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7 Strategies to manage Dependencies for Better Agile Flow

Updated: 3 days ago

“Over dependency always causes a restriction in your success.”

Agile is about cross-functional working, capable of taking a required decision, being self-organized and independent in delivering the product capably. It’s easy to maintain self-management and be independent in small-scaled organizations but when it comes to a large-scale organization or while an organization going to scaling it becomes difficult to maintain that self-management attitude and needs to depend on other entities for delivering the tasks. Being part of agile everyone needs to understand that it’s also necessary for everyone- the stakeholders, product owners, scrum masters, and also the team members to collaborate with other entities and each other as it’s not always possible to achieve everything by themselves or take every decision by themselves or within a team. While scaling it’s required to get dependent on others and it's okay. But what if you get over-dependent on others?

To avoid doing so be aware of the agile workflow by avoiding block and idle in the projects and project decisions. As most of the part of a block and idle is dependent on others in such cases scaling agile making dependencies an alert for agile flow while scaling or scaled agile organizations. It’s only possible to reduce the dependencies as we cannot eliminate them.

Structural dependencies are the greatest cause of agile workflow as per various studies. In most cases, only 10% of the flow efficiency is put to the value-adding and the remaining 90% time is just the blockage and the idle condition. So with this, we can see how little improvement can provide the organization with increased returns if only 10% can give what it's now. Now the question is how can we improve this agile flow while agile scaling? With the help of below strategies, we can improve the structural dependencies.

Creating Feature Teams for Projects

Our various articles have discussed how having various domain knowledge individuals in our team as team members will be beneficial for the projects. Similarly, these skilled team members will also be beneficial for avoiding dependencies and improving project output. As the team will have as a most possible knowledgeable person in every possible domain our dependency on other entities or departments will be less. As there are some restrictions to provide every team as a featured team, product owners must take the initiative and try to train their team members for achieving various skills by providing training and motivating them to learn new things.

Organizing Co-ordinated System

When the organization works on the coordinated system and everyone works at the same system level of alignment it becomes easy for higher authorities like product owners to prioritize the tasks and dependencies.

Architect Self Service

When the teams provide a mechanism to each other, it becomes easy to avoid dependencies on them from others. By creating a build-using coordinated model any team can complete their task with other team’s mechanisms without being dependent on them.

Endeavor for Cross-functional and T-shaped

Being cross-functional is necessary for team members as it is required for coordination, self-service and have all skill sets whereas being T-shaped will provide skilled people within the team. Both will help in reducing the structural dependency.

Create and regularize CoP (Community of Practice)

Even though CoP is well introduced in the agile mindset and processes many teams do not introduce their team and team members to CoP may be due to their lack of knowledge with this term or other processes being in focus. By creating and establishing the regular culture of the community of practice every team member will be aware and get adapted to the reuse, shared learning, and integrity. By achieving this team members will nullify the organizational resistance of cross functioning.

Have a team to team agreement for working

With team to team working agreement by product owner it will be beforehand clear with a team and team members how the in-processes, decision making, cycle time expectations, and delivery metrics will be handled. As the system will be clear with their roles there will be less block and idle within the teams and dependencies will be avoided.

Balance System

By having a defined balance in team members’ work, roles and responsibilities, it will be easy to create their required presence at two points at the same time. This balancing in work will reduce dependencies. So product owners must always try to balance the team member’s portfolio of work in progress.

Even if the dependencies seem like a wall in your productivity we must always know that “obstacle becomes opportunities when you see them as hurdles and not as walls.” So with above-mentioned strategies create opportunities from the hurdle of dependency for your team and bring success to you, your team, and your organization.

About Advance Agility

We, at Advance Agility, are the new-age Agile Coaching, Consulting and IT services company. We enable end-to-end Digital Transformation. Agile execution is integral to our being. We are doing SAFe implementation with small, medium and large organization across the globe. Our vision is to be the leading Agile execution player globally. To keep adding value at every process stage. We are on a mission to empower our clients, move from concept to cash in the shortest sustainable lead time by adopting human centric approach to business agility. Embracing the change is in our DNA. Things that keep us apart are Quicker and Seamless execution with End-to-end gamut of services. Our Global presence and Stellar Track Record give us an edge over our competitor.

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