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Design Error for Resources Allocation - Percentage vs hours/days/weeks

Edit - I may have been a bit harsh calling this a design error, I do see cases it would be easier choosing percentages for resource allocation instead of hours/days/weeks - but making the latter an option would be an amazing improvement. The current design seems relevant for a projectized organization with dependables and negotiating project resoursec; but for a service organization it is more about prioritizing hundreds of tasks, creating the need for a lot more flexibility.

There has got to be a design error in the way Smartsheet handles resources and resource views. It has potential to be a masterpiece of a feature, but it the way it is now I am struggling to see any value unless you are able to have very rigorous planning. And then I could just as well use Microsoft Project.

Percentage of workload should be a calculated result of your estimated hours/days/weeks and planned period / duration, not a data input in itself. The way it is now, everyone has calculate % Allocation manually to give meaningful data input. Even worse, they have to re-calculate everytime changes is made.

When data entry is this hard, the output in the resource view becomes unreliable. Shit in, shit out.

This is how it should work:

  1. I define a working day and week as - for example - 8 hours and 40 hours
  2. I have got a task estimated at 8 hours
  3. I allocate 8 hours, 1 day, or 0,2 weeks on the task, depending on my preference
  4. I plan starting the task on day 1, and finish on day 2 in the task list, resulting in a duration of 2 days
  5. This should result in a 50% allocation between day 1 and day 2 in the resource view.
  6. Then I change planned dates from day 1 to day 3 in my task list, giving a duration of 3 days
  7. This should result in 33% on the resource view.

The way it is designed now, I have to

  • Perform step 4 before step 3 (including calculating)
  • Perform step 3 (including calculating) every single time I want to perform step 6.

The latter point is killing the whole point of what customers like about Smartsheet - Flexibility.

We spent hours in our department trying to figure out how the resource view could help our department. The only thing reliable in my resource view now, is vacations. That's the only thing rigid enough to be reliable in the resource view.

PS - I see a lot of people is asking for the possibility to insert formulas to calculate % Allocation, but my guess is that it would lead to some backend circular reference issues as the input is related to several other factors.


  • Shaine Greenwood
    Shaine Greenwood Employee
    edited 09/21/17


    This is a well-articulated post! Our Product team would love to see this. When you have a moment, please submit a product enhancement request using the form under Quick links on the right of the community site. This will be sent directly to our Product team.

    You're welcome to link back to this community post when submitting, that way you don't have to repeat yourself.


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