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Flow of Dependency Management in Jira Align

The following image depicts the dependency workflow in Jira Align. In Jira Align a dependency is a contract between two teams wherein the requesting team creates the contract and the responding team accepts the contract or proposes changes in the contract which then go back again to the requesting team and the negotiations starts again.




Lets look at the dependency flow in more detail while exploring each step and also see some screenshots

Step -1

You now create a dependency, requesting Team is Baltimore and requested (depends on) team is Cowboys and the dependency is needed by Sprint 25 of the PI


Screenshot 2020-12-16 at 13.20.58.png


Now, the dependency has been created. It will now start showing up in the “ToDo” list of the dependency grid view of the stakeholders of the Cowboys team.


As you can see in the below image, once we access the Dependency grid view (under Program on the left blue navigation bar) then in the “To Do” section we can see the dependency. This is working like this because I have added myself as a member of the Cowboys team, hence this view will be visible to the members of the “Depends on” team which is Cowboys in this case.

Screenshot 2020-12-16 at 13.34.03.png


Now, lets look at the two most probable options for Cowboy stakeholders - Either you Agree to “Needed by” sprint and commit to the dependency or your propose a new delivery sprint

Step -3 - Option 1 - Agree to “Needed by” Sprint and commit to dependency

If you agree with the “Needed By” sprint in the dependency which is S25 then this means you can commit to and deliver this dependency by any sprint upto and including S25

Screenshot 2020-12-16 at 13.44.53.png

As you can see in the above image the dependency is now committed and the “committed by” sprint is S25, this could have been any sprint upto S25 i.e. also S23, S24 etc as all these sprints are before the “needed by” sprint which is S25



Step -3 - Option 2 - Pick a Sprint after the “Needed By” sprint and send the proposal back to requesting team

Till now, we know that if we pick a sprint upto the “Needed by” sprint then we are in the “happy flow” of things but what if your team doesn’t have the capacity to work on the dependency by S25 and instead you want Commit to the dependency at a later sprint.

In this image, you have “Committed” to the dependency at a later sprint i.e. S26 which is after the “Needed By” sprint and thus you get the option of Proposing the new Sprint to the original requesting team (Baltimore) and seek their agreement on the fact that now the dependency can be delivered at a later sprint then what was initially expected (needed by) by the Baltimore team




Once you save this change and since you have proposed a new sprint hence the dependency will move back to “Not committed” phase.

Now, the members of the original requesting team (Baltimore) will get the following view in the Dependency grid view (under Program on the left blue navigation bar)


Since the Cowboys team have committed to a later sprint S26 hence now the Baltimore more can either “Accept” or “Decline” this offer.

And this is how the dependency object looks


Screenshot 2020-12-17 at 11.59.00.png

Now, the moment Baltimore team “Accept” the Sprint proposed by the Cowboys team then automatically the “Needed by” sprint is changed to S26 and dependency goes in the state “committed”




So the Baltimore team “Accepted” the new proposed sprint by the Cowboys team, but what if they “Declined” the proposal, then the Dependency stays in the “Not Committed” phase and the Baltimore team have the option of either Blocking the dependency or click on “Request new” to request a new delivery Sprint to the Cowboys team which they will need to accept

Screenshot 2020-12-17 at 12.08.08.png


Once the click on “Request new” the whole flow of proposing a sprint by one team and accepting by the other will start again just like what we saw till now, but they can also block the dependency (as visible in the image below).

This should only be done to highlight a more serious issue and the dependency management flow in Align should never become the substitute of actual communication between the relevant stakeholders of the team. Both the flow in Align and the collaboration between the stakeholders are important & complimentary to one-another.



In this writeup we looked in detail at what to expect at every step of the dependency workflow in Align and how the complete flow works end-to-end.




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