How Dependency Management Improves Flow Efficiency?

How Dependency Management Improves Flow Efficiency?


How Dependency Management Improves Flow Efficiency?

To achieve a bigger goal, you must set smaller milestones – It’s much easier to conquer your goals this way! This is one of the most basic life lessons that you can get from anyone, but the same approach is used in project management, which is known as the agile methodology. 

Agile methodology is the process of breaking down a big project into smaller milestones or phases and then including stakeholders at every phase to deliver expected results or products. To sum up, constant collaboration and breaking down of projects into phases are the two main pillars of agile methodology. 

Also Read – What Are The Techniques For Structured Project Planning?

What about the last art that every agile team needs to master?

Dependencies management is something that every agile team must focus on as their final frontier. Understanding Kanban methodology from scratch and moving up towards its advanced implication is the only way to equip yourself with a rich toolset for limiting the impact of dependency on your flow. 

There are two strategies that you can use for dealing with any dependency related to a project-

  • Break the dependency 
  • Minimize the impact of dependence on the entire flow 

Breaking the dependency –

Instead of just focusing on dependencies management, you should break them down. It might be an excellent way to deal with dependencies, but this is not an easy option for most teams. You might have to dedicate more time to break down dependencies, and in some cases, re-work the project or make complete organizational changes.

You will be surprised to know that the biggest obstacles in breaking the dependency will come in the simplest form. For example, some of the most common obstacles you might have to deal with are hierarchical management structure, Conway’s Law, tribal traits, empire building, politics, and so on.

Instead of limiting yourself to one way of breaking the dependency, you can use another approach of building a cross-functional team. The cross-functional team of your firm must be precise with your approach, and only one or two team members must cover all the skills required to deliver the value. This is necessary since cross-skilled team members are not always a feasible option. 

If you try to avoid dependency by building teams that include all the specialists, you have to deal with a long list of challenges. Such an approach has always been a non-starter for most firms. In this case, the agile community says developing team members have T / 𝝿 / m shaped skills, but even this approach comes with one set of limitations. 

One of the initial thought processes behind building a cross-functional team is to minimize the need to exchange with others while enhancing collaboration. This works perfectly fine for all the small firms where there is always a single product development team. But as you move to a larger organization scale, you start facing buffers. 

Reducing the impact of dependency on the flow –

When you look at reducing the impact of dependency on the flow through the Kanban lens, this approach will start looking for ideas for most teams. And it doesn’t matter which type of software development program you are working on; waiting time will always remain one of the major forms of waste. 

There are various ways in which waiting time can be incurred. And the most common forms of waiting time are too much WIP, blockers, weak system policies, and even drag factors. So, before begging to reduce the impact of dependency on the flow, you must understand the downstream cycle time distribution in a very detailed manner. 

In most cases, the downstream team is entirely unaware of their dependency on the upstream teams. This is the main reason why the teams belonging to the upstream category dominate the entire dependency chain. 

Flow efficiency hacks –

So, the first thing that you have learned from this article is you should never ignore dependency in your project; rather, you should come up with plans to manage it. Ignoring dependencies can hamper the seamlessness of your organization, and it can even lead to decreasing coordination. 

There are many flow efficiency hacks that you can use for dependency management like planning and scheduling, visualizing blockers, utilizing a program dependency board, and much more. There are more than 17 flow efficiency hacks out there that you can use for managing dependency and turn it into a strength of your project rather than a weakness.

Dependency management is something that project managers mainly ignore since they don’t consider it an effective tool for success. But in reality, with effective dependency management, you can improve the flow efficiency of your project. 

Also Read – How Does Manual Timesheet Systems Work?


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