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Roadmap 2 cents

Bill Brandt
Bill Brandt ✭✭✭✭✭
edited 12/09/19 in Archived 2016 Posts

I looked over the road map for Smartsheets and it looks like the most effort is being put into expanding and integrating with other products. It seems that based on the comments here that there is a lot that could be improved or added to what already exsists and that maybe it is time to circle back around and focus more effort on improving what you have? While I like the product a lot I am constintly coming up against shortcomings in the program as it appears most people in this forum are. This is a great resource to figure out workarounds but it seems that a lot of this should not be work arounds but inherint in the program. Don't get me wrong I think it is a good product but I think it could be so much more without doing much more than revisting some of the existiing functionality and expanding the core.

I have seen numerous comments about suggestions being "great" and being forwarded to the development team but don't seem to see them actually getting implimented.


Just my thoughts


  • Bill,

    We appreciate the feedback and understand where you're coming from.  Prioritization of what we build is a balancing act between new features, enhancements to existing features and integrations to the other apps that our customers use.  We get well over 1,000 enhancement requests a month from customers - it's invaluable input but it's also at a level where we won't be able to satisfy everyone.  But as an example of the balanced approach that we currently have, we're hard at work at new features (Sights, Card View), improving existing features (saved filters, search, edit row form, mobile, discussions, notifications) and integrations (Jira, Salesforce).


    Thanks again for taking the time to give us feedback.

    - Eric Browne, VP Product Management

  • Bill Brandt
    Bill Brandt ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have worked in the IT field and understand the pull of "new" vs "improvement". You have a very good product that I would hate see get dilluted by lot's of "new". Please add these to the wishlist


    Smart Sheet wish list


    1) Would like the ability to override conditional formatting for specific cells.


    2) Ability to apply formatting to just the parent rows when collapsed and not have that formatting get applied to the child rows and vice versa. Example, currently If I want to change the background color of all my parent rows so that they stand out from the child rows I have to select each parent row individually. It would be better to collapse the parent rows and be able select by dragging which ones I want to change. Perhaps a dialog that asj where to apply formatting to just the parent or just the child or both would be good.


    3) Would like to be able to select certain rows as display only on update requests.


    4) Would like to be able to override symbols (check boxes, flags, ect.) so that they could be summed in a parent row.


    5) Would like to be able to have web forms apply new rows as children to parent rows. Example, A web form where an individual enters some data and on the sheet that data is a child of that person so as items are added that are grouped by that person.


    6) Would like the option to create a dialog window that provides information the first time a new collaborator enters a sheet. This could contain instructions and explanations of what they are seeing. Should have the option to dismiss on future access. Being able to paste in an image that was annotated would be very useful.


    7) Would like to have the option for summary bars to show breaks in the items that make up the summary.


    8) Would like the ability to apply more than one column set to the gnat chart. Example, having a proposed date bar and an actual being tacked in two set of start/end dates.


    9) Would like the ability to apply curtains to the gnat chart. Example, highlight a closure across all the activities to see which ones will be impacted.


    10) Would like the ability to apply borders to cells similar to excel.


    11) Would like the highlight changes to default to my last choice.


    12) Would like to be able to set sorts and filters as defaults for other users accessing a sheet.


    13) Would like to be able to create a saved set of sorts or filters for other users to select.



    14) Would like a custom sort option for setting the sort for non alpha or numeric values. Example. Assistant Project Manager, PM-1, Superintendent could be forced to sort in a specific order. We currently use a hidden sort column but it gets difficult to manage as the sheet gets larger and people change position.

  • JohnHinkle
    JohnHinkle ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi Bill! I have a couple suggestions. 


    2. Add a formula to a checkbox column that will check the box of any parent row. Then set a conditional formatting rule based on the checked box. 


    =IF(COUNT(CHILDREN([Task Name]1)) > 0, 1)


    Task Name is your primary column. This says, if the children of this cell is more than 0 (parent), check the box.


    Fill this down your sheet and hide the column. New rows will inherit this formula with auto-filling formulas. 


    3. Locked rows cannot be edited in update request. Lock the rows in your sheet and include them in the update request - they will be read only. 

    4. Is this request in regards to the 1 OR 0 EXPECTED error you get if you add a count formula to some symbol columns? Convert the result to a text value and you will be good to go! 


    For example, if you are trying to count the number of checked boxes in the child rows, you would use this:




    This would give you an error.


    Change to this: 


    =COUNTIF(CHILDREN(), 1) + ""


    The + "" will make the result a text string and will not produce an error.


    6. We typically use the first couple rows in the sheet to house this information and lock them so editors cannot make changes


    9. Similar to a critical path?


    12. Sort will affect all users. You might consider reports which will allow you to set a custom filter and sort for each user.


    13. Same as 12. Create a report with a custom sort and filter and share.


    14. Use a dropdown list. Dropdown lists will sort based on the order of the predetermined values in the column properties 

  • Bill Brandt
    Bill Brandt ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 03/30/16

    Thank you for the suggestions. 


    2) I am concerned that using a conditional format would then lock me out of other formating that I may want to do to these rows.


    4) I will have to try this. After trying a formula similar to =COUNTIF(CHILDREN(), 1) that did not work and reading the forums my take away was that you could not do that.


    6) I am doing that now but I have to make provisions to keep them from getting sorted away. They also then use up screen real estate after they have served thier purpose and repeat user don't need the guidence anymore.


    8/9) We use critical path. We are looking for the ability to show the orginal proposed schedule against the actual schedule to determine which items are late and by how much. In our full blown scheduling package they are call target dates.

    We use curtains to highlight a block of time like summer break to clearly show which activites fall in that time period.


    12) I have to check this as my experience seemed to indicat that sorting was not getting pushed to other users. My experience with reports to date is that they are not a duplicate of the orginal sheet with just a filter applied but rather a less "featured" version.


    13) Same concern as above.


    14) Did not pick up on that feature but will definetly use it.


    Thank You again.


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

    1) You can "override" conditional formatting by creating the override formatting and moving it up in the list. Once a conditional format is set, the system does not look at the rest of them.

    For example, the row should be brown when the "Date" is a on Wednesday, except the "Bob's Things" column which should be blue if the "Status" is green, regardless of date.

    Set the cell conditional first. Then the row.



  • Tracy Helms
    Tracy Helms ✭✭✭

    We also see a bit of a disconnect between the roadmap and the repeated questions and requests in this forum and the comments to the blog posts.


    We use smartsheet for managing construction projects and property maintenance. One of the few upgrades/improvements we looked forward to was Gantt charting on reports. About 5 minutes after we tried it we realized it was not going to help. The lack of the sheet hierarchy and/or ability to programmatically get an items parent, grandparents, the reports are a sea of items without context. Even the summary tasks have standard task bars...Conditionally formatting parent tasks helps, but the task bars kind of ruin it all. In our humble opinion, current reporting is broken if task hierarchy cannot be accessed in SOME way.


    We would also like to see some attention paid to improving the existing system, especially the project management tools.

    - Formula tools to get parent task information like it's name, row # (please do not mention absolute cell references. That is NOT a workaround)

    - Formula tools to get predecessor information like name, row #, especially percent complete, etc.

    - Filter or report on critical path tasks, not just highlight them


    The comments on this blog post span a year, SS responds "putting in your vote," no changes to the roadmap that reflect the requests...and we get Sights, images in cells, etc. https://www.smartsheet.com/blog/smartsheet-tips-displaying-parent-rows-reports


    I do remember one or two posts about a dashboard but images in cells? If this is impossible to implement, it should be stated that it won’t or can’t be fixed.


    The many requests for a multiple selections on drop down lists and the ability to have a master list for drop-down have been ignored, at least by the roadmap.


    I'd hate to sound too negative. Smartsheet is an amazing platform that has changed our productivity immeasurably. Just wanted to point out our agreement that the roadmap does not seem to be a true picture of requested feature improvements nor does it seem to match the rollout of upgrades.

  • Brad Jones
    Brad Jones ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Here here Tracy and Bill!  And thanks to John and Craig for their consistent help on this forum (you guys are great resources to us newbs)


    I have to agree with the "fix old before building new" philosophy.  I work in a tech company that jumps from system to system and is so eager to implement the cool new tech that they NEVER finish the old.  By the time they have user feedback they have already developed the mindset of, "Well... in two years we won't use that any more so we won't dedicate resources to it now" Yell crazy.


    SS is a good product and it has some useful features, and I have spent days developing workarounds for things, both are true.  We know that you can't promise dates on anything, but when we see the roadmap full of "new" features and don't see our votes for fixes in the list, it does make us feel a little lost in the cracks.


    Here's a thought.  As you have a product roadmap, would it be possible to show a "fixit" roadmap?  Some kind of report that shows which fixes are in development?  At least then, we'll feel more comfortable in the knowledge that it's in the pipe.  You have a great support team, and excellent response times for questions, it's just the transparency on the 'fixes' has a murky feel.

  • J. Craig Williams
    J. Craig Williams ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 04/06/16



    Thanks for the compliment. 


    I'm afraid every* tech company is likely the way you describe. 

    Customers feel slighted to pay for bug fixes (why didn't it work to begin with?) and the development costs must come from somewhere. Having been a Product Manager for a while in the past, I know it is a difficult thing for the finance guys to understand.

    I'm still on the fence with the whole SaaS business model, when I used to buy software and upgrade every three years. As a software developer, SaaS makes sense. More than sense. Continous revenue is impertive. As a PM, even when I would budget 10% to pay back R&D software development, the managers would come along and divert the money to make the bottom line look better.

    I'm ranting again.


    Yeah, fixing things should have a higher priority and be more visible to the power users that need them! Solid foundation before adding new rooms.



  • Brad Jones
    Brad Jones ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Another bump to the thread.  Call it a fix plan feature request.


    While the feature roadmap is a nice informatic- would love to see a fix roadmap so that some of our really old items like data security are visible to those who are sweating the fix timelines.  Might even save some posts in these threads.

This discussion has been closed.