Enhancing Workflow Management on Consulting Projects
Hello! I need some help enhancing how we track our current projects in Smartsheet.
I work for an engineering consulting firm. We have been using Smartsheet over the last 9 months to track tasks and manage workflow. The majority of our projects are labor-only. Due to the nature of our work with public agencies and railroads, its nearly impossible to schedule tasks in advance because timelines are always changing with every project. You can always approximate timelines, but more often than not, we are always waiting on someone/something outside of our control to move forward.
We have primarily been using Smartsheet to track "Current Action Items" and "Next Action Items" for every project on a single sheet. Rather than focusing on big scope items, we track daily and weekly tasks that may fall under a scope item. For example, Project Type A would have a single sheet with columns for Project Name, Current Action Item, Next Action Item, Task Assigned To, and Priority Level (RYGG Balls). I can then use that information to discuss projects in weekly status meetings as well as create task lists for individual employees to refer to each day. We do have a list of all major scope items and milestones on a separate sheet for each project. I'm trying to avoid having one sheet for every project because it seems too difficult to navigate through 30 sheets only to keep track of something as simple as "review report revisions" or "call client about current situation".
Here is an example row:
Project Name: City of Chicago
Task Assigned To: Frank
Current Action Item: Review CAD drawings
Next Action Item: Submit final meeting notes and drawings to client.
Condensing this information to one row is helpful because is allows all resources to quickly see the latest info for a project.
Its getting to the point that there are multiple "Current Action Items" for a single project that can all be assigned to different resources. I don't want to create a massive checklist of all minor tasks for each project (at least in this view) because I want to keep info concise. I also don't want to lose the ability to keep track of daily tasks and keep all resources accountable to getting the tasks done.
In my experience, Reports do not have the ability to retain hierarchy (parent and child tasks), so keeping important info limited to one row seemed idea when creating the system.
If anyone has a creative solution or needs me to help clarify what was said, please let me know.