Enabling updates to start / end dates with dependencies

edited 12/09/19 in Smartsheet Basics

Hi There -

I would like to enable the workflow described below, which doesn't seem possible based on my read of various community posts. Would welcome ideas for how to work around / address. So far I have set up the following:

  • Task lists set up with dependencies
  • Tasklist also has hard coded planned start / end dates
  • Team members have view-only access to the sheet
  • Have set up a report that displays task status, start/end date (with dependencies enabled) and planned start/end date. Team members have editing access on this report

I would like to enable the following workflow without having to give everyone admin. rights to the underlying task sheet:

  • Task status can be updated in a report or update request
  • Start / End Date can be manually updated either via report or update request. I would like to do this so that when a date is an actual (vs. a latest estimate) the downstream dates are updated appropriately 
  • Changes to start / end date cascade down through schedule via predecessor linking
  • Changes can be made by individual team members without the sheet admin having to go in and update

From everything I have read, when dependencies are enabled, it is not possible to change the start and end dates in a sheet via a linked report or an update request. Is there a way to enable the workflow described above?

Thanks in advance for your help!








  • JeremiahHorstick
    JeremiahHorstick ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    One idea - allow them to edit duration only? Nah

    Idea 2- For every task in the critical path create another, which is a duplicate and SS predecessor to the task with other depencies. Put a formula in the duration to match & send update requests on task which is the predecessor, but does have any dependencies. Update request will work.

    Idea 3 - add a 3rd row for inputting of manual starts and reconcile the sheet regularly. 

  • Amandapoole

    Thanks Jeremiah!

    I thought about Idea #3, but am now running into an issue where changing the Start Date results in a pop-up message that says that manually updating the start date will result in the removal of predecessors on the row. Any ideas there?

  • JeremiahHorstick
    JeremiahHorstick ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    That's the case. Normally in my project schedules when I have over-ridden the critical path dependencies something has gotten way of kilter or we are doing something unique to get ahead....

    The only way to adjust the start date & accurately reflect the start and finish of predecessor tasks is to add another row and set that as a dependency for the task you want to move. Call the new row 'delay'. This way you can modify the task start while maintaining the integrity of your dependencies. 

    This works fine moving a task forward due to a delay, however if a predecessor is not complete and you want to start a task prior to it's predecessor being complete, there's a flaw in the critical path and you need to re-think your predecessors because the preceding task in not truly a prerequisite.