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    Thanks Brian. This is goes along the lines of what I'm looking for. I would like to add to that the portfolio feature to be able to manage many projects/areas/teams. Is there a template that I can start using or should I build this from scratch? I would expect that such thing already exists since agile has been there for ages.

    I attached how sprints are modeled in planner which is what I'm looking for. You can see how each sprint is associated with a date range.

  • Brian_Richardson
    Brian_Richardson Overachievers Alumni
    edited 07/09/24
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    Depending on the number of projects you have. If you have a few then you can simply copy a sheet over and over. Reports sweep across sheets, if you set the report source to a workspace rather than a list of sheets, then the report will pick up new additions. Throw a couple dashboards in and you have a basic solution.

    It sounds like you know what you want to track, so I’d literally just setup a sheet with the columns and start playing with it. For Card/Board view you can sort cards into lanes based on drop down type columns. So anything you want to drag the cards to just needs be a dropdown type or a contact type column with single selection. You can start simply by opening Browse and clicking Create…Cards to get a sheet with some basic agile dropdown columns that you can expand upon.


    SS includes basic capacity resource mgmt also, click the Resource Panel button to the right when you have your sheet open. It will aggregate utilization across all enabled sheets and allow you to browse and adjust by clicking Expand on the panel once setup.

    If you plan to have 40+ projects then I’d look into Control Center. CC will take your template, generate new projects based on intake, collate metrics, and enable push changes to your sheets.

    BRIAN RICHARDSON | PMO TOOLS AND RESOURCES | HE|HIM

    SEATTLE WA, USA

    IRON MOUNTAIN

  • Duraid
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    Thank you Brian. You gave a lot of good ideas and direction to start. SS is a big platform and can be overwhelming to newcomers. I will start implementing this and let you know. I might come back with questions:)

    I still think it's a shame that there is not default template to accomplish this and implement sprints correctly.

  • Brian_Richardson
    Brian_Richardson Overachievers Alumni
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    That’s what we are here for! Agree it’s a lot…Smartsheet often feels more like a collection of tools in a toolbox. You can build a chair or you can build a house with it, but it does take some knowledge to get from one to the other 😀

    That’s the powerful part though… you’re an IT guy (as am I) so I’m sure you know what your internal customer’s experience is when they want to do something similar and have to “get in line” for IT resources. With Smartsheet and a bit of time, everyone can build solutions that work for them, without having to wait on IT to do it for them.

    If you haven’t already, I encourage you to check out Smartsheet University, specifically the Core App track, which covers most of the basics in a self-driven format.  You should have access with your license. 

    https://smartu.smartsheet.com

    I also would HIGHLY recommend going to ENGAGE. Theres plenty of agile practice and sessions there, booths full of Smartsheet experts, etc. Its a good time 😀.

    BRIAN RICHARDSON | PMO TOOLS AND RESOURCES | HE|HIM

    SEATTLE WA, USA

    IRON MOUNTAIN