Best Practices for managing 60+ projects in Smartsheet

01/31/21
Answered - Pending Review

Hello,

I am a fairly new user of Smartsheet and have recently started at a construction company as a project manager where we design manufacture and erect large steel buildings for rural and industrial use. (From farm sheds through to aircraft hangers and fabrication workshops.)

We have up to 70 projects active at any one time in various stages from initial contract signing and council approval through to coordinating our erection teams on site.

We currently run each project on a single sheet with the dates for each milestone as indented dependencies but run the actual task management on a separate excel workbook.

I am looking at how we can run the entire project and tasks in a single system and would like to know what your ideas or experiences are for setting this up in smartsheet and best practices.

i.e. do we run all the projects on a single sheet and make our indent list longer or is it sensible to have 70 separate sheets based on a template and use reports/dashboards to get an overall schedule view?

One of the main things we use smartsheet for currently is organising the projects in gantt view to schedule the fabrication dates inside our factory. Each fabrication duration is dragged back and forwards on the schedule so we have each project running one after the other through the factory. all other dates are linked to the fabrication date and are linked so they move accordingly. How could we do this if we have each project on a separate sheet?

If we were to combine our excel sheet with smartsheet it would also mean bringing in approx 70 tasks that relate to each project across different sectors of the business from drafting and invoicing to purchasing etc.


Ideas and help please!! :)

Answers

  • Bassam KhalilBassam Khalil ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 01/31/21

    Hi @Charles Thorncroft 

    Hope you are fine, you can use many useful templates already created in smartsheet solutions center

    also, smartsheet has a Professional application for project & resource management called 10,000ft you can use to manage your work

    PMP Certified

    [email protected]

    www.mobilproject.it

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  • Andrée StaråAndrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @Charles Thorncroft

    To add to Bassam's excellent advice/answer.

    It depends on a couple of things.

    • Preference
    • Sharing (security, who should have access to what?)
    • And more...

    I'd recommend creating an intake process and then a templatized structure for each project with Sheet(s), Reports, Automation, Dashboards, Portals, and more.

    Regarding tasks, I'd try to add them to the Project Sheet because it's easy to see the whole picture for the project, but it could also be in a separate sheet.

    What do you think?

    I hope that helps!

    Be safe and have a fantastic weekend!

    Best,

    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

    Did my post(s) help or answer your question or solve your problem? Please help the Community by marking it as the accepted answer/helpful. It will make it easier for others to find a solution or help to answer!

    SMARTSHEET PARTNER & CONSULTANT / EXPERT

    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

    W: www.workbold.com | E: [email protected] | P: +46 (0) - 72 - 510 99 35

    Feel free to contact me about help with Smartsheet, integrations, general workflow advice, or something else entirely.

  • If there was ever a use case for Control Center, this would be at the top. Run these projects as separate sheets and use Control Center to automate the deployment and maintenance.

  • Thanks for the comments... I have done a bit more research since I posted this and I am thinking the same.

    Use a separate sheet for each project and use dashboards and reports to organise and schedule.

    What sort of costs are we going to be looking at to implement control centre and/or 10,000ft?

  • Andrée StaråAndrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Charles Thorncroft

    You're more than welcome!

    Yes, I agree with Casey. Control Center would probably be a perfect solution.

    How many new projects do you have on an annual basis?

    SMARTSHEET PARTNER & CONSULTANT / EXPERT

    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

    W: www.workbold.com | E: [email protected] | P: +46 (0) - 72 - 510 99 35

    Feel free to contact me about help with Smartsheet, integrations, general workflow advice, or something else entirely.

  • We run about 70 projects concurrently at the moment and each project can vary from 6 weeks to 6 months duration.

  • Andrée StaråAndrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 01/31/21

    @Charles Thorncroft

    Ok.

    Feel free to reach out to me, and I'd be happy to discuss the premium add-ons and more,

    I'd be happy to schedule a free discovery call to discuss.

    How does that sound?

    Please e-mail me at [email protected]and we will take it from there.

    SMARTSHEET PARTNER & CONSULTANT / EXPERT

    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

    W: www.workbold.com | E: [email protected] | P: +46 (0) - 72 - 510 99 35

    Feel free to contact me about help with Smartsheet, integrations, general workflow advice, or something else entirely.

  • Charles, I have a very similar scheduling request. I work at a manufacturing company that builds custom equipment for the mining industry. We have 20+ jobs on our manufacturing floor at one time and are managing up to 100+ other jobs at the same time that is in various stages (before the manufacturing floor). The time to complete these jobs vary alot, depending on complexity of the equipment and amount of new design needed. I want to schedule our manufacturing floor time depending on when projects get ordered and the availability of the parts to build the equipment so communication and collaboration of different departments within the company is very important. I was wondering what system you used and how it has worked for you. Thank you.

  • Andrée StaråAndrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @Marc Endicott

    I hope you're well and safe!

    Have you explored using the Premium Apps, Control Center, Calendar, or/and 10,000ft?

    Is that an option?

    I hope that helps!

    Be safe and have a fantastic week!

    Best,

    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

    Did my post(s) help or answer your question or solve your problem? Please support the Community by marking it Insightful/Vote Up or/and as the accepted answer. It will make it easier for others to find a solution or help to answer!

    SMARTSHEET PARTNER & CONSULTANT / EXPERT

    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

    W: www.workbold.com | E: [email protected] | P: +46 (0) - 72 - 510 99 35

    Feel free to contact me about help with Smartsheet, integrations, general workflow advice, or something else entirely.

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