Process Steps with fixed start dates and predecessors

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I have a project timeline that has a manufacturing step that is contracted to start on a specific date in the future. This manufacturing step has predecessors, but changes in the timing of the predecessors will not change the date of the start of manufacturing because there was enough lag time built into the schedule to allow some wiggle room between the end of the predecessors and the start of manufacturing. Is there a way to both set predecessors on the manufacturing step and have a fixed start date so that my critical path calculation doesn't break at that step?

Example Image:

Manufacturing contracted start date is Sept01, and is technically dependent on the Product Development tasks being done before it starts. However, the start date of manufacturing won't change unless we completely miss the window. Currently, the Smartsheet critical path calculation breaks at row 6 because it doesn't have predecessors. However, entering the predecessors makes it so the manufacturing start date (and subsequent tasks) is changed when there is a change to the timing along the path to manufacturing.

(This is just an example task list, the actual project is currently ~500 tasks, with the manufacturing step near-ish the end.)

Best Answer

  • Scott Peters
    Scott Peters ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Hello Alex - As a workaround for this I have built plans where I put the Manufacturing row in twice, once with all the predecessors and dependencies connected, and the other with no predecessors or dependencies, just a standalone row with the contracted date. This allows me to set up a helper column and conditional formatting based on the contracted date vs. how the plan is tracking.

    Hope this helps,

    Scott

Answers

  • Scott Peters
    Scott Peters ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓
    Options

    Hello Alex - As a workaround for this I have built plans where I put the Manufacturing row in twice, once with all the predecessors and dependencies connected, and the other with no predecessors or dependencies, just a standalone row with the contracted date. This allows me to set up a helper column and conditional formatting based on the contracted date vs. how the plan is tracking.

    Hope this helps,

    Scott

  • Alex.Dixon
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    Thanks Scott!

    After reading a lot of other community posts, I submitted a feature request for allowing formulas in predecessors columns. It seems that would resolve this and doesn't feel like it should be that hard to implement.

    -Alex