Dependency overview and dependency types



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When a team does not have everything it needs to deliver an increment of value, a dependency is created. A dependency is a service or component that a team needs to deliver functionality, but cannot create for themselves. Dependencies typically have the greatest impact on sprint/agile teams, or specific PIs within a program.

In Jira Align, dependencies display on the dependencies page. To navigate to the dependencies page:

If you’re using the new navigation:

  1. Select Programs in the top navigation bar and select the program you want to view, create, or manage dependencies for.
  2. On the sidebar, select More items in the list of page options.
  3. Select Dependencies; the dependencies page displays.

If you’re using the old navigation:

  1. Select Program from the left Nav menu.
  2. Under the Manage section, select Dependencies; the dependencies page displays.

You can view the dependency status, PI, requested by team, and requested from team. You can also filter the list or search for specific dependencies.

Dependencies in Jira Align are created between teams, programs, and external entities. There are the following dependency types:

  • Team dependencies are associated with a particular feature and can have multiple stories assigned to them. The stories indicate the work needed to satisfy the dependency.
  • External dependencies are used when your work is dependent on an external entity, for example, a legal contract, vendor, or team outside of your organization. These dependencies help you track the impact of the external entity on your schedule.
  • Program dependencies are used to create dependencies between two programs on an epic or a capability as well as to create dependencies between program teams.

Dependencies in Jira Align can extend across organization structures so you can work with teams and programs outside of your portfolio.

Negotiation to commit

When a dependency is created and requested, a negotiation takes place between the requester and the respondent—they are negotiating a commitment to resolve the dependency by a specific due date/sprint.  The respondent can access the dependency in the To Do view of the Dependency grid, and take appropriate action. They can choose to:

  • Commit to the Needed By date and accept the dependency.
  • Send a new proposed date back to the requester in which the sprint the team can resolve the dependency. This can take many iterations until both sides agree on the commit date.
  • Reject the dependency and provide a reason for the rejection; this should be a last resort if a commitment cannot be negotiated. Before rejecting a dependency, we suggest you try to come to terms the old fashioned way--pick up the phone or visit your colleague to discuss in person. Once a dependency is rejected, its life cycle is over and no more action can be taken on it.

Each party will see a slightly different interface when accessing the dependency in the Dependency grid or the Dependency panel, depending on the state of the dependency. For example, actions such as accept, reject, or unblock a dependency may be available during the negotiation to commit.

Your Requests and To Do views

When you access the Dependencies grid, notice two buttons in the upper-left of the page that control views for Your Requests and To Do lists.

Your Requests view

Your Requests shows a list of dependencies that you* have requested.

  • Action Required: Dependencies that you have requested and that have a proposed commit date so they require you to confirm or deny the proposed commit date + dependencies you have created that are missing a Needed By Sprint/Date + blocked dependencies.
  • All Dependencies: All dependencies that you have requested regardless of their status + any external dependencies that are requested by you or that are created by you. 

* You = Team/program you are part of

To Do view

To Do shows a list of dependencies that you* are requested to complete.

  • Action Required: Dependencies that have been requested for you to complete and are missing a commit sprint/date + blocked dependencies + any external dependencies that are requested by you or that are created by you (because the external entity does not actually exist in the system to take an action on it).
  • All Dependencies: All Action Required (To Do ) criteria above, except for the dependencies that have been marked completed/no work done/rejected.

* You = Team/program you are part of

Configuration Bar effects (old navigation only)

  • If a program is selected, dependencies associated with the program/team are shown + external dependencies as described above.
  • If a team is selected, dependencies associated with the team are shown + external dependencies as described above.
  • If Reset is selected, all user default associated program/team dependencies are shown + external dependencies as described above.

PI filter

If PI1 is selected, then for:

  • Team dependencies: A dependency will show if its PI is directly associated with PI1 and/or if the dependency Needed By Sprint Start Date falls in the range of PI1.
  • Program dependencies: Dependency will show if its PI is directly associated with the PI1 and/or if the Needed By date for the dependency falls in the range of PI1.

Clean up dependencies

Select the Clean Up button in the upper-left to view dependencies assigned to the program increment that don't match the PI of the dependency's associated work item. This situation usually indicates a need to update the requested date or committed date.

Required and custom fields

You can configure custom fields on dependencies to better suit your needs and establish a more comprehensive work process. You can control what fields are required and what fields to display in slide-out panels. Admins may access Details Panels Settings to configure default and custom fields.

See also

Create team dependencies

Create program dependencies

Create external dependencies


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