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Project automation - update start date when task 100% complete

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Richard_A
Richard_A
edited 12/09/19 in Archived 2016 Posts

Hi,

 

I am new to Smartsheet. I have a project that has multiple tasks and dependencies. If I have a task that is completed ahead of time and I mark the '% Complete' to 100%, I would like the dependent tasks to update. (I have the Dependency Settings enabled in Project Settings) For example if a task is due to finish on 6th April but it finishes 25th March, for the tasks that would have then started on 7th April - how do I get them to automatically change the start date to 26th March?

 

Thanks in advance,

Richard

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  • J. Craig Williams
    J. Craig Williams ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Richard_A

     

    If Dependencies are enabled, the columns associated with the Project Settings can not have formulas in them. 

    A third party tool like Zapier or Azuqua that 'watches' the sheet content and takes action based on what occured might work. I will add that to my test of those tools (ongoing)

     

    And (here goes Craig again), this would not be good project management practice.

    The schedule should have been agreed to by all involved parties. There are (often) undefined dependencies that are built into the schedule but not fully documented.

    For example, suppose when you were building your schedule that the task that is currnently scheduled to start April 1st is supposed to be done by Janet. During the schedule planning, Janet looks at the proposed schedule and says "yeah I can do that. I'll be on vacation until April 3rd so that works great!" or maybe she didn't say it, she just thought it but the schedule works.

    And now, your automatic system shifts the schedule two weeks and she doesn't know can she's on the beach with her kids.

    So, automatic shifting of the schedule == BAD.

     

    However, what you can (and should) do is build in alerts and reminders to let the PM know that the shift in schedule is POSSIBLE now that Task A is complete and then the PM needs to do what they are supposed to do and manage the project.

    Smartsheet and other PM tools are just that tools -- but they can not and should not be expected to do the thinking part of the equation.

     

    Back to my example, if the schedule software could automatically shift the date, it would need to check for other things (like Janet's vacation calendar) and maybe she can (and is willing) to do the work from the beach and ...

     

    Probably not what you wanted to hear.

     

    Craig


    Craig

     

     

  • Richard_A
    Richard_A
    edited 03/24/16
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    Hi Craig,

     

    Thank you for your input.

     

    In this particular case, there is only 1 individual working on the project and they are running ahead of schedule. Rather than having to manually map out the rest of the project based on the new finish dates, I thought it could save time updating the remaining tasks automatically rather than having to manually calculate the new start date for the next task. I appreciate your point on good practise though for PMs.

     

    If this is not an automatic function, what is the purpose of the % Complete in Project Settings->Options?  Is it just for graphics on the Gantt View?

     

    Thanks,

    Richard

  • J. Craig Williams
    J. Craig Williams ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 03/24/16
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    Richard,

     

    If you manually update the new time and the predecessors are all set up correctly, the schedule will update the dates in the future (potentially also in the past but that's another issue)

    so if you have the system alert you when you need to pay attention, then it is quick work to update it.

     

    Systems designed for multi-users often clash with those designed for small or one person teams. The needs are different but often overlooked in my experience.

     

    Currently, built in that is all you get for the % Complete (graphic view in Gantt).

    I would like two linked colums % Complete and Done (or Completed) and if I enter 100% then the check box gets clicked and if I click the check box the % Complete goes to 100%. They do such things with Duration/Start/End Dates where the last manual entry wins, so that would be similiar functionality.

     

    I have built systems where the % Complete automatically goes into the Earned Value calculations and the SV/CV/SPI/CPI values fall out. But that is a function of building the system, not the system itself.

     

    I'm also working on a baseline (current approved) schedule and forecasting schedule. I don't know if I will get it implemented before Smartsheet does - they have more people. :)

     

    Craig

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