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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Rustemeyer

A Solution Admin’s Practical Guide to Smartsheet - Part 2 | Solutions to the Key Challenges Solution Admin’s Face

Updated: Jan 23


People collaborating to navigate a journey blue

In Part 1 of our series we talked about how every silver lining has its cloud, and for Solution Administrators (Solution Admins), managing Smartsheet solutions after they have been built and are being used in the organization can be that cloud. We also established the 5 key domains Solution Admins need to master and the challenges that will be encountered in each area their journey to Operational Excellence with the Smartsheet platform.


If you want to catch up, you can read Part 1 here.

Key Domains:

Onboarding users to a Smartsheet solution

Access/User Management of a Smartsheet solution

Managing feedback on a Smartsheet solution

Releasing Enhancements to a Smartsheet solution

Scaling a Smartsheet solution


 

Part 2: Solutions to the Key Challenges Solution Admin’s Face


Now that we have identified the roadblocks that will inevitably become a reality, let's look at some practical solutions that can be implemented by any Solution Manager.


1. Onboarding Users to a Smartsheet Solution


Onboarding new hires and new users

Challenge: The initial onboarding process can be a maze for both new and existing team members.


Solution:

Create comprehensive onboarding guides, video tutorials, and conduct training sessions to ensure everyone is well-versed in Smartsheet functionalities. Utilize Smartsheet templates to fast-track user adoption and provide ongoing support through forums or dedicated support channels. Once you have the right set of assets, partner with any internal change management resources to ensure these assets are available in learning management or other systems new hires would access when they join the team.


Get the full details here (coming soon!)


2. Access/User Management of a Smartsheet Solution


Individual looking to maintain security of data and information in front of a laptop

Challenge: Maintaining secure and efficient user access while avoiding information overload.


Solution:

Implement a robust but efficient user access management process. Regularly audit and update permissions to ensure the right people have the right level of access. Leverage groups and roles within Smartsheet to streamline the process and simplify user management. As Smartsheet’s use grows in your organization, there will inevitably be more assets (sheets, reports, and dashboards) that need to be managed. It’s important to invest in tools (employee access map, automated sharing rules, etc.) that ensure that the access management process doesn’t become a drain on efficiency.


Get the full details here (coming soon!)


3. Managing Feedback on a Smartsheet Solution


Teams collaborating to input, review, and discuss feedback

Challenge: Collating and addressing feedback from multiple stakeholders can become a cumbersome task.


Solution:

Build a feedback system within Smartsheet using forms or comments to give you a central backlog of requests. Establish a feedback review process to comb through the requests and prioritize what to release an enhancement. The key word here is: request. Not every piece of feedback necessitates a technical change - some could be addressed through additional training or better documentation. No one likes surprises, so communication is key to ensure stakeholders are aware of the changes made based on their feedback.


Get the full details here (coming soon!)


4. Releasing Enhancements to a Smartsheet Solution


Software users excited about a new enhancement release

Challenge: Rolling out updates and enhancements without disrupting ongoing projects.


Solution:

To make changes to your Smartsheet solution without disrupting end users, you can follow these steps. First, identify the sheet or objects you plan to change. Then, save them as new in an area that only solution admins have access to. Ideate, design, test, and apply the changes in this separate “staging” area, and keep track of the final update being made in a checklist after testing has been completed. Then, use the checklist to reference when deploying the updates to the actual Smartsheet environment in use by end users. The checklist can also be used to estimate the amount of time it may take to apply the change to the full environment. Plan updates accordingly for off-peak time when end users aren’t in their Smartsheet solution so that their work isn’t being disrupted. Note that not all areas of Smartsheet have an easy method to copy for staging (i.e., premium apps). However, by testing and planning where applicable, you can mitigate the risk of detrimentally disrupting end-user experience in the solution as much as possible.


Get the full details here (coming soon!)


5. Scaling a Smartsheet Solution


Cranes operating together to build the future

Challenge: As your organization grows, scaling your Smartsheet solution can pose scalability challenges.


Solution:

Plan for scalability and change from the outset. Design solutions that can adapt to the evolving needs of your organization. Regularly assess and optimize workflows, leverage automation features, and consider advanced Smartsheet functionalities as your organization expands. Smartsheet is a platform for collaborative work management. Growth and evolution are often expected as other teams may benefit from participating in the collaboration or the overall organization may benefit from extending the solution to new use cases or capabilities. When this is the case, thoughtful consideration of technical constraints and untapped Smartsheet technical capabilities should be considered to drive toward the highest value outcomes on your Smartsheet solution roadmap.


Get the full details here (coming soon!)


With strategic planning, thoughtful implementation, and ongoing optimization, solution administrators can harness the full potential of Smartsheet to drive success for their teams and organizations.


In the coming weeks we will be doing a deep dive into those 5 categories with more actionable tactics you can implement on your journey to operational excellence!


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