In this Article:

  • What are Projects in Ally.io?
  • Ally.io Projects and Smartsheet
  • How do I set up Smartsheet integration?
  • How do I start populating Smartsheet projects?
  • Smartsheet Key Results integration vs Projects

What are Projects in Ally.io?

Projects help you keep track of all the work your organization is executing to achieve your OKRs. While key results track outcomes, project track the output that helps you achieve your key results. For more details and best practices, see What are Projects?


Ally.io Projects and Smartsheet

You can now view your Smartsheet projects, and the tasks within the project in Ally.io. You can treat the entire sheet as a project, or use a specific Smartsheet row as the project, with its children as the task list. If progress is available in Smartsheet, Ally will use it. Otherwise, it will compute it from the child tasks.

How do I set up Smartsheet integration?

  • From the navigation menu, click on Admin > select the Integrations tab.
  • Against Smartsheet, you will have an option to Enable the integration. If a connection has been made previously or if the integration has been enabled already, you will have the option to Manage the enabled integration.
  • Click on New Connection, and follow the prompt to sign into Smartsheet.
  • Name your connection, and hit Next to complete the setup.
  • This integration can also be disabled from the same section by clicking on Change, and choosing Disable integration from the dropdown.

Ally.io allows you to connect with multiple Smartsheet accounts. Select New Connection to add another instance and use names to differentiate them. These names are displayed to members when they link their OKRs to Smartsheet cells. Take note that all connections are publicly available for use by everyone in the organization.

How do I start populating Smartsheet Projects?

How Ally.io tracks progress of projects in Smartsheets is called out in the 'Calculating Project Progress' section. Regarding what can be considered a project, Ally.io supports two modes for Smartsheet projects:

1) Treat the entire sheet as the project: Here Ally.io would show the top-most level of tasks from the Smartsheet in Ally, with progress rolled up from the children. The project name is taken from the sheet's name.

2) Use a specific Smartsheet row as the project, with its children as the task list: Sometimes, our customers like to have several projects in the same Smartsheet. We support this as well, the name of the task becomes the project name in Ally.io and its direct children become the task list.

Calculating Project Progress

Ally.io supports the standard project template in Smartsheet, but is flexible to allow sheets that don't use this template.

If your Smartsheet uses the Project template, Smartsheet can automatically roll up task progress based on subtask percent complete and duration. You can tell if your sheet uses the template by checking if there is a Project Settings (gear) icon under the 'Share' button on the top-right of the sheet. Within the Project Settings, if Dependencies are enabled, a Duration column will also be set which will be used to weight task progress by duration - longer tasks count more towards parent task progress. Details on how Smartsheet does these rollups and calculates progress can be found here.

The table below shows the various possibilities and how Ally calculates progress in each case. Overall, if a Duration field is specified when the connection is setup in Ally, Ally will use it to weight task progress: the contribution is the duration of the task relative to the sum of all task durations. If there is no Duration field, Ally will fall back to calculating the average percentage progress across all tasks.

1) Case 1:

  • Project template: Enabled
  • Dependencies: Enabled
  • Duration field: Mapped (mandatory when dependencies are enabled)

The progress of the parent task in Smartsheet is not editable, and is calculated by Smartsheet. Ally.io will simply mirror the progress.

Ally.io calculates the sheet-level progress the same way Smartsheet calculates the progress of parent task (the progress of top-level tasks in the Sheet).

If more than 50% of the 'Duration' field or the '% complete' field for top-level tasks cannot be parsed, Ally.io will show a sync error.

2) Case 2:

  • Project template: Enabled
  • Dependencies: Disabled
  • Duration field: Mapped

If Dependencies is disabled, Smartsheet will not roll up progress to the parent tasks. If the 'Duration' column has raw numbers, Ally.io will assume they are days. However, Ally.io still supports the Smartsheet notation of days and weeks (for instance, 4d for 4 days, 2w for 2 weeks).

When a task is used as the project with subtasks as the project's tasks, if there is no '% complete' filled in for the task, Ally.io will calculate it. However, even if one is filled in, Ally.io will assume the user knows best, and will use the value as is for the project progress. If the value is filled in but not parseable, Ally.io will show the project progress as 0%.

If more than 50% of the 'Duration' field or the '% complete' field for top-level tasks cannot be parsed, Ally.io will show a sync error.

3) Case 3:

  • Project template: Enabled
  • Dependencies: Disabled
  • Duration field: Not Mapped

If Dependencies is disabled, Smartsheet will not roll up the progress to parent tasks. Since a duration column is not mapped, Ally.io will assume the parent task's progress is just the average of the first-level of child tasks' progress. The same logic is applied while calculating the progress at a sheet-level (if the entire sheet is a project).

If more than 50% of the '% complete' field for top-level tasks cannot be parsed, Ally.io will show a sync error.

4) Case 4:

  • Project template: Disabled
  • Dependencies: Doesn't Apply
  • Duration field: Mapped

If the 'Duration' column has raw numbers, Ally.io will assume they are days. However, Ally.io still supports the Smartsheet notation of days and weeks (for instance, 4d for 4 days, 2w for 2 weeks).

When a task is used as the project with subtasks as the project's tasks, if there is no '% complete' filled in for the task, Ally.io will calculate it. However, even if one is filled in, Ally.io will assume the user knows best, and will use the value as is for the project progress. If the value is filled in but not parseable, Ally.io will show the project progress as 0%.

If more than 50% of the 'Duration' field for top-level tasks cannot be parsed, Ally.io will show a sync error.

5) Case 5:

  • Project template: Disabled
  • Dependencies: Doesn't Apply
  • Duration field: Not Mapped

Since a duration column is not mapped, Ally.io will assume the parent task's progress is just the average of the first-level of child tasks' progress. The same logic is applied while calculating the progress at a sheet-level (if the entire sheet is a project).

If more than 50% of the '% complete' field for top-level tasks cannot be parsed, Ally.io will show a sync error. Note: Top-level tasks, here, is relative to whether the entire sheet is a project, or if a specific row is a project.

Note: Top-level tasks, here, is relative to whether the entire sheet is a project, or if a specific row is a project.

Smartsheet Key Result Integration vs Projects

Ally.io supports a Smartsheet integration for Key Results as well, which lets you map a single cell of the Smartsheet to a success metric for a key result. The progress of the key result is updated in real time as the cell value changes. This makes sense when you use Smarthsheet as a spreadsheet, not really for project tracking.

The Projects Smartsheet integration, however, lets you see the individual tasks and their completion state for a Smartsheet, helping you understand your execution at a much deeper level. The updates for a project also call out what has changed since the last checkin - which tasks were completed, were any tasks added or removed. You can also directly jump to the row in Smartsheet from the task in Ally.io.

Projects in Ally are available across all our pricing plans. If you would like to have Projects enabled for your organization please have an account admin reach out to [email protected] with your request.

Did this answer your question?