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Have a dependency on a team outside of Jira Align? There's a toggle for that!

One of the most powerful aspects of Jira Align is the functionality it provides around dependency management. One question that always comes up though is...

"I have a team that's not in Jira Align...can I issue them a dependency?"

You bet you can! Within Jira Align there is the concept of an External Entity that a dependency can be associated with. This functionality is not typically on by default, so in order to enable the functionality do the following:

  • On the Jira Align Administration page go to Settings > Platform 
  • On the Team Tab, click Manage Dependencies

You'll be presented with the following screen where you'll be able to configure toggles to enable external entity selection for dependencies (as well as other selection types).

Screen Shot 2020-02-07 at 5.59.07 PM.png

Now that the functionality is enabled, let's add an external entity to a dependency. To do this, open a dependency and at the top of a screen click on More Actions > Manage External Entities.

Screen Shot 2020-02-07 at 6.02.38 PM.png


In the window that opens, add the Entity name and Owner (a Jira Align user who will be the proxy for the External Entity), then click Add.

Screen Shot 2020-02-07 at 6.08.54 PM.png

That's it! Close the window and wow when you create a dependency you will see the entity you selected within the External option when specifying who your team is dependent on.

Screen Shot 2020-02-07 at 6.11.33 PM.png

To learn more about the amazing power of dependencies within Jira Align, check out the following Dependency Overview page.



Great article @Mark Cruth , and thanks for linking to the Help Center!

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Emily Koch Atlassian Team Feb 07, 2020

Thanks for this overview of external dependencies! I love that you can account for all sorts of different entities as you create dependencies, including ones outside the organization.

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Rich_Sparks Atlassian Team Feb 09, 2020

External dependencies work great when you're trying to coordinate the work of vendors or partners. But they can also be used with other teams in your own organization when they're not yet using Align.

You probably won't add every single team to Align all at once (nothing like a Big Bang approach to Agile transformation!) so your teams that are using Align can set up external dependencies for those teams that aren't yet using Align. 

That way, the teams that are using Align manage all their dependencies in a consistent fashion. And more importantly, those teams that aren't yet using Align can see all the work that is being requested of them in one place.

So just remember "external" doesn't have to mean "outside my company"; it can also be used as a way of coordinating work with other teams within your company that aren't yet using Align. It makes the transition smoother, and when they're onboard, you've already set up a common process for managing dependencies.

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Mark Cruth Atlassian Team Feb 09, 2020

Great callout @Rich_Sparks ! Being able to create a consistent way of thinking about / managing cross team / organization dependencies is hugely powerful!

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