repeat a subset of tasks in the same project


Apologies if I missed this question elsewhere.

I've created a 60-line set of tasks and subtasks with all dependencies flowing from a single final content delivery date. My overall project has 30 deliverables that all use this identical workflow, but with different participants and different delivery dates for each. I'd like to be able to "copy and paste" the 60 lines 30 times so I only need to change the delivery date and participants on each but all the corresponding tasks and relationships will re-populate accordingly. And ideally, I'd like to do this in a single project so its easy to see how the workloads overlap with each other in the Gantt and Calendar there a way to template-ize a group of tasks in order to replicate them this way?

Best Answer


  • Timothy Mather

    Thanks for the quick response Andrée

    I was hoping to not have to touch every dependency on 60x30 lines, but I guess its still better than creating everything from scratch!

    Thanks for the tip on importing from Excel, I had a couple false starts and made some mistakes, but ended up with a workaround using Google Sheets. I'll share in case its useful for others:

    1) Export my 60 lines from Smartsheet to Google Sheets.

    2) Recreate key drop downs from my Smartsheet project for ease of editing (using Data Validation to ensure accuracy).

    3) Swap out the text strings in the dependency of each row for a formula referencing distance from itself - for example: =row() - 2 & "SS +1d" would show up on row 7 as 5SS +1d and when I copy and paste 60 lines later it would be 65SS+1d.

    4) Copy and paste the "template chunk" 1 time and spot check for functionality and accuracy. Then paste 29 more times. As long as you don't add or subtract lines, and leave no blank rows between, this should preserve the dependency relationships between the rows within each "chunk."* see key learning #1 below!

    5) Copy & Paste Special/Values Only on the entire Dependencies Column to remove the Google Sheet formulas. They need to end up as strings or they'll show up as #UNPARSED when you re-import to Smartsheet.

    6) Import to a new Project in Smartsheet.

    7) Go to settings and recreate the settings you had in your original sheet.

    Its cumbersome, but not as bad as touching and retouching 1800 lines of project management individually!

    Couple key learnings:

    1) REMEMBER: You don't have to make the Google Sheets version work! The plan is to reimport to Smartsheet, the Sheets version is just a way station. The row references in the dependencies that import refer to the Smartsheet project line numbers NOT the rows in the Google Sheet (this happens because row 1 of the Sheets version takes on the Headers and in Smartsheet the headers aren't on a numbered row. When swapping out the text strings in Google Sheets in step 3 above, write the formula that recreates the text in the original dependency, NOT what makes logical sense for the Google Sheet to function accurately!) This lost me a ton of time, and I felt dumb after haha.

    2) Upon re-importing to Smartsheet, don't forget to set the "Primary Column" to the correct Google Sheet column; the default (for me) was column A and I didn't change it. The import was a disaster, totally unfunctional.

    3) Don't forget to enable dependencies on the new Project! I almost abandoned this entire line of thinking the first time I tried it because I forgot dependencies weren't enabled by default and I assumed it just hadn't worked!

    4) This works best if all the dependencies within the original Smartsheet Project chunk only reference rows within the same chunk. If a line or two are dependent on rows outside the chunk you're repeating, you'll need to treat them differently when you're writing your formulas in Google Sheets and it might throw off the overall accuracy.

    Sorry this is so long, I know I would have liked to find this post myself when I was looking so I hope its useful to someone else. And thanks again Andree for the quick response!! Good luck everyone!


  • Andrée Starå
    Andrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Timothy Mather

    You're more than welcome!

    Thanks for sharing your solution!


    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

    W: | | P: +46 (0) - 72 - 510 99 35

    Feel free to contact me for help with Smartsheet, integrations, general workflow advice, or anything else.

  • Elizabeth Jones

    I'm doing this with a project that has 254 subsets of 100 rows each with many, many dependencies. This is incredibly tedious. I'd like to see this function built in, much like it exists is Microsoft project. It will take me longer to make this schedule than it will to do the work. 😫