Track feature dependencies to mitigate risks

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

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.
Dependency can be created between two features, feature and subfeature or two subfeatures.

In this article:

How to create a dependency

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  1. Select a feature or subfeature 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 or subfeature. 

How to visualize a dependency

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  1. Click the configure.svg Configure menu in the top right corner.
  2. Toggle on Enable dependencies.

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  1. 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 or subfeatures 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 (filters.svg) menu.
  2. Select Dependencies.
  3. Filter for features or subfeatures that are blocking other features or subfeatures, features or subfeatures which are blocked by other features or subfeatures, all features or subfeatures with dependencies, and/or all features or subfeatures without dependencies.

How to visualize dependencies on the Features board

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  1. Click the AddColumnButton.svg Add columns button on your Features board and select the Default fields 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 or subfeature, split between features/subfeatures it is blocking and features/subfeatures 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 (filters.svg)menu.
  2. Select Dependencies.
  3. Filter for features or subfeatures blocking other features or subfeatures, features or subfeatures blocked by other features or subfeatures, all features or subfeatures with dependencies, and/or all features or subfeatures without dependencies.

How to visualize dependencies on the Roadmaps board

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

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  1. Click configure.svg Configure 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 or subfeatures until their timelines no longer overlap.

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You can identify a conflict on the sidebar via an error message and a tooltip in the dependencies section. To resolve the conflict, change the feature or subfeature timeframes of one or both features or subfeatures.

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On the Features board, you can identify a conflict via an error message and a tooltip 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 or subfeatures.

Current limitations

  • It is not yet possible to push dependencies into Jira.
  • Subfeatures cannot be dependent on their parent feature.
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Comments

8 comments
Date Votes
  • I feel like this should be part of a normal plan (Essential or Pro). It is key for every product team to track dependencies. This is not something only larger companies need to do, and not really a "special feature".

    2
  • Hi Emile van Rooyen, Evan here from Productboard. While I understand you believe this feature should be available to a broader number of plans, I have forwarded your feedback internally to our Product team to review. 

    If you have any support-related questions, please do not hesitate to contact them by logging a ticket or emailing support@productboard.com.

    0
  • Adding a +1 to Emile's comment here - dependencies happen even in the tiniest teams.

    2
  • Hi Nick Mason

    Thanks for providing your feedback; I submitted this to our product team on your behalf to review.

    If you have any support-related questions, please do not hesitate to contact them by logging a ticket or emailing support@productboard.com.

    0
  • I totally agree with Emile's comment. This is such a core feature of managing a product spanning multiple disciplines. This is starting to hinder us and pushing us to rethink what tool we should use

    2
  • Hi Stephane Groud

    Evan here from the Customer Education team at Productboard.Thanks for providing your feedback on this feature. 
    I understand that you agree with the other's feedback on this feature so I have turned your comment into a note that is shared with our Product team for when they are next reviewing pricing and packaging. 

    If you have any support-related questions, please do not hesitate to contact them by logging a ticket or emailing support@productboard.com.

    0
  • Wasted the last 20 mins trying to figure this out and then I see a basic feature as Dependency is only for Enterprises! 

    Currently Evaluating if Productboard is a good fit for us. 

    1
  • Hello Hemanth G,

    My name is Pavel and I'm a member of the Support Team at Productboard. Thank you for letting us know about your experience with it. I submitted this as a feature request to our Product team, so they could have a look.

    In the meantime, please let us know if we can assist you with anything during your evaluation process. Feel free to contact us at support@productboard.com or visit our Academy Page in case you need any materials to start with any area of Productboard. Thank you and I wish you a great day!

    0

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