In my experience (not to much in the tool), it useful. But the formats are general and maybe with another tool can be more simple, like dropbox or google drive. I will follow this discussion for learn more in your experience. Saving Changes...
I have implemented and utilized the tool for a program of 500+ resources with 20+ projects streams.
Let me provide a brief overview:
The statement I can think that best fits Smartsheet is it is NOT MS Project as it does not offer all of the features but it is not as simplistic as excel. It falls in the middle of both of those products.
Smartsheet is a SaaS that provides solid functionality for building gantt charts, combining resource information and having an overall tracking mechanism. As with most project software products there is 2 options. The ability to easily implement the basics. If you are just looking to build out gantt charts and share those out to the team this is easy and you can have it setup and going in an hour. The gantts will look just like MS Project and they will be downloadable in project, pdf or excel.
The second scenario is the higher level implementation. There is many "tricks" and tips you can do to the smartsheet(s) themselves by adding formulas which is exactly like excel. The ability to link sheets similar to MS project. Additionally, you can create reports and filters on all the information. This is NOT an overnight process and the report data is only as good as your "input" data.
Overall, This is a really good product if you want to add structure to a team that does not have a single resource. This is good for communicating the WBS and Schedule. I believe the fundamental basics of the product is good to mature a team.
If you are wanting to do a PMO or portfolio management this is not the product for that type of implementation.
Lastly, They have 2 differently licensing models. Be careful on which one you select as this is key to keeping your implementation cost low.
Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions. I will be happy to give additional information. Saving Changes...
I've been using Smartsheet now for over one year. Scott has provided you some great guidance.
Pros: Cloud app. Project resources can update the status of their tasks independently. I've also created some scripts that automatically notify assigned resources based on task data (triggers). The automation and collaboration (sharing) aspects are the strength of this product, IMHO.
Cons: Resource calendaring / management (like MS Project) are not there st this time.
Hope this helps you. Saving Changes...