Smartsheet’s two most requested features, critical path and duration in minutes, hours, and weeks, are here!
For every project, having a greater level of control over task duration and working hours helps increase efficiency and accuracy in planning. Now, anyone managing a project has the option to set time durations in any unit they choose, including seconds, minutes, hours and weeks. We call this "partial days.”
Project owners can now also identify the most important tasks with one click -- the ones that will delay your project if not completed on time. This is "critical path,” and will highlight your most critical tasks so you can stay on top of your project.
Here’s more information about the new features:
Enter Project Duration in Minutes, Hours, or Weeks
You now have a new level of granular control over project schedules by specifying duration of tasks in minutes (‘m’), hours (‘h’), partial days (0.5d), or weeks (‘w’). You can even mix and match units, like 5d 2h or 3d 45m. Just type the unit of time after your duration and Smartsheet automatically adjusts your schedule, on desktop and on mobile.
These new duration options also mean that milestones will no longer be a full day -- you now have the ability to add zero-day milestones to your project schedules. And if your typical work day is less or more than the standard eight hours, you can specify that as well, by setting the hours in a working day. Your whole timeline automatically adjusts so you can stay nimble and specific to your business needs.
To use the new task durations:
- In the Duration column in your sheet, simply enter a number followed by the unit: ‘m’ for minutes, ‘h’ for hours, and ‘w’ for weeks. For partial days, enter ‘0.5d’ or ‘2.5d.’
To set the hours in a working day:
- Toggle to the Gantt chart view (make sure your dependencies are enabled).
- On the right-hand side, in the Gantt view, click the gear icon.
- Under Dependency Settings, in the section called Working Days, click Edit.
- Under Length of Day, enter the number of hours in the workday.
- Click Ok to close Working Days, and Ok again to save your project settings.
Automatically Calculate Critical Path
In any given project, you may have hundreds of tasks and dozens of dependencies. And it can be almost impossible to identify the most important tasks -- the ones that, if missed, will impact the entire project and its completion date. With critical path, you can automatically identify these critical tasks, the ones that you really need to worry about to make sure you meet your deadline.
With the click of an icon, all of the tasks that directly impact your project completion date will be outlined in bright red on the Gantt chart. The critical path will change in real time, reflecting any changes in live data. And, it will work seamlessly across desktop and mobile, and with any color settings in your sheet.
To use critical path on desktop:
- Enable the Gantt chart view.
- On the right-hand side, in the Gantt view, click the far-right critical path icon (it looks like two red Gantt bars).
- On the Gantt chart, the tasks that are on the critical path will be outlined in red.
To use critical path on iOS and Android:
- Enable the Gantt chart view.
- On the bottom of your screen, click the critical path icon (it looks like two red Gantt bars).
- On the Gantt chart, the tasks that are on the critical path will be outlined in red. Tasks that are on the critical path will also be highlighted in red on your task list on the left side.
Note: In order to enable critical path, you must have a fully networked Gantt chart. In other words, you must enable dependency settings.
Huge Advances for Project Managers
Duration in minutes, hours and weeks, as well as critical path, bring Smartsheet to the next level of project management and team collaboration. You’ll have greater control over project schedules, ensuring that your timeline stays on track and remains accurate. You’ll also be able to easily identify the most important tasks in your project, keeping everyone on the same page and meeting deadlines.
For more information about this release, read our external release notes.