Project Sheet -- Dependencies report

Sameer Karkhanis
Sameer Karkhanis ✭✭✭✭✭✭
edited 01/26/21 in Smartsheet Basics

We have project plans that are 1000+ lines with multiple functions/workstreams involved. There are hundreds of dependencies. Instead of clicking on every task to see what the dependencies are, I would like to have a report or a way which will show me all the tasks that have dependencies and what the dependencies are (not the row number but the actual dependent task name/title along with dates).

Also, as there is no indicator to let someone know that there are successors (tasks that are dependent on a given task) for a given task, how can the user find out if there are any successors and which ones?

Without features or capabilities around plan dependencies, it is challenging to use Smartsheet as a good project planning tool. Hope to see critical project plan features implemented in Smartsheets.

Answers

  • Debbie Sawyer
    Debbie Sawyer ✭✭✭✭✭

    These are good questions and I don't think there are answers for them currently within Smartsheet. I would recommend filling out the Product Feedback link and asking Smartsheet directly if these items are able to be programmed into the product.

    The form is found on the left hand side of the community screen in a menu found under the burger button.


  • Sameer Karkhanis
    Sameer Karkhanis ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Yes, I have submitted product enhancement requests through the product feedback form.

  • I agree that it is definitely a useful featre to have. We have the same challenge. It is important to view the actual dependency task / name, rather than just the row number in the Predecessor column.

  • James Keuning
    James Keuning ✭✭✭✭

    I hate to bring it up, because it's useless for so many applications, but I've been using the Live Data Connector to work around these issues. For example, use MS Access to parse the comma-delimited predecessors field. I only resort to that initially because I hate how limited Smartsheet's reports are. As a reporting tool, MS Access checks all the boxes for me, but to accomplish what you are asking here, you will need some VBA knowledge. I suppose the API might be just as useful in this regard, but I don't know any of those languages yes, but I am working on my Python.

    All that to say, you are not alone, Smartsheet has a number of these deficiencies.

  • Debbie Sawyer
    Debbie Sawyer ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have had a thought! 😃

    You could utilise the Driving Path feature on the Gannt Chart to show the tasks that are predecessors.

    To do this, Go into your Gannt Chart, Right click on a task and select Show Driving Path.

    Then if you are in a report and you wanted to see the related tasks, you could select the task in the Report, Click the SheetName Link, which will open the Project Sheet with the task selected, then if the Driving path is turned on, you'd see the names related tasks outlined in the gannt.

    I know this isn't a list of related tasks, but it would give you an indication of them?

    Hope this helps

    Kind regards

    Debbie

  • Sameer Karkhanis
    Sameer Karkhanis ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Appreciate suggesting some alternatives above. All SS users are not application and project management savvy, so we are looking for exposing the dependencies with minimal instructions or training.

    Smartsheet team has been great in the recent past listening to the customer concerns and feature requests, so I am hoping they will come up with something better soon.

    Another hard dependency issue I have is that if you add a dependency (FS) on summary task (parent of children) then SS forces the child tasks to start day after the dependent task date and does not allow any child task to start from any date that is after the dependent task.

  • Debbie Sawyer
    Debbie Sawyer ✭✭✭✭✭

    Can you not add a negative Lag to workaround this?

  • I would also like to have this ability, it's one of the high priority requirements while we're evaluating tools (currently on a trial). I'd like to be able to create a report, and group by predecessor, where the text of the group 'rollup' would display the name of the predecessor. Unfortunately, it's not an option in the summarize menu.


  • Was this capability ever added? I am trying create a report that shows dependencies. I'm very surprised to find its not there.

  • Debbie Sawyer
    Debbie Sawyer ✭✭✭✭✭

    Dear All

    I haven't seen a report capability for this yet, so I have put my thinking cap on and come up with this workaround? Will this help anyone?


    In this demo project sheet, I have created a column called One (with the value of 1 in every row), a Column called RowNum with the formula of =SUM(One$1:[email protected]) to provide an "insheet" row number that matches the row number!

    I then created a column called "Dependent on" and created this formula inside:

    =IF(ISBLANK([email protected]), "", IF(LEN([email protected]) = 1, PARENT([Task Name]@row) + " - " + INDEX([Task Name]:[Task Name], MATCH(VALUE(LEFT([email protected], 1)), RowNum:RowNum)), PARENT([Task Name]@row) + " - " + INDEX([Task Name]:[Task Name], MATCH(VALUE(LEFT([email protected], 2)), RowNum:RowNum))))

    Basically what this does is look at the predecessor value and if it is blank then return nothing in Dependent on column, if there is just a single digit in the predecessor, then look that digit up in the RowNum column and return the Parent of the Task Name that matches concatenated with a "-" then put the Task Name that matches. Then if the number in Predecessors is longer than 1, then it is matching the first 2 digits to the Row Num.

    This would need playing with for sheets that have FS or SS or SF dependencies specified (possibly, although the row numbers are still left most of those rows). You might need to add a clause for 3 digit rows as and when your project s are longer - but I thought this was better than nothing!!

    I might give this some further thought (as I literally just spent 15 mins on it) but hopefully it might spark a solution for someone.

    Obviously the reason for doing this is that the Dependent On column would be available in reports!

    Good luck :D Hope this helps someone.

    Kind regards

    Debbie