Learn how to apply Smartsheet filters to successfully manage your project.
I recently shifted to managing projects with Smartsheet. I’ve been a Microsoft Project user for 20+ years and have been a big fan of web-based project management tools including Asana, Atlassian Jira and Trello. Smartsheet has many useful features including workflow, intake forms, and fundamental project schedule features.
As you build and manage your project schedule, it is helpful to filter in-process, completed and unfinished tasks. Below are a few useful project schedule Smartsheet filters to help manage your schedule.
Five Useful Smartsheet Filters
Filter #1 Resource Assigned
The Resource Assigned filter is helpful to track status on assigned tasks, resource level the schedule and figure out who is working on specific tasks. I use this filter every day when tracking status. To create the filter, click on the Filter Off icon and click the New Filter menu item. Complete the filter fields as below:
Filter #2 Tasks Missing Baseline
Once a project is being worked, it is helpful to track project progress against the original commitment dates. This is typically referred to as the project baseline. Smartsheet doesn’t have the baseline feature found in Microsoft Project however, you can create the Baseline Start and Baseline Finish dates as separate columns.
Once the project schedule is ready to be baselined, copy the Start and Finish columns into the Baseline Start and Baseline Finish columns. As the project schedule evolves, you’ll add new tasks and should set the baseline for new activities. The Tasks Missing Baseline filter helps to identify tasks that need commitment dates established. Create the filter with the following parameters:
Filter #3 Late Finish Tasks
Once the baseline dates are set, you can easily track late tasks with a Late Finish Tasks filter. This filter looks at any incomplete tasks where the Baseline Finish is less than or equal to a specified status date. The task Start and Finish dates will adjust as the team delivers on the project. However, these Start and Finish dates should be compared against the original baseline dates.
To create the Late Finish Tasks filter, use the following parameters:
Filter #4 In-process Tasks
The In-Process Tasks filter helps to identify all the active tasks that need updates. The tasks actually require a % Complete greater than zero but can’t be 100% complete. Create the filter using the following parameters.
Filter #5 Project Milestones
Every project needs milestones and there are a couple of techniques to communicate project milestones. One approach is to create a separate section of zero duration tasks and add predecessors to each task so the milestone dates adjust. Another approach is to simply report on any zero duration tasks.
In some projects, you may not want to communicate all the zero duration tasks and specifically identify milestones for status reporting. If you need to discern between internal and external reporting milestones, create a column called Status Milestone with a Single Select Dropdown option.
Once the Status Milestone column is created, identify the milestones in the sheet and create the following filter:
More Smartsheet Filters?
I hope you find these Smartsheet filters useful! If you have additional filters that help you manage your projects successfully, let me know! If you want to learn more about schedule quality and other useful filters, check out my Project Schedule Quality series.
To sign up for a free Smartsheet trial, visit https://www.smartsheet.com/.