Shared dependencies across initiatives

We're starting to use JIRA Portfolio and are uncertain how to represent certain real-world situations.

In our plan, several initiatives will all require the same feature to be built. Initially I intended to represent that feature as an Epic linked to all the relevant initiatives - but that can't be done (1-1 only). My next thought was to separate that feature out into it's own initiative and add dependencies where relevant - but that can't be done either. Only epics and stories can have dependencies but it's the delivery of the entire initiative that depends on having this feature in place, not any one of its other features.

Any thoughts on how best to model this?


4 answers

@Martin Suntinger we also certainly need to be able to map out dependencies across initiatives, to represent real life scenario planning; this is essential to our planning in JIRA portfolio.


We are even finding a increasing need to track dependencies across entire plans too.


Do you happen to have any update on cross-initiative dependency tracking, please? It would be extremely helpful for us!






0 votes

Hey Doug, How many epics do these initiative contain which all require that same feature? Your observation is correct, dependencies can only be created on epics or stories level right now (hopefully we can extend that in the future, it is the result of initiatives currently being rather a grouping element around epics). Formally, I think the correct representation given this limitation would be that all child epics of the dependent initiative have a depency on this one epic, but of course depending on the number of epics within the initiatives, this might be some work to model.  

Functionally, it will result in exactly what you want to achieve, all work within these initiative will depend on the epic to complete first. 

I'd generally expect each initiative to have <10 epics. Adding dependencies to all epics in an initiative could lead to problems if the scope of that initiative is changed by adding or removing epics, and since what I really want is inter-initiative dependencies, this could be a many-many dependency mess in epic terms.

These dependencies are already something that we have to deal with in Jira, it just feels uncomfortable to be trying to look at a higher-level picture in Portfolio (roadmap vs dev items) and yet having to dive down to individual features to specify dependencies.

0 votes

Hey @Jack Murphy, the new Portfolio live plans (currently available in labs) consider dependencies on all hierarchy levels now. You can't yet model the dependencies inside Portfolio, but they consume issue links set in JIRA directly as dependencies (see also the short section on dependencies within here: ). 

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