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Merging MS Project information into SmartSheet Project

Dennis Wierzbicki
Dennis Wierzbicki ✭✭✭✭
edited 12/09/19 in Archived 2017 Posts

I manage a number of projects using SmartSheet for my company. We employ multiple subcontractors and vendors on these projects who use MS Project to manage their activity, but we report on the aggregate project inside our company with SmartSheet.


I receive regular (weekly), updated MSP files from the subcontractors, and other than convincing them to all change to SmartSheet (hasn't happened yet), how can I easily and regularly import their subtasks and schedules into our larger, overall SmartSheet project plan?


The only way I can figure out to merge all these external MSP plans into our larger SmartSheet plan is to setup up separate SmartSheet files for each subcontractor, then every week paste/replace these plans with the new information from MSP, then copy these plans from their SmartSheet versions and insert them into the overall SmartSheet plan for the project.


This is WAY too cumbersome, WAY too manual, and WAY to prone to cut-and-paste errors. 




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



    First, if they are subcontractors .. you have the power.

    At least next time, write it into the T&C's that they will update Smartsheet.


    Second, tell them to send you only the things that change.

    And then, third, ask them why so many things are changing weekly (if you mean dates, if you mean mostly statuses good for them!)


    Are you tracking sub-tasks in your master schedule or only milestones?


    In many cases, I only need one number (and a date) from the subs -- what percentage complete are they repoting and what is the next milestone date?

    If they tell me 20,60,90,oops - missed it, we may have a problem with the truth and the PM's need to deal with that.


    Back to your problem, if they aren't providing me an incremental update, I would likely do a new-old diff using Excel (because it is easier) then update based on that.


    If there are only a few things that are changing, I would send them Update Requests and tell them they can answer that or we can have an hour long conference call every week and one topic each week will be why we have the meeting.


    All that probably doesn't help.








  • Dennis Wierzbicki
    Dennis Wierzbicki ✭✭✭✭
    edited 01/05/17

    Craig, those are all excellent thoughts. Thanks!


    I just got off the phone with our Purchasing and PMO dudes, and discussed exactly what you suggested: inserting a requirement to update project statuses via SmartSheet in future T's and C's. 


    There is some resistance to giving the subs access to our overal project schedule, and I understand that, but should be able to set them up with their own Gantt chart that links to our overall project plan, then they can keep their SmartSheet up to date.


    As each sub has their own style of using MSP, it's even a challenge to import their MSP file into SmartSheet and cut and paste. Many of the fields don't map directly into the format we're using. 


  • Dennis Wierzbicki

    Here's another question: If I set up separate SmartSheets for each subcontractor, can I insert a link to the highest level of each sub's respective plan, and insert it into our master plan, and have all the vendor's sub tasks come along with the highest level task? 


    Right now, when I try to do this, all I get in one WBS element. 


    This seems to be a VERY basic requirement, that almost anyone managing multiple projects, or multiple contributors to one project, could use. The enterprise version of MSP offers this - heck, even Excel can do this. 



This discussion has been closed.