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Project Management/PMO tips

Chris Winfield
Chris Winfield ✭✭✭✭✭
edited 12/09/19 in Archived 2015 Posts

Hi All,


I'd be interested to hear how others are setting up smartsheet to support large programmes involving many projects, with multiple organisations, exec sponsors, and project managers.


I work in the National health Service (UK) and have a master project list that contains summary information for around 200 projects, which is growing all the time.  


We have set up a template project sheet and every project is given a reference code generated by the master sheet. At the top of every project sheet is a set of information (organisation, project manager, exec sponsor, financial benefits, etc) that all link out to the master sheet.


Each time a new project is created we make a new project sheet from the template, create a new row in the master list and then link the cells. It's not quite so tedious when we're only setting up one project at a time, and we run all of our reports off the master sheet.


We're slowly rolling this out to new users and tentatively approaching senior leads with the system so they don't get too scared off by the new system.


There can be a lot of resistance to project management systems in the NHS and we're keen to make the whole system as user friendly as possible. We have started to developo a sharepoint website on the intranet that can help hold users' hands through the system, pointing them to a "new idea" smartsheet form as well as to the various internal teams that can help them through the process of delivering change projects.


I'd love to hear how others are achieving their aims as I love the principles and most of the functionality within smarthseet.



  • Hi Chris,


    The way you've setup your sheets sounds similar to how I currently manage my portfolio of projects into a rolled up high level view.


    As long as the project sheets are kept up to date then the automatic linking does a great job of keeping the high level view current.


    Instead of just adding one row though, i've been able to take it a bit further by using a standard project template and linking information from key project phases and milestones with RAG status, key dates and % complete.  Plus incorperating a Gannt chart view.


    I can now see immediately where projects are slipping or not being updated across my portfolio/programme.



  • Richard Rymill SBP
    Richard Rymill SBP ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 04/07/15

    The cell linking to create a Dashboard of Real Time Stats is very popular and forms part of a good workflow when you add Reports then Graphs to the data as it is updated. We used that to create a solution for the NHS Highlands to track and progress the "Face Fiiting" of masks to staff likely to be handling infectious diseases. Case study and link to slides below if that helps the discussions? 

    Also VERY popular is Project managing in construction companies right now and that includes managing existing facilities as well as building new. Smartsheet is really getting noticed in the Construction world now.



  • Dean Krontz
    Dean Krontz ✭✭✭


    My Company has recently adopted SS and we are using it as a PM Tool. We are doing the master sheet which pulls information from the mulitple projects as you mentioned. This provides quick glance updating. Another neat feature is the dash board on the home page where you can pin specific information from a row of a sheet. Using a standarized and agreed up master template is also usefull to reduce the time to set up a new project.

    I have been finding that there are a few hold outs from adopting the new system. I have been holding regular Q&A's to try and get a few more adopters onboard. We are estimating about a year to roll out SS and phase out older projects that were not origionally set up in SS.

  • PPS Solutions
    PPS Solutions ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi Chris, as I am sure you appreciate, rolling out a PPM tool is a game of hearts and minds and bringing people along.  Because Smartsheet is very so to use, it is even more important to ensure the solution is underpinned by good process adherance especially when an organisation gets big and needs consistent results. Planning forums, change champions, regular workshops, Q&A sessions, role based procedural guides and applicable training materials are all parts of the "cement" of the solution and will help to make it sturdy and long lasting.  A key element we always help clients deploy Smartsheet with is a set of "planning standards" that describe the planning lifecyle and how it can be achieved using the tool.

  • Jeremy Michels
    Jeremy Michels ✭✭✭✭✭

    So I have a formula that we use to get things done.

    (disatisfaction x vision) + first steps > resistance. 

    If you follow this in how you bring your sheet to your people success will follow. It takes a bit to think about but it has radically changed my results. 

    As far as Smartsheet goes we took this idea and applied it. So we use Web Forms like crazy. If you want someone to give you data but not be in the sheet use a form. If you have people that dont have a computer to send from use the form on Mobile it works amazing. I have a very complex system that the data feeds into. It is not for a beginner. They use the forms and it is a great first step to hitting the cover off the ball to win people over. Also get to know the othe apps in Smartsheet Labs. We use two of these and it revolutionized our business. I recommend learnign about Docusing and Maps. 

    We do large scale construction and Manufacturing. We win jobs because of the detail and sharing we bring to the game. 

  • Hi Chris,

    I'm a new smartsheet user and also recently started as a Project Management Office Manager at a staffing agency here in Canada.


    What you have descibed is what I'm looking to setup at my company and I would like to connect with you to share thoughts if you were willing. Feel free to respond or email me at lonnie.brunet@randstad.ca. 



  • Chris Winfield
    Chris Winfield ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi Lonnie,


    Very happy to touch base - we could even share templates and things through smartsheet. I could set up a workspace and share it with you for instance.





  • Sounds like a great idea Chris. Once I've finalized my approach I would like to share with the smartsheet community.

  • Richard Searle
    edited 07/24/15

    My company (Financial Services Sector) is new to smartsheet, but I'd like to learn from your experience and get some best practice as I have a similar PMO challenge.  Would welcome the opportunity to share -  richard.searle@castletrust.co.uk


  • Bill Byrne
    edited 09/18/16

    I'm new to SS and it seems really clunky to have to manually link cells from all of your project sheets to your master sheet.  I watched the project management video and one speaker's company plans/builds/installs 10,000 signs per year.  It seems like that would waste tons of time if you had to link (and unlink or delete for closed projects) hundreds of cells every day for the new signs coming in.  Especially if you use a system like SS's Portfolio Rollup which has you make several different types of master sheets, this could put our sign friend close to 1000 links to create or erase per day.  (I'm missing a word in the Rollup title).  The easy answer is you can copy and link up to 500 cells at a time, but that's only if you can grab them all from consecutive cells on the same sheet whereas here I'm guessing each of these signs is on a different sheet or at best some are on the same sheet but not in consectutive rows.  There isn't a function that automatically gathers this info from all the project sheets?  What about doing a report for the master sheet, what are the drawbacks?  With a report you could have it automatically collect all the information and also reports have two way data with project sheets, if you change the info on either one it updates on the other, I saw complaints that linked cells are only one way, you have to change info on the project sheets to update master sheet, but it doesn't work the other way.  So I guess my questions are 1) why wouldn't master sheets be reports & 2) Am I missing something that makes linking these cells manually less time consuming?  This post is a year old so no one may see this, I'll post it as new in a day or two if there are few or no responses.

  • Leighton Jones
    edited 04/06/17

    Hi Chris,


    I know this is an old thread but did you ever set up a workspace to share templates etc because the one youve mentioned in this thread sounds interesting.





  • Is there a place in the user community to get project management and PMO templates outside of what Smartsheet has available? 

  • Gavin Burne
    Gavin Burne ✭✭✭

    Also new to SS, and interested in what others have learnt in structuring a PMO for multiple projects, templates would be very useful for me as well.


  • I would be interested as well.

  • christophercheniae54466
    edited 07/18/18

    I'm also interested in additional templates outside the standard group provided by SS

This discussion has been closed.