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Please expose Total Float data. Seriously.

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Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson ✭✭✭✭✭
edited 12/09/19 in Archived 2016 Posts

Please expose each task's Total Float data.  

 

This would enable using critical path (zero float) as a report criteria AND allow teams to see which tasks are very nearly on the critical path (minimal float).  

 

Since smartsheet can color-code the critical path in the Gantt view, we know the total float data is already there.  Low hanging fruit!  

 

Please make the (already-exisiting) Total Float data visible to users!  

 

I would use this data on dozens of projects each & every day.  Thousands of other users would do the same.  

 

Due to the lack of Total Float data, I have to manually tag tasks which have zero float, just so I can generate Critical Path reports.  This is a time-wasting embarassment, especially when management is asking for this information on-the-fly.  Seeing this manual drudgery does not help their opinion of smartsheet.

Comments

  • John Sauber
    John Sauber ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 09/02/16
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    Yeah, this is something that would be nice. I don't know what you mean by "float," but we don't have project managers here. We hijacked the CALCDURATION() formula which is used in parent roll-ups and reports to find the duration between two date/time system columns (note that these are different than the date-type columns).

     

    We use it like this: https://community.smartsheet.com/discussion/amount-working-time-between-tasks

     

    Of course, you have to manually program it to point to your predecessor, and the formula can get more complicated as you add predecessors, but we're using the hell out of this for some pretty complex schedules.

  • Dietrich Koch
    Dietrich Koch ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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  • Dietrich Koch
    Dietrich Koch ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    +1 for Free Float 

  • Steve Johnson
    Steve Johnson ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Dietrich: I agree.  I focused on Total Float because I'm more certain that such data already exists behind-the-scenes (making it an easier implementation).  I'm less certain that Smartsheet is already calculating Free Float.  Free Float would be very usefull too.  

     

    I sure hope they are not only listening, but taking real steps to make this happen.  

     

    This feels like the equivalent of offering a spreadsheet to compete with Excel, yet omitting the SUM function.

  • Kennedy Stomps
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    Hi All-- Apologies for the delay in an official response on this, I wanted to check in with our Critical Path PM and make sure I had the facts straight on this. To confirm, we currently calculate Total Float a little differently than it sounds like you're looking for. In our case, we calculate Total Float once for the Critical Path. It sounds like you'd be looking to calculate critical path for each task in the schedule, which would be very heavy on the sheet given our current calculation system. I can add your vote to expose both of these values, but given what I outlined above, this is not currently on our short-term roadmap. Thanks for your input!

  • Steve Johnson
    Steve Johnson ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Kennedy: Thank you for the reply.  Let me give you some additional background and two follow-up questions.

     

    Just to ensure we are on the same page, MS Project calls this Total Slack, rather than Total Float.

     

     

    1) True, I would highly value having a Total Float value for each task.  You mention that calculating this for each task would be too burdensome.  I'm not sure how you currently identify critical path tasks (making gantt bars turn red), if you are not calculating float for each. I would have assumed each task is calculated, and then Smartsheet turns the Gantt bars red for any task with a value of zero.  However, I am not a programmer, so if you are certain of this point, I'll take your word for it.  Are you quite certain this calculation is not already being performed for each task?

     

     

    2) However, the second way I would use Total Float would be to run reports that pull just critical-path tasks, or to conditionally highlight criitcal path tasks in existing reports.  Team members should not struggle to know which of the tasks in their individual action item reports are pacing a product launch.  Even if you can not provide Total Float for each task, can you kindly add a new column that would somehow flag critical path tasks automatically?  Also, think about the problem-solving it would enable.  You could save off a copy of your schedule, filter for only critical tasks and then compress/fast-track a critical task and see the new critical path task list immediately.  Then, repeat as necessary, trying various scenarios to pull your target date inward.  I do all of this manually now and it is horribly inefficient.  I just need Smartsheet to automatically tag those tasks that are pacing us.  Since Smartsheet already knows which Gantt bars to turn red, this should be possible.  

     

    While my first point (float value for each task) is a real need, the second point (critical path flag) is absolutely essential.  I look forward to your feedback. Thanks again for looking into this.

     

     

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  • jober
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    Did any progress get made on this? Total float is the best tool to manage the end date. It tells you how long a task can be delayed before it impacts the end date of the project. 

This discussion has been closed.