Dependencies and fixed dates


I've noticed several post on the archive asking for the same problem to be fixed, here are just 3 examples that go back to 2015.

In my personal case, I would like to demonstrate customers:

  • how the dependency was supposed to look like, without adding any padding on the dependency. Once you execute the project plan it looks like you planned the padding all along
  • be able to maintain the dependency even if the task was executed later to demonstrate the original intended plan vs reality
  • have the possibility to keep relative dates only on the tasks that really should be automatically updated

Can you please share the roadmap on when this is planned to be fixed? If this is not planned to be fix, it's OK but I would really appreciate the reasoning behind it and how Smartsheets plans to address the concerns above.



  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Are you referring to establishing a baseline at the onset of the project so that you can later compare it to the actual status of the project to show where time was gained or lost on certain deliverables?

  • Hi Paul

    I should have probably explain the issue in detail. Basically Smart Sheets will not allow you to define a fix date and a dependency predesesor within the same task. I know that you can add padding to represent the correct date. however that workaround is not really the best option if you consider what I explained above.


  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    So if you have

    Task A

    Task B

    Task C

    You want Task B to have a set date, but a predecessor of Task A? In that case you could set the predecessor for Task A to be based off of the hard Start Date of Task B. You should be able to work backwards.

  • i would like to have Task A And Task B with hard dates both and still show the dependency line in between.

    Once you execute the project the dates might slightly vary and you need to reflect that, however once you do it the predecessor field will disappeared and also the line at the Gantt chart.

  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I still feel like you are referring to Baseline vs Actual which is doable with a little bit of creativity.

  • I agree - i would love this feature.

    Unfortunately the only way I've been able to get around this is using formulas and conditional formatting to warn me when i have to go through and adjust the Lag values to make it work.

    This is really basic functionality from other platforms that's missing, and shouldn't be that hard to include.

  • Does anyone know if there is any progress on this? We just purchased Smartsheet for several users and the inability to fix a milestone in place no matter the dependencies is really bothersome. I have to adjust hundreds of MS Project imported lines to match set-in-stone milestones.

    I just saw conversations happening over 3 years ago and this matter is still not addressed:

  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Mihai Nedelcu Have you tried adjusting predecessors so that they build off of the milestones?

  • @Paul Newcome Of course I did, and of course it works that way. However, what I am looking for is to make sure that milestone does not move no matter how the tasks that lead to it move. The equivalent in MSP is Constraint type: Must Start ON (in conjunction with the fact that a milestone duration is set to 0). This way I can have a task leasing to the milestone in a free-move way which means I don't need to set any lags to it.

  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Mihai Nedelcu I don't mean to have tasks that lead up to the milestone. I mean more along the lines of tasks that fall back from the milestone.

    So instead of saying that the milestone comes after Task A, say that Task A comes before the milestone. So the Milestone will have no predecessors but the tasks will build off of the milestone adjusting SS, SF, FS, FF settings accordingly.

  • @Paul Newcome I will try that but it's scratching your left year with your right hand oher the head. I wanted to get a simple thing, say I have a task which may or may not start in a week with a duration which may or may not be 1 week leading to a fixed milestone in November. What I can easily do in MSP is to set the milestone in Nov, set the task as its predecessor and that's it. No lag configuration, no anything else too fancy. Smartsheet doesn't seem that smart when it comes to this.

  • RobF
    RobF ✭✭

    I'm creating a project schedule and have run into this same issue.

    I have set a number of dependencies and have NO HARD DATES anywhere. So now I will set exactly 1 hard date in my entire schedule, and yes, the same task has predecessors. But it won't accept both a predecessor and a hard date.

    I believe this is the same issue being discussed here. There's no inherent contradiction; I have 1 hard date and a series of dependent tasks. Seems like that should just work. Am I missing something?

    From my perspective this is really basic functionality for project planning, and if I really can't do it (except by the workaround mentioned by @Paul Newcome or other workarounds) then I think I will have to abandon Smartsheet as a serious project management tool. We pretty much always have at least 1 hard date that we must meet and I can't have that floating around... and we need predecessors too.

    I am not an MSP fan but one thing I have learned is that it is important to keep the project plan simple, otherwise you spend too much time screwing with the plan, instead of working...

  • Still in the same boat with @valshnar and I bet with many other users. This is more than just an annoyance, this is basic functionality as well as stuff like zooming the whole Gantt in one view (I've opened both a thread and a ticket for this topic).

    Unfortunately we purchased some licenses for Smartsheet for an entire year and I cannot switch now to something else. However, I am seriously considering dropping Smartsheet as our PM tool since it seems it is not "smart" enough (pun intended).

  • The need to fix a date for a milestone or an event really is such a basic requirement I can't believe it's not a feature. Is it really the case that if I want to plan for Christmas, and put "order a turkey" as an action and make Christmas dependant on this action, then Christmas day will change to be the day after the day I say I'll order the turkey? There's really no way to tell Smartsheet that Xmas day is fixed? This can't be right.

  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @NickE To use a fixed End Date, you would start there and work your way backwards with your predecessors/dependencies. So you would set the predecessor for buying the turkey as the row containing the Christmas milestone and use the Start To Finish.

    So since Christmas Day is your Milestone, you wouldn't make it dependent on buying the turkey. You would make buying the turkey dependent on Christmas Day.