Coordination in the Cloud

October 26, 2020

The timeline for design of a single project may span anywhere from a few months to a few years. Along the way, countless decisions are made by each team member and by the team as a whole that shape the end result of a project. How do you keep track?

Design decision tracking is an important aspect of the project managers role on any given team. The Design Decision Matrix (DDM) is a critical tool in the arsenal of our Project Managers to track important decisions, and keep a record of when and why those decisions were made. The DDM has taken many forms over the years, whether an Excel spreadsheet, collaborative Google sheet, and more recently a Smartsheet. Smartsheet is a flexible web-based data sheet that can be viewed in multiple formats and crafted to suit the needs of the user.

Possibly the most important aspect of the DDM is the ability to "day-light" important decisions to all the responsible parties. This enhances collaboration amongst team members and understanding of key decisions to team members that may not be involved in the day-to-day functioning of the project. Additionally, the DDM is a tool meant to facilitate coordination meeting topics and provide a means of creating a storyline to remind the team "how we got from here to there?"

  • Smartsheet 1 & 3 image: In Smartsheet, all data is tied to a row. This "row-data" can be viewed on a card, in a gantt chart, as an event on a calendar, or reported on and metricized.

  • Smartsheet 2 image: Smartsheet users can invite collaborators to join a sheet and facilitate adding new information and editing existing information. This can be achieved with or without collaborators creating an account.

  • Smartsheet 4 image: Smartsheet integrates within Microsoft Teams. This allows users to view critical sheets and dashboards within the ubiquitous Teams environment.

Want to learn more? Reach out to us at and let us know your feedback.

This month’s blog contributed by Paul Kuehnel, Project Manager and Senior Structural Engineer at Odeh.

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