Template set with URL Links not working

Rick FloydRick Floyd ✭✭✭✭✭
edited 07/07/20 in Using Smartsheet
07/07/20 Edited 07/07/20
Answered - Pending Review

I have a project plan with 3 supporting worksheets. I want to launch the supporting worksheet FORM within my project plan. So, I copied the supporting sheets FORM URL into the attachment cell on the appropriate row for each corresponding support sheet. So far, so good.

Then, I did a "Save As" using the option to have all links go to the new sheets. But, on the copied version, when using the URL link within the project for the supporting sheet's FORM, the data goes back to the original supporting sheet and not the new supporting sheet. However, if I use the form directly from that supporting sheet, it collects the data in the new sheet.

It appears the URL is not being updated if it is a link to a form. Any ideas?



  • Paul NewcomePaul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭

    That is actually expected behavior. When you copy a URL to a cell, you are copying specific text "abc.com". When you create the new sheet, the cell data is going to stay the same just as if you have any other random text string.

    When you enter it into a cell, you aren't creating a link to the sheet's form but more so creating a link to a specific URL.


  • Rick FloydRick Floyd ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 07/07/20

    So, that would mean I would need to create a new link to every supporting sheet form when I launch that new template set? Right now I have three supporting sheets. But, I want to have 20+. So, every time I launch a new project, I'd have to re-create 20+ new links to the forms?

    So, it makes using Forms as the data set input of little value - perhaps my idea isn't the best and there is a better way?

  • Paul NewcomePaul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm not sure I understand your question.

    You will need to update your form links for each set, but you will only have to do it the one time on each.


  • Rick FloydRick Floyd ✭✭✭✭✭


    I think what you are saying is that each time I create a new project using the template set, I'll need to update the URL Links to the Forms. The problem is that we launch between 75 - 85 new projects each year with 18-20 project manager throughout the world. With 3 supporting sheets, that is a big work load. I'm trying to eliminate our assessment documents in Excel and have live data captured from SmartSheet. So, the supporting sheet count will be 20+. That means every time I launch a new project, I'll have to update links to 20+ URL's for their Forms to function properly within the template set.

    If I understand you correctly, that now is a HUGE workload. So, I'm looking for options...

  • Paul NewcomePaul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭

    So you have a separate sheet for each of the 20 project managers, or are the forms attached to the 3 supporting sheets? Or is it 3 sheets for each of the project managers totaling 60 sheets?

    I am just trying to visualize your workflow so maybe we can come up with something efficient for you, but I am not quite understanding exactly how each of the sheets you mention interact with each other.

    Let's look at one project. I am a project manager. What exactly do I do in Smartsheet?


  • Rick FloydRick Floyd ✭✭✭✭✭


    First, thanks for your help and patience. Let me try to better explain our scenario. For the sake of illustration, let's just talk in a singular project manager responsibility. Our project plan is pre-set by our organization and industry. We use a 5-phase, gated process. Our project managers oversee the projects and have some specific details within each project as their own. Otherwise, our projects are cross disciplinary with Account Manager, Application Engineer, Project Manager, Launch Manager, Finance Manager and Buyer as team members.

    Within in each project, we have Excel templates that are assessment documents to measure phase progress and make assessments of our readiness at each phase. Those too are organization and industry defined. Those 20+ document templates reside within my project template and are deployed each time a new project is launched. So, globally, each project manager will have 5-10 projects with each having 20+ document templates attached. We have 20 project managers globally and 70-80 new projects launch each year. The typical duration is 12 months or less.

    We are audited annually and at our last audit, we received a non-conformity for a couple of projects that action items coming from the document assessments. Those action items should get captured in the project plan to ensure their visibility and accountability. But, because Excel documents contain static data, I want to start to replace them with SmartSheet sheets and planned to use the Form feature for easy input. Then, I'd like any action items to be linked dynamically back to the project plan to ensure they are included in the action items.

    So, I created a project plan template and three assessment documents into a template set. I attached the URL link to the row action item for each assessment document. I can easily capture the action items and link them back to the project sheet.

    The problem arises when I use the template set to launch the next project as we discussed earlier. That is what I am trying to resolve or find an alternate path. It looks like the idea of using the Form for easy data input may not work.

  • Paul NewcomePaul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭

    Why not have the Action Items already set in the Project Plan and have the users enter the data directly?

    The way I personally set my Project plans up is that all action items, milestones, etc are already built into the Project Plan and the users just go into the the sheet itself and update the start and finish dates.


  • Rick FloydRick Floyd ✭✭✭✭✭


    The additional action items are driven by assessments made during the phases of the project. In the automotive business, our process is defined by our end customer (Ford, GM, FCA, VW, MB, Audi, etc.) During the 5 phase process, assessment documents are required. 20 years ago, those assessment documents were established and Excel was used. Made sense at the time. But, what we have found is that many times, the action items don't get captured back into the project plan. So, I'm trying to mimic the Excel documents in SmartSheet and capture both the outcome and action items through dynamic links. That part works well enough.

    But, I was trying to make the input easier with the assessment documents by using forms. Everything works fine until I save the new Template sets. Then, I lose the connectivity from the assessment document form to the new assessment document sheet. Seems really weird that the save as new will update the sheet URL. But, it doesn't update the URL to the new Sheet Form.

    So, for now, I am having the trials run by having the PM's use the assessment sheets directly. I haven't tested yet whether launching the Form within the new sheet will populate the correct sheet. I'll do that today.


  • Hi Rick,

    We are experiencing the same issue on business license (not control centre).

    Have you managed to resolve your issue when creating a new project, that is retains all the form links and they "point" to the new project instead of the master template?



  • Rick FloydRick Floyd ✭✭✭✭✭


    Sadly, it was not resolved but I do have an answer. The answer SmartSheet gave me is that the system was designed to operate the way I was experiencing it. So, no it will not update the links to the new sheets. We had to go back and completely redesign how we were collecting data and not use the Form.

    Since then, we have moved to Control Center, so for us, it was an expensive solution. We are now looking into WorkApps to see if that can be utilized for our smaller project sets without having to create new blueprints.

  • Hi Rick,

    Thanks for the response. Yes in the interim we try and find work arounds via Dashboards and Reports, but yes the link problem will remain for now then.

    We hope to progress our client from Business to Control Centre to improve on functionality and governance for working at scale, but will have to find clever work arounds until then.

Sign In or Register to comment.