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One task split into multiple periods

edited 12/09/19 in Archived 2015 Posts

Hi Smartsheet!


I have used Smartsheet at my former job and have now recently switched job and am evaluating what PM tool to use within the new company. The overall experience from working with Smartsheet has been positive but the tool however has one very critical shortcoming as I see it (at least for how we wanted to use the tool). Let me give an example:


Let's say I create a task that will take 10 days. Now, during that period I might have another task that requires only 1 day of work. The only way that Smartsheet allows me to plan this is by splitting the 10-day task into two tasks and placing them with a one day gap inbetween them. Then I'd place the 1-day task in that gap. This way the resource will not get overallocated in the system.


This in itself is very inefficient way of having to plan things and it creates a lot of "duplicate tasks" in the time line. It becomes even worse if I have to replan this part of the time line. Let's say I for example need to add another small task within this same time period, then I might need to create another duplicate task out of the (initially) 10-day task. Also if things happen that makes me have to shuffle things around a bit (maybe the 1-day task can't be moved in time but the 10-day task need to start a bit later) then I have quite a mess to handle with all the duplicate tasks and "uneccessary" rows.


Now, this problem gave us such a headache at my former company that I am now worried about bringing Smartsheets into my new company. If I knew that this problem was being addressed and that there is something officially in your roadmap that would counter these problems then I would go for implementing Smartsheet without hesitation :)


So, my question basically is; Do you have this problem on the radar and if so, when can we expect a solution for this?






  • I realize I should probably be a bit clear about what kind of solution I'm expecting/hoping you guys will implement. It is of course a solution to split tasks up into multiple time periods so that a task can exist on one row even though it has time gaps in it.

  • Richard Rymill SBP
    Richard Rymill SBP ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 12/04/15

    Hi Frederik

    There are a range of more complex solutions you can use but that would rquire more understanding of your workflow but here is a simple solution... 

    Your task can run over say 8 days but the % allocation is just 25% or two days worth. 

    That leaves you free to allocate the other 75% to other tasks in the period. 


    Happy to discuss this in more detail especially if it means you making the right decision to use Smartsheet or not? Email me if so? initial Consultation FREE. 




  • Fredrik
    edited 12/04/15

    Thanks for your reply Richard. Unfortunately the type of suggestion you make was exactly the type of solutions we tried out at my former job but it unfortunately fell short of solving it for us and instead caused even more work.


    The way I want to work (and I expect I am not the only project manager looking for this :) ) is to have my team members as closely allocated to 100% as possible, without overallocating them of course. I want a tool like Smartsheet to support that kind of workflow. However, in an example similar to yours I would allocate resources incorrectly just because of the shortcomings of the tool, and that is not good since it would give me inaccurate numbers. In your example you say I should set a task to have 25% allocation just in order to be able to allocate some other task on 75% during that time... that would give inaccurate allocation in total for the first task and each day would also be wrongly allocated on the days when there is no other task (some days would have resources allocated 25% in the system even though they will actually work 100% on the task that day, that is very dangerous and would lead to inaccurate numbers).


    I am sorry but we have really thought of many ways of trying to solve this with the current functoinality of Smartsheet but there really isn't any good solution :( The only solution is to implement functionality for splitting up a single task (row) over multiple periods. I guess this could be technically very difficult to accomplish for the Smartsheet team but I really do think that this is THE ONE AND ONLY glitch in their system now and that this feature would allow them to pick a fight with bigger online Project Planning tools such as MS Project Online and such.


    P.s. Anyone know if the smartsheet team is reading/replying to posts like this or if I need to mail them to get an answer?



  • Travis
    Travis Employee

    Hi Fredrik - member of the Smartsheet team here!


    This is a request that we get often and our Product team is aware of it. We meet with the Product team regularly to discuss all the enhancement requests we get. This feature is not on our near term roadmap and unfortunately I cannot give you any sort of timeline of when this would be addressed but they are aware that users are requesting this feature and the value it can add to the product.


    The more votes a feature gets, the more likely it will be addressed and I will submit your vote for it.


    In the meantime, your suggestion of the multiple rows would be the best option. 

  • Fredrik
    edited 12/04/15

    Thanks for your reply Travis! Very much appreciated. And I do honestly really like Smartsheet in so many ways (otherwise I wouldn't be in here asking you to add the last piece of the puzzle) but I don't know if we can live with this workaround. 


    But thank you very much for your honest reply!

  • Richard Rymill SBP
    Richard Rymill SBP ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Fredrik, I understand your issue. What may work for you is a system my colleague James has built for several organisation where Smartsheet does what it does best which is collaborate and gather data easily and get work done, but for the very detailed analysis, this is done in Excel from Smartsheet exports, using the full range of Slicing, Dicing etc. 

    If you want to explore this to see if it will meet your needs I can put you in touch? Shame not to use Smartsheet for all the good things it can do for you with the system as it is now? 


  • I have an issue that I think is similar.  I need to assign tasks that require less than a full day to complete, BUT I would like to assign this task to a user within a mulit-day window.


    For instance, a task requires 2hrs but can be completed anytime between Monday & Wednesday. Is there any way to do this?  

  • I see this topic is from 2015. Are there any real plans of implementing this feature? Being able to break and switch tasks is crucial for our workflow and monitoring, without this I just can't see adopting it in our organisation.


This discussion has been closed.