Project Sheet -- Dependencies report
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
This is a great start for more basic projects, thanks for sharing the idea. I've implemented something similar based on this, however our individual tasks typically have many dependencies/predecessors which would require parsing the predecessor cell and applying a function to multiple entries.
Will look to see if we can expand on this, thanks again.
@K.Davis Ohh - excitingly I have been working on a separate issue for another client. They wanted to base Parent RAG status on Critical Path Tasks only.
I worked out a way of using the predecessors column for a data source and then finding where tasks had been declared as dependent. If you would like drop me an email and I can do a quick zoom with you to explain how I did it. I needed about 6 helper columns!!! ha ha
HI @Debbie Sawyer !
I know this is an old thread but I was wondering if you were able to figure out a way for the dependent on column to list more than one dependency? I want to use your formula but have it work for more than one task! If you have any idea how to accomplish this please let me know!
Thank you for tagging me.
Since you tagged me I have adapted my formula to see if I can list ALL dependent task names where more than 1 is listed. I am close, but I am not quite there. I'll see if I can find the right resolution then I'll contact you! ;D
Any chance you've come up with a solution for this with multiple dependencies - This is exactly what I've been looking for!