Automatic numbering for Work Breakdown Structure


Hello ,

Does " Automatic numbering for Work Breakdown Structure " exist in SMARTSHEET ? It's been a couple of days now that I am searching for .

Can someone help me ?

Best Answer



  • Gunn_JackGunn_Jack ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hey Alain,

    You can have an automated reference column (select 'Auto Number / System' when adding a column) which allows you to set the format of the numbering however it is incremental. I.e. you can have 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 etc but it wont notice or be changeable to 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 etc for your next work package.

    I've also done a search on the templates for WBS and Work Breakdown Structure, which provide no returns which leads me to suspect that currently, it is not something you can do through SS (unless you manually assigned the number system).

    Hope that answers your query,




    Thanks JACK ,

    It is a great shortcoming to fix .

    Regards .

  • Paul NewcomePaul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have some examples published elsewhere here in the Community. I will search for them and get back to you once I find something.

    How many different levels of hierarchy will you be using?


    Hi PAUL ,

    I am reading currently your last example . I am having big headaches lol .

    I am using five levels of hierarchy to plan my project .

    How can you help me ?

  • Paul NewcomePaul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭

    Can you include a link to the post/example so that I can see what you are starting with? That way I can better figure out how to help tweak things to fit your needs.


    Nice PAUL ,

    Please find the link of the example below :

    I do not mind sharing my project sheet too . Tell me If you want .

  • Paul NewcomePaul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭

    What part exactly are you struggling with?


    Hi PAUL ,

    I can't copy rows from your sheet , since it is " view only " mode .

    Regards .


    Thanks PAUL !

    Check below the result when I follow your instructions .

    Great workaround !

    Congratulations and thank you very much 👌

    Regards .

  • Paul NewcomePaul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭

    Happy to help! 👍️

  • Steve FogelSteve Fogel ✭✭✭✭✭

    Will this allow accurate sorting on WBS or just help in automating the numbering. Can't create a report from your sheet.


  • Paul NewcomePaul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭

    To sort, you will want to ensure that the top row stays at the top. The absolute references to row 1 mean that row 1 needs to stay in place. Everything else can be sorted, and the formulas will remain intact.

    I am not sure why you need to create a report from my sheet? It is a published view so that everyone can see how it works without having to give individual permissions.

  • edited 04/08/21

  • edited 07/27/21

    I started using Smartsheet and evaluating its capabilities only a week ago, but from the very start faced that nasty limitation. After spending some time, I managed to come up with a solution that supports an unlimited level of nesting. Hope it will be helpful for those hitting this page 😁

    Create the following columns and formulas:

    1. Row number
      1. Requires a "Row ID" autoincrement column starting with 1
      2. Formula -  - MATCH([Row ID]@row, [Row ID]:[Row ID], 0)
    2. Level
      1. Formula - COUNT(ANCESTORS())
    3. WBS Code
    4. Child index
      1. Formula - COUNTIFS(Level:Level, [email protected], [Row number]:[Row number], AND(@cell <= [Row number]@row, @cell > [Parent row number]@row))
    5. Parent row number
      1. Formula - IF(ISBLANK(PARENT([Row number]@row)), 0, MATCH(PARENT([Row number]@row), [Row number]:[Row number], 0))
      2. Formula - IF(ISBLANK(PARENT()), 1, PARENT() + "." + [Child index]@row)


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