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Impact analysis/Traceability?


I'm wondering how one would address this for managing changes to projects? For instance, in tools I've used in the past, I can answer the question "for the tasks/requirements that are at risk/due soon what would be impacted if it weren't completed?" and or "If I change this item, what is the ripple effect to my other tasks/items?". I'm used to using a traceability matrix and or an Ishikawa graph to accomplish this with filters.


  • Brett Evans
    Brett Evans ✭✭✭✭✭✭


    I am having the same issue and trying to build that typoe of functionality I an used to . I can build an autonumbering system, and once built I can link columns from one sheet to another.  The short coming I am having is if I add a row and requirement to the Business requirements, It does not add rows and links to functional requirements or technical requirements downstream. 


    From my exploration the only way to keep things linked in this fashion is going to be by indenting rows.  Which sounds less than ideal.   



  • JamesR
    JamesR ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    To do these things you need a baseline, Smartsheet as yet does not haave that capability.  You also need to be able to put actuals whik again is not available as a built in capability.

    These can be designed into your sheet by adding either additional columns to store your basline start and finish which you lock once set and/create calculate fields to give you variances. Alternativly you can double up on KPI tasks and duplicate the data and thn lock these as your baseline and use the other lines as actuals. Again additional columns will be requiered to calculate variances, also format the KPI tasks as a different colour so that the impact of changes can be seen on the gantt chart.

  • There are simpler ways to do it, but I'm not seeing this functionality in SS. The KPI variances, while nice from a calculation perspective don't address logical linkages like Brett was speaking about before with sub-item alignment. I'm also not seeing the ability to have multiple structures of items (e.g. hierarchical, linear, true graph (aka Ishikawa), traceability matrix, all the things Joy Beatty mentions, etc.) that come from a trace. One of my immediate issues (I can see there will be others with process change management) is that while in an operations environment, things change. All the items are being treated like tasks and there is no 'This changed, what is the cascading effect on these tasks/items that need to be reverified'. Additionally as per the sub-item issue, there aren't multiple types (e.g. info != task != schedule != goal ...). I'm thinking the only way to do that would be to recreate my own lists in multiple sheets and make reports that were needed functions in other tools. I'm looking for a way to use the tool for project management and not rebuild my needs (too much, I'm willing to get close) in another system. Does anyone have an idea on how to achieve those 2 functions?

  • Sam S

    While this may not be as detailed as you are looking for but the highlight changes functionality can highlight all the items that change in a given timeframe. If your tasks are linked to each other using dependencies, when you change a date, the highlight changes function can show all the cells that were changed due to the you changing the date.

  • Indeed that helps in some scenarios, but I'm still having difficulty in communicating 'what if' scenarios (e.g. what would be the impact if we changed this? Some of the items are actions that depend on information, but what actions need to be re-done when information is changed? Sometimes not all. ). Or, conjugately, now that I've changed something, everything downstream is highlighted & cells have been recalculated. Other groups are working on these sheets together and if I start doing what-ifs alarms are sent. Is there a view anyone knows of that shows how things are linked?

This discussion has been closed.