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Benefits over Microsoft Project?

01/13/17 Edited 12/09/19

Are there any experienced Microsoft Project users who are now total converts to Smartsheet and can you tell me what benefits you've found please. Many thanks.



  • J. Craig WilliamsJ. Craig Williams Top Contributor
    edited 01/13/17



    Define "total". :)


    There are features I miss about MS Project.

    However, no one is paying me at the moment to manage a project in MS Project (or Wrike or Primavera or ...) so I don't miss it THAT much.


    MS Project is hard to master. Many of my peers at where I used to be salaried had not - it was a glorified Gantt chart creator - no resources, no real dependencies, no WBS. For them.


    If you looking for an apples-to-apples comparison, then realize that Smartsheet is more than a PM tool. If you ONLY looking for a PM tool, then MS Project is fantastic.

    But ... it also depends on what you project problems are.


    You should look at sites like this:



    or this:




    to see a better comparison of features sets than I can provide in a short amount of time.


    For me, Smartsheet is all about the collaboration and communication. In a project, that is critical to success.

    If I had to run a project that was time based (finish at 10am, start next at 10:01am) I would use something else. If I had detailed dependencies and constraints, and not just a few simple finish-to-start tasks, I would use something else. If I was worried about losing access to the Internet, I would use something else.

    But ... for most of my small projects, Smartsheet does the job, with less cost and less aggravation than MS Project.


    Another thing to think about is cross project dependencies (MS Project does this in the enterprise version, Smartsheet can do this, in some cases, but may pose a who-can-see-what problem)


    Both MS Project and Smartsheet are tools. Not  every tool is the right one for every task. I used to have 4 file comparison progams on my desktop - two of which I used daily or more often. The other two just did one or two things that the others didn't or did them so much better that I was loathe to lose that functionality.


    It really depends, for me, on the project, the project team as to which project management tool I would want to use.


    I hope that helps. I got interrupted and lost my train of thought while typing this.




  • Tim MeeksTim Meeks ✭✭✭✭✭

    i concur. If you are needing a very robust PM tool go with Project. If you need a lite version of Project with an easier learning curve and the ability to do Reports, and Webforms and collaboration, go with Smartsheet.

  • edited 01/17/17

    So if I'm understanding this, SS does not have a way to track time. If we wanted to track how much time it took our technician to work on a task, we can't have him enter start time and end time, and SS calculate this?

  • Thanks for your comments. I find Project extremely easy and intuitive but I'm an ex-trainer so possibly have an advantage. J Craig Williams you said for 'small' projects that SmartSheet does the job. I'm taking by that comment that you wouldn't use it, to say, put in a new EPR to a hospital trust?

  • J. Craig WilliamsJ. Craig Williams Top Contributor



    I don't know what "a new EPR to a hospital trust" means.

    The ony EPR I have knowledge of is the enhanced pressured water reactor. Probably not what you are talking about. Laughing


    However, by "small" I mean a project or projects that are unlikely to reach any of the limitations of Smartsheet - rows (5000) or cells (200k)

    Also, I mean that most of MY projects recently have been small - timelines in weeks or months at the most and task counts in the hundreds at the extreme, but usually in the dozens.


    Hope this clarifies a bit.





  • J. Craig WilliamsJ. Craig Williams Top Contributor



    Other threads reminded me that Smartsheet does not do multiple resources per task in the way some people would like and certainly not like MS Project does.



  • The multiple resources issue is VERY interesting - thanks for that.


    Ha ha no, an enhanced pressured water reactor isn't what I was referring to. An EPR is an electronic patient record or, to expand, a patient administration system affecting thousands of users throughout each discipline e.g. cardiology, outpatients, theatres, burns and plastics, A&E etc etc etc

  • J. Craig WilliamsJ. Craig Williams Top Contributor

    If you are only concerned with the rollout project, then Smartsheet has been used for complex projects and it is certainly worth considering.

    As I tried to explain, I don't believe there is a one size fits all solution.

    (I also think 75 solutions are too many, but that's a different issue)


    If the EPR will reside in Smartsheet, then my main concern would likely be scalability. 



  • Thanks for your input - very valuable information in there!


  • Tim MeeksTim Meeks ✭✭✭✭✭



    Use MS Project if you are going to track a task and want to put the total duration on one task line and then add multiple resources at difference percentage allocations, 


    If you are OK with dividing this task into multiple tasks and putting the hours for that subtask on each line with only one resource on each task to measure resource allocaton, then you can use Smartsheet. 


    Smartsheet is easier to colloborate, update, and run automated reports,   

    It can even track big projects and will allow multiple users to update without having to have a MS Project licenses for other editors or print PDFs of an MS Project and email like you have to do if using Project.


    Depends on your proirities.

    Hope that helps.


  • That helps a lot Tim, Thank you. I think what I'll do is put my current project on there and run concurrently to see what their respective strengths/ weaknesses are.

  • J. Craig WilliamsJ. Craig Williams Top Contributor

    As always, I agree with Tim.


  • Tim MeeksTim Meeks ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Craig... LOL....thanks for the compliment....


    @Annette,  would love to hear your assessment once you complete.   I've not done a a parallel entry in both softwares.

  • @Tim, yes I'll let you know.

  • J. Craig WilliamsJ. Craig Williams Top Contributor



    Me too!

This discussion has been closed.