Smartsheet Can Sometimes Get Ugly

Smartsheet solutions consultant can be beneficial for your work. Smartsheet has for all practical purposes that are one of the best online Project Management platforms. That allows registered users to plan, automate, track and report on their projects with unmatched efficiency and speed. It works great when a project involves the involvement and services of a diverse multi-department team within an organization. The online SaaS platform provides unparalleled agility with simple intuitive collaborative tools. Also, empowering the people who use it to make quick, intelligent and informed decisions.

Anyone familiar with the intuitive online SaaS platform knows that Smartsheet has been conscientiously in design. It is to help project stakeholders manage and accelerate any task at a quicker pace. Also, always matching functionality with accountability. It allows the stakeholders to plan and manage critical and important work, while also streamlining their budget and giving the option to efficiently track and respond to customer needs. It also facilitates monitoring and responding to customer feedback.

Online SaaS Platform from Smartsheet solutions consultant

The best part also is it supports cloud-sharing and users can integrate their project work with their preferred cloud project and file-sharing-storing platforms like Dropbox, Google Drive, and others. Project team members and participants do not have to be corralled into a single location and it works well with collaborative team members working in remote locations.The online SaaS platform has an easily recognizable spreadsheet-like interface that greatly helps users. Smartsheet claims to beat all its competitors when it comes to in-built integrated features. The platform claims it provides all the benefits of Microsoft Project, Microsoft Planner, and Microsoft Excel in a single service platform. Smartsheet also claims to provide better service features than those provided by similar online project management SaaS competitors like Jira, Asana, Workzone, Wrike, Google Sheets and others.

Smartsheet claims its platform services are easy to learn and intuitive to use. Their platform has features that would help customers deal with small, medium and large complex projects. The best part of the online SaaS platform is that it is not under limitation to work with a particular industry. It works well when managing projects from manufacturing to retail, consulting to education. Also, research and medical sciences, construction to the oil industry, among the many others.

That above are all the positives about the Smartsheet online SaaS platform, but sometimes their services can get, literally, ugly. Listed below are some of the ugly issues, errors, and drawbacks of the online SaaS project management platform:

Critical Issues with Gantt Reports in Smartsheet solutions consultant

A brief preview about Gantt reports can give an idea of why issues with it would look ugly on the Smartsheet platform. Gantt reports by its design are important when generated while dealing with a very large complex project. A project that spans over long periods of time in months and years and one has to monitor and manage a countless number of tasks. In these complex projects some tasks can be dependent on other related tasks, or invariably, some tasks cannot start till others have been completed. It does not make sense to write all these complex and multitude of tasks, and the Gantt charts come in good use- it provides an intuitive graphic pictorial method to look at the timeline and tasks of an active project.

The use of the Gantt chart makes sense for large projects but should be in avoidance. It is for smaller projects with limited teams and tasks. The graphic information overload would overwhelm the team or task managers.

Smartsheet provides interactive Gantt charts that help teams and project managers visualize their ongoing projects. The ease of use, with easy intuitive editing features. Like drag-and-drop can help users change elements and formulas and make new task dependencies easy.

The Use of Gantt Chart

Smartsheet with the Gantt charts feature helps registered users to create realistic project time frames. The horizontal bars on the chart indicate the time frame. For the completion of a certain set of tasks while managing a complex project. But the use of Gantt chart by the SaaS provider gets ugly when:

  • when the project is too small the complexity of the Gantt charts by Smartsheet can be a hindrance. It is to the project management work more than an advantage. The complex details may overwhelm the project manager.
  • Since Gantt charts use a graphic display of horizontal bars. In normal circumstances only indicates the time period in need to complete a task.  Or a number of tasks, it fails to indicate the volume of work present in that specified period. This is when the Smartsheet Gantt charts feature can get ugly. When it fails to account for or display the level of resources in need and the amount of work present. Most times a short horizontal Gantt chart graphic bar on-screen would indicate a task that could literally take hundreds of hours. And, inversely a long bar sometimes would just account for a task that takes a few hours.
  • Smartsheet Gantt reports are convenient to monitor on-screen. But, when it comes to transferring it to paper, the Gantt reports do not transfer well. Even on the computer screen, the Gantt charts have to be split into individual segments. It is to get a comprehensive picture of the entire project.

Other Critical Report Display Issues with Gantt Report on Smartsheet

Smartsheet Gantt report column random resizing issues

The Gantt chart reports are inclination to reformat automatically. Also, modifying the width proportions of the columns on its own. It is most times making the middle column wider than the other columns. This makes the report look ugly and silly on Dashboards. The issue remains even when the user resizes the column manually, the middle column remains super wide. These automatic resizing issues give an erroneous picture of the project duration, tasks, and resource allocation.

The issue with alignment on the columns: There platform does not allow the user to center justify the name on the columns. This flaw in the software service may not look serious but it certainly questions the quality of services provided by the project management SaaS platform.

On Security and Encryption

One of the main issues plaguing the entire SaaS platform providers is the issue relating to the security of data. Not many companies have the ability or the inclination to encrypt data protecting it from misuse by unauthorized characters. Even within their platform where data exchange takes place over the cloud, encryption methods and tools are of paramount importance.

Since Smartsheet stores its data at REST with NIST approved ciphers, they have not provided any evidence that they use encryption to protect the client’s internal data transit. There has not provided any evidence to suggest that they use correctly configured certificates. To protect internal data in transit between services.

Past Issues with the Platform’s Security Concerning Permissions and Privileges

An “Insecure direct object reference” vulnerability has been uncovered on the Smartsheet service in the recent past, which could have been exploited by hackers using the “Import users” feature in the user management page. The feature generally allowed registered customers to assign users project-related roles like group admin and system admin. There were no safeguards in place to verify the customer making the request had the right permissions.

This happened because the SaaS application used an actual key of an object to generate webpages without the safeguards necessary to ensure that the same user did not have the permission to access other objects. A hacker who just has to create an account and gain access to other users by just changing the parameters pointing to the system object.

Issues with Columns and Pivot Tables

Smartsheet can be in limitations in their abilities as the forms lack branching or logic abilities. Also, since formulas are not present in location columns, project management can get time- consuming. The registered user or project admin has to make their own calculations to work out allocation percentages.

The other common and very frustrating aspect of the use of Smartsheet does not allow for the cloning of columns, and some tables do not interact with formulas.

Access to the pivot table is not a standard feature, not available to all users. It is only available to users who buy an add-on. Smartsheet solutions consultant can provide you deep insight.

Limitation on Measurement on Utilization

Smartsheet has a limitation when it comes to measurement of utilization at the group level. The ugly fact is that there is no possible way to roll up utilization at a group level, as the function currently works only while measuring at the user level. This shortcoming in the SaaS platform does not allow for measuring the utilization of specific groups within a project. This shortcoming of the online platform becomes critical when managing a large project with diverse tasks plotted in multiple timelines. This should somehow be integrated and be a part of the resource management feature.

Platform Lacking Filter Feature on Reports

Smartsheet has a limitation when it comes to applying a filter on reports. The platform only allows for sorting on the reports and use the filter feature can be done only on sheets. This is an ugly issue, as many of its competitor SaaS platforms provide the report filter built-in as part of the service. Hence, Smartsheet solutions consultant can rescue you. Larger and resource-rich competitors like Microsoft Projects have a clear advantage over Smartsheet in providing these features.

Limitations in Email Notifications

Currently, automated email notifications lack certain critical features. The online platform does not allow for details to be added in the subject line of the automated email notifications. Adding information about a pending task in the email notification would make project management work easy for project managers. Another feature that is clearly lacking is the inability of Smartsheet to send an email alert, with a list of tasks due daily that has not been executed within the specified time frame.

Issues with Smartsheet Rolling Up Percentage (%) Completion

Smartsheet overweighs the first task and all the subsequent tasks are under-weighted. To take an example the ‘Parent’ % age is calculated as a weighted average, of the ‘Parent’ times the duration of the ‘Child’. Theses issue can cause serious problems while managing a large and complex project.

Issues with Report builder Feature

While pulling additional columns with dates into a report from the same sheet, the Report builder fails to show all the columns as options when the additional columns are no different from the other columns.

Smartsheet templates have a feature when a project ‘Parent’ row is assigned, all the tasks related to it are created as ‘child’ rows. The issue arises when each ‘child’ row creates its own column containing a box for data to be filled in, and in the process ends up creating an unnecessarily large number of columns, each assigned to just one row, making the sheet look both bulky and ugly.

Slowing Issues of the Smartsheet SaaS Platform

Registered users report that the platform slows down when large files or a large amount of data is stored. The SaaS platform being online, it experiences frequent outages. This is an ugly and serious issue when one considers the number of competitors in the SaaS marketplace who claim to offer a better and reliable service. Smartsheet solutions consultant services are important.

With all the unique features and project management functions, the Smartsheet SaaS platform promises it still does not qualify for its claim that it provides a comprehensive rational project management solution. Apart from the other operating issues, Smartsheet should address ugly issues like security and encryption matter involving critical protection of internal data in transit and, work out the safeguards to be put in place to verify permissions and privileges of registered users of the platform.

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