Project Management Tutorial

Smartsheet provides essential tools for effective project management to empower your teams to execute together with speed and accountability and reach successful outcomes faster.

Solution Jump-start: Project Tracking and Rollup

Trying to figure out how to quickly get your project team up and running? Join us to learn how to easily deploy the new Project Tracking and Rollup template set in our new and improved Solution Center.

Follow these step-by-step instructions to modify project settings.

Modify Project Settings

With sheet project settings, you can customize aspects of the sheet such as working and non-working time, Gantt display settings, and resource management.

NOTE: You must be the sheet Owner or have Admin-level sharing permissions to modify the sheet project settings.

For more information about the features the sheet project settings control, see these articles:


Access Project Settings for a Sheet

Right-click any column header while in the Grid and Gantt view of your sheet and select Edit Project Settings.

The Project Settings form appears.
 
Project Settings
 

NOTES:

  • You'll only see the Timeline Display settings after switching your sheet to Gantt View.
  • The Resource Management section is only available with multi-user plans. Not sure which plan type you're using? See Identify Your Smartsheet Plan and User Type.

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Edit Dependency Settings and Working Days

Date Range Display  

Start & End Date Column—When using multiple date columns, you can select the desired columns to be used for tracking the Start and End Dates. These columns are required to add a Gantt chart to a sheet, and when using the Dependency functionality.

Options  

% Complete Column—If you'd like to overlay a % Complete indicator within the task bars in the Gantt chart, and see automated % Complete calculations occur in the parent (summary) rows, select the column which contains % Complete information in your sheet.

NOTE: The automatic % complete calculations in parent rows are based on your manually added % complete to child rows, as well as the duration of the child row tasks.

Dependencies

Enabled—Checking the box for Dependencies Enabled adds automated dependency functionality to the sheet. Dependency functionality allows for use of the Predecessor and Duration columns, the ability to exclude non-working days from your schedule, and the option of changing the length (in hours) of working days. It also creates automation in the Duration, Start Date, End Date, and % Complete columns in all parent rows, such that the parent rows will reflect an automated summary of the indented child tasks.

Predecessor Column—Select the column you'd like to use as the Predecessor column in the sheet. Use the selected column to create dependencies between tasks in the schedule.

Duration Column—The selected Duration column will be used in combination with the Working Days to automate the scheduling of task Start and End Dates.

Working Days  

Working days & non-working days—After enabling dependencies on the sheet, you’ll be able to click on Edit to select the days of the week considered non-working days for the purpose of the project. These settings will override any global account settings. Learn more about how these settings impact the automated scheduling in our article on Designating Non-working & Holidays.

Length of Day (hours)—Set the length, in hours, of working days in the project sheet. By default, Smartsheet considers each working day to include 8 hours. The length of each working day is taken into consideration when calculating dates of tasks. For example, if you create a task with a start date and a duration of 9 hours, by default, Smartsheet will automatically schedule the end date to take place the next working day. If you were to change the number of hours in a working day to 9, Smartsheet would schedule the task's end date to occur the same day it starts.


Customize the Gantt Chart Display and Behavior

In the Timeline Display section of the project settings, you can change the Gantt timeline intervals and display formatting, start of the fiscal year, and what column information appears to the right of the Gantt bars in the Gantt chart. For example, set a Contact List column as the display label to see a list of the people assigned to tasks next to each Gantt bar.

   Timeline Display

TIP: Check  Open to today's date to view current tasks in your project more quickly when you open the sheet.

Follow these step-by-step instructions to create milestones in your project sheet.

Create a Milestone to Mark a Significant Event in Your Project

A milestone is an action or event marking a significant change or stage in your project. The finish date for a milestone is the same as its start date. A milestones is represented by a grey diamond image in the Gantt chart, centered on the provided start time.

To create a milestone:

  1. Click Gantt View on the toolbar to display your sheet in Gantt view or to add a Gantt chart to your sheet.
    View Menu on Toolbar

  2. Enable dependencies on your sheet (click gantt-settings Edit Project Setting in the far-left corner of the Gantt chart and check the Dependencies Enabled checkbox). 

  3. Enter a task duration of 0 (zero), and a start date, to create a milestone.

TIP: To create an extended milestone, enter a task duration of ~0, and a start date. An extended milestone requires one full working day to complete, but is still represented by a diamond shape in the Gantt chart.

Follow these step-by-step instructions to setup your parent rollup functionality in a project sheet.

Parent Rollup Functionality

When Dependencies are enabled on a project sheet, Parent Rows automatically roll-up information in several of the Project Sheet Columns.

TIP: Parent rows are created by indenting other rows beneath them. Learn more in our article on Hierarchy: Indenting & Outdenting Rows.

The Start Date for a Parent will be automatically set to the earliest Start Date from all of its Child Rows. Similarly the End Date will be set to the last End Date from all its Child Rows.

The Duration on the Parent reflects the number of working days between the Start Date and End Date in that row. It provides the full time span encompassed by that section of tasks, from the earliest sub-task to the latest, as opposed to a sum of their durations.

The % Complete on the Parent row will calculate a weighted percentage based on both the Duration and % Complete entered on each child row. In this way, completing child rows with shorter durations won’t affect the Parent row % Complete as much as completing a longer duration child row. Because of the way this is calculated, only sub-tasks with a given Duration and a given % Complete value will be included in the parent row roll-up.

NOTES:

  • When Dependencies are enabled, Parent Rows are non-editable in the columns listed above. If you'd like to use your own calculations you can either disable the Dependency functionality on the sheet, or create your desired formula in one of the columns not being used in the dependency functionality. Custom formulas can’t be used to change the display or bars in the Gantt chart.

  • Parent rows in dependency-enabled sheets will always have a grey background color in the Gantt and Calendar views.

  • Though sub-task duration can be entered in a variety of formats including weeks, whole working days (e.g. 4d), partial working days (3.5d), elapsed days (e3d), hours (7h), minutes (90m), seconds (500s) and milliseconds (50000ms), parent rows will always reflect duration in partial working days.