Track feature dependencies to mitigate risks

Jana Jiraskova
Written by Jana Jiraskova
Updated

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You can now ensure smooth delivery by indicating dependencies between features.

Identifying dependencies early helps you identify the true cost of building a feature, which may include laying the groundwork in addition to developing the feature itself. They also help avoid costly delays due to one product team blocking another’s progress. We recommend surfacing potential cross-team dependencies early, during routine roadmap review and planning sessions spanning all product teams.

In this article:

How to create a dependency

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  1. Select a feature to open its details in the side pane.
  2. Under Dependencies, select [+].
  3. Specify the dependency relationship [Is blocking or Is blocked by] and select the relevant feature. 

How to visualize a dependency

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  1. Click the Settings menu in the top right corner.
  2. Toggle on Enable dependencies.

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  1. A chainlink icon shows on any features that are blocking another feature, or that another feature is blocking.
  2. Click the chainlink icon to reveal which features are blocking or are blocked.

How to filter for dependencies on a roadmap

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  1. Viewing any roadmap, click on the Filter menu.
  2. Select Dependencies.
  3. Filter for features which are blocking other features, features which are blocked by other features, all features with dependencies and/or all features without dependencies.

How to visualize dependencies on the Features board

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  1. On your Features board, click on the Misc menu on the right column sidebar.
  2. Toggle on Dependencies.
  3. You will now see a new column on your Features board showing the total number of dependencies for each feature, split between features it is blocking, and features it is blocked by.

How to filter for dependencies on the Features board

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  1. Viewing the Features board, click on the Filter menu.
  2. Select Dependencies.
  3. Filter for features which are blocking other features, features which are blocked by other features, all features with dependencies and/or all features without dependencies.

How to visualize dependencies on the Roadmaps board

If multiple features with a depenency on one another are visible on the same roadmap, you can visualize this relationship with a line between the features.

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  1. Click Settings in the top right hand corner.
  2. Under Dependencies, toggle on Display with Lines.

How to resolve conflicting dependencies

In Productboard, dependency conflicts are based on the feature timeframes of two dependent features.

For example, if feature A is blocking feature B, and the feature timeframe of feature B occurs before or simultaneously with feature A, this is a dependency conflict.

To resolve the dependency conflict, you'll need to adjust the timeframe of either feature until they are no longer overlapping or occurring in the wrong order.

 

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On the Roadmaps board, you can resolve a conflict by dragging one or both features until their timelines are no longer overlapping.

 

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On the sidebar, you can identify a conflict via an error message and a tool tip in the dependencies section. To resolve the conflict, change the feature timeframes of one or both features.

 

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On the Features board, you can identify a conflict via an error message and a tool tip in the dependencies column. To resolve the conflict, you can open the sidebar from the dependency column, then change the feature timeframes of one or both features.

 

Current limitations

It is not yet possible to push dependencies into Jira.

 

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