Best Practices for Schedule Tasks that are "Not Applicable"?

I am wondering if anyone has any simple best practices to address Schedule Tasks on a templated project schedule that don't apply. Standard options I have encountered are:

  • Keep the task and either leave it at 0% complete or set it at 100% complete. Either way, this will have an undesired impact on your overall % Complete (either positively or negatively).
  • Delete the task and possibly impact your predecessors. If another Task is dependent on the deleted Task, you put the onus on someone to rectify the break in logic.

I would love to see Smartsheet enhance this functionality to allow some kind of designation in % Complete that would recognize that a Task should not be factored into the % Complete calculations. I just submitted an Enhancement Request for this today.

I welcome anyone's input on the best solution to this question. I am getting ready to design and implement a new project management solution and would love to incorporate someone's awesome idea!


Steve

Steve Reed, Smartsheet Practice Lead/Architect

ADAPTURE, Smartsheet Platinum Partner

[email protected] | 843.422.1484

Best Answer

  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin
    Answer ✓

    Hi @Steve Reed

    If this task is designated as a Child Row beneath a Parent Row, then you're right, the Percent Complete cell will have an impact on the overall Parent row's percent - even adding text (such as "N/A") will be seen as 0%, which impacts the Parent Rollup functionality.

    One way to keep it out of the Parent Rollup would be to have no Duration, which would mean removing both the End Date and the Duration data, but this would break any Predecessor relationships you've set up (similar to deleting the row). Or, you could adjust the Duration to be 0, which would then be a very minor impact on the % complete and it would move your schedule up so there are no gaps in dates.

    Other way to exclude these rows would be to adjust these specific tasks to be their own Parent Rows, not designated under any Parent, which would remove them from the Parent Rollup functionality but keep any dependencies.

    I hope some of this helps!

    Cheers,

    Genevieve

Answers

  • Bassam Khalil
    Bassam Khalil ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @Steve Reed 

    Hope you are fine, as a planning Engineer i advise you to calculate the %complete in smartsheet as following:

    1- add the budgeted cost and the actual cost to date for each task ( if you have an activity you don't want it to affect the %complete for the hole WBS keep it's Budgeted cost 0 )

    2- calculate the %complete for each task = actual cost / budgeted cost.

    PMP Certified

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  • Steve Reed
    Steve Reed ✭✭✭✭

    @Bassam Khalil,

    Thanks for your answer, but my question is at a higher level than your response. We are not talking about costs here. Rather, my customer is merely looking at whether a task is done or not...and whether the templated task applies to each specific project. So if an individual task doesn't apply, I was asking for a best practice on how to designate that task so that it doesn't negatively impact the overall "% Complete" calculation. I appreciate your reply though.

    Steve

    Steve Reed, Smartsheet Practice Lead/Architect

    ADAPTURE, Smartsheet Platinum Partner

    [email protected] | 843.422.1484

  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin
    Answer ✓

    Hi @Steve Reed

    If this task is designated as a Child Row beneath a Parent Row, then you're right, the Percent Complete cell will have an impact on the overall Parent row's percent - even adding text (such as "N/A") will be seen as 0%, which impacts the Parent Rollup functionality.

    One way to keep it out of the Parent Rollup would be to have no Duration, which would mean removing both the End Date and the Duration data, but this would break any Predecessor relationships you've set up (similar to deleting the row). Or, you could adjust the Duration to be 0, which would then be a very minor impact on the % complete and it would move your schedule up so there are no gaps in dates.

    Other way to exclude these rows would be to adjust these specific tasks to be their own Parent Rows, not designated under any Parent, which would remove them from the Parent Rollup functionality but keep any dependencies.

    I hope some of this helps!

    Cheers,

    Genevieve