Smartsheet is a leading work management solution, one based on a spreadsheet presentation of tasks and other project-related information. The company has grown to be a worldwide player, with 500,000 companies using the product in 130 countries. Earlier this year the company raised $35 million in a funding round, bringing overall investment to $70 million.
I reviewed the product last year (see Smartsheet is a social tool with an image problem) and observed that one of its most powerful features — links between smartsheets — suffers from a lack of visualization:
I’m happy to announce that the company read what I wrote (and gathered input from others, too, I bet), and they built that visualization of the networks of smartsheets. Today, the company announced Workmaps, which render those interconnections as a network may, and also display a map of the users that have access to those smartsheets.
Here’s an example Workmap:
The varieties of Workmaps include project-level insight, perhaps as fine-grained as the team accessing a single worksheet, but ranging outward to all smartsheets across an enterprise or even across multiple companies.
Here’s an example showing a leaderboard, those individuals most involved with Smartsheet:
With Workmaps, Smartsheet is taking a giant step forward, and entering a new market of strategic insight, one accessible to anyone who has access, both participants and management. Their take on presentation of the networks is novel, because Smartsheets design and user experience is unique. However, the representation of the social networks is immediately intuitive, because it is the way the wiring in our heads works. And that is the power of Workmaps: using the work graph — social networks augmented with the smartsheets — as a way to gain insight into the way that work is getting done.
I think that Workmaps are a major advance, and establishes the company as a leader in the growing arena of quantified work at scale, a subject I wrote about this weekend (see The rise of quantified work at scale). I wonder how the various vendors trying to provide strategic understanding based on work management information will compete and cooperate. It’s going to be interesting to watch it all shake out.