Project Management Template- Why headers in row 1?

Answered - Pending Review

Hi all,

Smartsheets newbie. I've been playing with the project management templates (they're terrific!) and working on customizing them for our needs. My question is, why are column headers repeated in row 1 of in most (maybe all?) of the elements of this set of templates? I thought maybe they were used as references in formulas across the sheets, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Just trying to figure out what they're used for, whether I'm going to end up needing to keep them for my situation, if I'm going to break any major functionality of the sheet in getting rid of the row, etc.

All help is appreciated! Thanks!


  • Hi @April Urban

    Can you identify a specific project template that you're working in?

    You are correct that this row is likely used for a cross-sheet reference in a formula. If you see any formulas that are INDEX(MATCH(MATCH with a second Match, then this formula is using the column names (in the first row) as a match to find what column to look into to pull data back from. You can't currently reference a column name in a formula so it has to be housed in a cell somewhere. Does that make sense?

    If you can't see an INDEX(MATCH(MATCH in any of the metric sheets, let me know what project template you want to check and I'd be happy to go digging and find out if deleting this row will cause any issues.



  • Hi @Genevieve P ! Thanks, I think you answered my question with the tidbit about using the first row as a row header to cross reference in another sheet in a formula. I think I understand that using the first row in this way may limit the column types you can use (is that correct?) so in building something out that seems like something to keep in mind, weighing the benefits of that approach.

    I'm using the Project Management template set (Setup: Project Tracking and Rollup - I am building out the tools for our use, and haven't done much with the dashboard components yet. I am guessing that's where the 1st row headers are references.

    I'm excited to be diving into these tools and also excited there's such a helpful user community! Thanks again for your assistance!


  • Hi @April Urban

    No problem at all, I'm glad I could help! Using the first row in this way shouldn't affect the column types you can add in to your sheet, but I would just make sure you're keeping that top cell blank unless you need it for the formula.

    In regards to this specific template set (Project Management), the top row is actually being used as a summary row for the total project, leveraging the Parent Rollup functionality in Smartsheet (see here) to identify the earliest start date for the plan and the last end date.

    Here's a quick Project Management Tutorial and here's a webinar that you may find useful (SmartStart: Project Management) as you continue to build out your sheets and dashboards!



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