Understanding universal dependencies

No matter what type of roadmap you build, you likely encounter dependencies at some point in time.

Creating relationships and highlighting dependencies early in the planning process ensures that the team is clear on exactly what needs to get done, who is doing what, and when it needs to be finished.

A dependency is typically defined as something that must be completed before other work can be done. In other words, "feature B" is dependent on "feature A" being completed before work can begin on "feature B."

These types of dependencies can easily be created on the releases roadmap view by hovering over "feature A" until a dot appears, clicking it with your mouse, and dragging it to "feature B."

Going beyond feature dependencies

Creating feature dependencies can be accomplished by using the More options button on each feature. Creating a link between two features means you can track, manage and report on the dependency.

But what happens when your feature depends upon a release going into production, or your initiative relies on a colleague's initiative to be completed?

This is where universal dependencies come into play.

Example: Strategic dependencies

Imagine the scenario where your company has a strategic initiative to increase e-commerce opportunities globally, and your product plays an integral part in that effort. You would likely create a strategic initiative that rolls up to the company initiative to show the alignment throughout your organization. 

But what if that alignment isn't as simple as A impacts B? What if an initiative from your colleague's product impacts the timing of your initiative? In this case, you can highlight when one initiative needs to be finished before others can begin on the strategy roadmap. Simply hover over an initiative until a dot appears. This dot represents a dependency. Click and drag the dot to the dependent initiative.

strategy-roadmap-with-dependencies.png 

Example: Feature impacts milestones

Let's take another scenario where a feature actually drives the completion of a specific milestone. Universal dependencies allow you to create dependencies between phases, milestones, and features. Visualizing how all of your records relate allows you to see the big picture and how different items impact different areas of the business.

releases-with-dependencies.png 

Relationships are not tied to object types 

Relationships can be set between any initiative, release, release phase, milestone, feature, and idea by selecting the Link to another record option from the More options button. Then follow these steps:

  1. Set the relationship type (e.g. Depends on)
  2. Select the type of object you would like to link to using the dropdown menu on the left
  3. Search for the record or records to add to that relationship

Note: You are not limited to a single relationship for each object type.

These record relationships will be visible on each record object. For example, on the below feature detail view, you can see all the relationships under Record links:

features-detail-view-record-links.png 

Reporting on your relationships

The following options are available for reporting on record relationships:

  • View dependencies for multiple objects at once using the dependency report.
  • Dependency relationships between initiatives can be visualized on the strategy roadmap.
  • Dependency relationships between features, phases, and milestones can be visualized on the releases roadmap or on Reports > Timeline.
  • Initiative, release, release phase, feature, and idea reporting tables include columns for Record links, which can then be included in the list, pivot, chart, and timeline reports.
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