Smartsheet Control Center: Blueprint Source Folder Overview

The Blueprint Source Folder contains templates for the sheets, reports, and dashboards that are created each time you add a project. The templates help standardize business processes followed by every project, maintaining consistency in execution and reporting.

Templates are the building blocks for a Blueprint. There must be at least one template in the Blueprint Source Folder. 

Blueprints with multiple sheets, reports, and dashboards can work together to implement powerful business processes. Use cell links, cross-sheet formulas, and hyperlinks to share information and create an integrated set of templates.

In this article:


Name Your Blueprint Source Folder and Templates

Name your Blueprint Source Folder after the business process you want to track (some examples include: Installation, IT Project, Store Opening, Customer Account). When your project folders are created from the Blueprint, they will inherit the folder name and they will have the same project-specific prefixes or suffixes added (see the images below for an example).

Name individual templates based on their function (some examples include: Tasks, Budget, Dashboard, Milestone Report). When you create the project, you can add prefixes or suffixes that will make them more identifiable. 

Source Blueprint Folder showing templates.
Source Blueprint Folder showing templates.

 

Project folder with project specific sheets.
Project folder with project specific sheets.


TIPS:

  • Place your Blueprint Source Folder in the Admin workspace. Limit access to the folder so only Program Leads can make changes.
  • Templates can be optional. When you create a Blueprint, you can specify which templates are optional or required.
  • Control Center allows up to 75 templates.

Anatomy of a Sheet Template

A sheet template contains the structure (which will be maintained each time the Blueprint is used) for a core aspect of your process.

Summary Section (Profile Data)

Simple task sheet 
Simple task sheet

Profile Data is displayed in the upper portion of your template sheets under a parent row called Summary. This information is populated from the Intake sheet. The Summary section must follow the rules for profile data. 

TIP: You can format the summary data rows to highlight the Profile Data. To do this, set the formatting in your templates before you create new projects. 

Create placeholder values for Intake Profile Data, such as <<jane doe>> in the above image. When you create a project, update these with the correct values. Placeholders help you find errors or omissions when you create a Blueprint. You can learn more about Profile Data here: Smartsheet Control Center: Define and Track Your Project with Project Profile Data.

IMPORTANT: In Smartsheet, you must save your Blueprint templates as sheets, not as smartsheet templates.

Quick Links

Optional links provide users with a quick method of switching between items in the project.

Tasks

The task section is where your work happens. Sheets are flexible. Create as many rows or columns as you need (within Smartsheet limits).
 
Business processes appear after the Profile Data section. Your process may be a task list with a schedule, an issues tracker, or a budget. The actual tasks depend on your need and the desired end goal.

You can use Profile Data to customize the task—you may want to name cells with the business name or track budget items in the business process section of the sheet. 

Report Templates

Reports provide a single, focused view of data from one or more sheets. When you create a report template, you’re ensuring that the same criteria will be used for each instance of a report that becomes created from that Blueprint at scale.

For example, you could create a report template which will display all tasks assigned to someone across all sheets generated from the Blueprint.

See Use Reports to Organize Data for more information about how to work with report criteria.

Dashboard Templates

Dashboards provide an overview of a project—they’re a snapshot presenting the most important items to stakeholders. A dashboard can also act as the front page of your project, displaying key information in one place and providing links to important sheets and reports.

Dashboard for Blueprint


The dashboard template pulls information from sheets in your Blueprint Source Folder. Use placeholder data in the templates to help with design and layout.

Make changes to your dashboard template in the Blueprint Source Folder so they appear across all existing projects. Updates made with the Global Updates feature will not change existing dashboards.

If you add, remove, or rename dashboard templates in the Blueprint Source Folder, be sure to update the Blueprint Builder.

TIPS:

  • Only use Title, Rich Text, and Image widgets when you know they’ll be identical across all projects (for example, use these for items such as instructions or graphics).
  • Use a Metric widget to reference Profile Data cells on Template sheets. (If you don’t use a Metric widget, someone will have to update the widgets manually after the project is created).

Add, Remove, or Change Templates

Projects change, it happens. You may need to add a new template or to make changes to existing ones.

Add a New Template

  1. Click the Menu icon in the upper-left corner of the Smartsheet window to open the left panel. From Home > Workspaces, navigate to the Control Center workspace and select the Blueprint Source Folder.
  2. Create the new sheet, report, or dashboard and structure it as desired.
  3. In Control Center, update the Blueprint Builder.

Make Changes to an Existing Template

To change a template for all subsequent projects:

  1. Click the Menu icon in the upper-left corner of the Smartsheet window to open the left panel. From Home > Workspaces, navigate to the Control Center workspace and select the Blueprint Source Folder.
  2. Open the item that you’d like to edit.
  3. Make the desired changes and click the Save button in the top toolbar.

To change a template for all existing projects using Global Updates: 

  1. In Control Center, click Manage Program.
  2. Click Global Updates > New Update in the upper-right corner of the Control Center window.

TIPS:

  • When you add or remove templates, update the Blueprint Builder so new projects reflect your changes.
  • Not seeing your changes? Refresh your folder.