Dynamic task duration (hammock task)


Hi all,

I am looking for a way to create tasks with a dynamic duration that is prescribed by the relationship between what comes before and after the task.

For example, if there are two sequential tasks that need to be completed before a milestone, the duration of the second task is dependent on how long the first task takes to complete and the milestone date (assuming the milestone can't move, i.e. a hammock task).

This is particularly important when using Smartsheet/Resource Management to schedule a team. Let's say our team has a presentation scheduled in one week. The presentation date is a fixed milestone and is not dependent on preceding tasks (i.e. the CEO wants a presentation that day). If there are two tasks that need to get done before the presentation, and the second task is dependent on the completion of the first task, then the duration of the second task is constrained by the end date of the first task and the fixed milestone.

I can't make the milestone dependent on the second task, because it would move if the length of the two tasks changes (and the CEO is only available at the given date). I know I can fake it all in, and I can adjust the length of the second task daily as things change, but it seems like there would be a better way.

I create hammock tasks that do what I am describing in several other Gantt applications. What can be done within Smartsheet?


  • Genevieve P.

    Hi @MNML

    Smartsheet does not currently have the ability to create hammock tasks as you're describing; please let the Product team know of your request by filling out this form, here.

    As an alternative, you could create two children beneath the task you want as a hammock.

    • The first child task will be a milestone referring to the start date.
    • The second child task will be a milestone referring to the end date.

    Due to the Parent Rollup Functionality in Smartsheet, the parent row will show the dates based on those two rows.



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  • MNML

    Hi Genevive,

    I understand your workaround, but it's definitely manual. Also, it's a problem when I am linking to Resource Management to assign resources. I cannot accurately assign resources to a 0 duration task.



  • Bruce Armstrong

    A hammock task is a task that spans the duration between two milestones M1 and M2 where M1 occurs before M2. One can create a hammock task by creating a task H1 with two sub-tasks S1 and S2. Both subtasks have 0 duration. S1 has a start to start relationship with M1. S2 has an end to end relationship M2. One can hide S1 and S2 and H1 is the hammock task with a duration that moves with the milestones.