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Hello,

 

As a construction PM, one of the functions I use most with SS is the Gantt style programming. I have multiple crews on the same project/in the same sheet, but the issue I have is they each have a different working schedule - for example night shift is Sunday to Thursday night, day shift is Monday to Friday, and some crews do Monday to Saturday.

 

I have a background in the likes of MS project and Primavera, where you can allocate different calendars or schedules against each line, instead of having one generic set of working days to suit the entire sheet.

 

It's got to a point where I have had to stop using SS for the Gantt aspect, because if you do a minor update and it rearranges your schedule according to your predecessor settings, I end up having to spend the next half an hour going through and making sure each crew is actually working on the correct days. It doesn't sound like much, but for those that know construction know it can change daily - so you can understand the frustration.

 

Has anyone else been having issues with this as well, and if so have you come up with a good workaround for the issue? Or are you as stuck as I am and have just given up for now?

 

Let me know your thoughts, or if anything was unclear!

 

Cheers

Comments

I'm interested in a response also.

 

I'm guessing that even using a 7-day sub-schedule that the parent (Master) schedule changes dates based on its background calendar options?

I'm also pretty interested in this issue- I have a sheet with hundreds of line items with multiple dependencies. I've also given up on the Gannt chart ability- sometimes changing one date will muck up dozens of line items. And I'm not even sure which ones most of the time.

it would be a major workaround I guess Oliver involving some pretty long formulas to adjust start and end dates for "assignments" based on who is being assigned and which shift they belong to (at that point in time!).  The toolset simply doesnt support additional base calendars and individual resource calenders yet.   How many people are you dealing with and do their shift patterns change often or do they tend to stay working the same shifts?

Oliver, if using predecessors is causing unwanted changes to your sheet when adjusting tasks, then you may consider removing them completely from your sheet - it may not be necessary to use them. If that doesn’t work for your processes, you could try reducing the number of predecessors you have (the less predecessors you have, the less changes will be made in your sheet when you change a tasks date) . Also, make sure you don't add predecessors to parent rows as this can cause some unintentional results. 

Travis,

 

If you have ever worked in a program that has the multiple calendars, you would understand how valuable and time saving this feature is. Essentially, if I were to not use predecessors - which would solve this issue but introduce a range of other issues and even more costly time delays - I would have to go through and update the start date on every line that is affected by the delay, which could introduce the chance of human error and take forever on large programs. With an intricate staging of works that I see in my projects, predecessors are an invaluable tool that saves countless hours updating programs.

 

Removing predecessors completely is even more counter-productive - I want to see the program impact by changing the duration or finish date, and again like the above process that would involve me changing upwards of 200 lines sometimes. This task takes a matter of 30 seconds in other tools that I reference.

 

Don't get me wrong, for smaller projects that have a consistent work schedule for all crews and contractors, SS does wonders. It's easy to use interface and clarity makes things easier for me and everyone in the field. And I get plenty of use out of it as an online database tool, and with forms it makes data entry a breeze. I just see this scheduling situation as a real limitation - one that is stopping me from using SS as much as I would like and means having licenses for multiple programs instead of one.

 

Peter,

 

There are workarounds I could try and implement, and I have experimented with some of these. But again, at the end of the day it is counterproductive for me to go through and do this every time when I could use a product that does it for me.

 

Just throwing it out there as something I would love to see in a future release - I would even be happy to pay a premium for it. Perhaps it could be marketed as "Gantt Pro" or something to that affect.

I too think having different calendars for different resources is really important and should be the first priority for new feature development. It's a constant frustration for me and requires lots of manual changes to a plan.

In reply to by Chris Miall

OMG it's 2019, this has been a feature with MS Project 2001 when I learned it back then.. I don't know what beyond "a nice picture" Smartsheet can be if you can't individually schedule resources (as in contract employes, not static scheduled factory workers)..

Oliver,

I agree with you that different calendar options would be useful, however we must also bear in mind that SS popularity comes from its quest to be easy to use and quick to learn.  I teach MS Project and I know how much people struggle with understanding what it wlill and will not do and how it all works under the Hood.  I would not like to see SS going down that route, but some improvements would be welcome.

 

With regard to making changes to update changes made by the movement of tasks through thier predecessors(and I hope I am not teaching you to suck eggs) do not forget the Highlight Changes that will show you what has changed in your Project in the Last Hout Day etc. It is something that can be switched on and of very easily.

see the Help: http://help.smartsheet.com/customer/portal/articles/521974

 

SS is a good task management tool, a Basic to intermediate Project management tool and an excellent colaberative working environment, with its discussions, attachments, Alerts and Notifications; things that MS project and the like do not have unless you are using Project Server in which case you are spending a large amount of money to achieve it.

 

I hope this helps.

James

 

Agreed with all of the above. That's why I'd even be Happy and willing to pay for it as an 'advanced' feature, and I'm sure it would open up a new market place. That is the hesitation of people I show smartsheet to in my industry - they love the collaboration aspect along with simplicity of it all But can't get past some of the more advanced limitations.

 

The highlight changes does save me some time identifying what's changed, but I still have to go through and make sure that crews are working on their correct days, and not working and days they shouldn't etc. Essentially for my 2 complex projects, I can't use SS for programs. I still use it for lists and colloboration on these, even defect lists and the like using web forms on ipads Out in the field. And I have a few simpler projects coming up with the one work schedule, so I am excited to use it on these!

 

Cheers

Really interested in this! And totally agree that removing predecessors would be a huge mistake - the greatest benefit of using the gantt features is that, provided you update your sheet, you essentially get a live feed on how your job is running to the schedule - I set reminders for rows based on the start dates. eg remind me 2 weeks before the plumber is due on site to book his team. If that row doesnt automatically adjust to any delays or changes then it screws you up no end.

 

I have a similar issue with some crews working saturdays while most dont. the only way i've found to get around it is reduce the duration of that particular task to accomodate for saturdays worked - It does work but it's not ideal - it gives you a false view of how long a task actually takes - I use past sheets to reference durations for future sheets so this is a bit frustrating 

I echo the call for multiple calendars in a project.

 

This is not just important for the construction industry.  It's quite universal.

 

Even running relatively small projects and having a team where say one person is unavailable for a period of leave or you have someone who works part time is very common.  Seeing the impact on schedule of their period of leave and the change in the timeline when you can re-assign, etc. is PM 101.

 

I need to use SmartSheet with the ability to have tasks respect the constraints of calendars based on the resource applied. 

 

The more the tool can emulate real life the better.  Constraints are real in real life, so modelling them is important in scheduling.  When situations change, you need to see the impacts and plan the recovery (or schedule in the party!).  To have to remove dependencies and go back to manually scheduling would be badness.

 

If SmartSheet were to have multiple calendars, whether associated with resources or selectable to apply to a task, it would be a huge enhancement.

This is an important issue for me as well. I have 6 different departments running 3 different schedules. The ability to set a schedule for individual resources would be a big help, time consuming on the front end but very valuable in the end.

 

 

I agree with Don the more it can emulate real life the more valuable it is to me, the more I am willing to pay.  

I agree that multiple calendars are needed for higher education, as well!

 

Our adjunct lecturers, versus our full-time professors, versus admin staff, versus CON-ED and Certificate classes...all of these have to be managed, but work according to different time-frames. Keeping track of room allotments becomes a nightmare and the first few weeks of classes inevitably end up with conflicting room assignments due to programs and departments having different start dates.

Adding my vote for this, same reasons as mentioned before.

Adding my vote with all the same comments listed above.  Being able to have different calendars in a project management tool is essential, even just to track vacation schedules by resource which on a large project can have a big impact. 

Hi everyone,

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Have a fantastic day!

Best,

Andrée Starå

Workflow Consultant @ Get Done Consulting

OMG it's 2019, this has been a feature with MS Project 2001 when I learned it back then.. I don't know what beyond "a nice picture" Smartsheet can be if you can't individually schedule resources (as in contract employes, not static scheduled factory workers)..