Managing Project Dependencies

Modified on Fri, 21 Jun at 12:19 PM

In Fluid, project dependencies play a critical role in ensuring successful project delivery by highlighting the connections between different projects within a portfolio. Dependencies can be outgoing, where a project depends on another, or incoming, where other projects depend on the current project. 

Managing project dependencies is essential for ensuring project success and maintaining the integrity of the project portfolio. Dependencies not only highlight the interconnected nature of projects but also foster collaboration and communication across teams, driving collective success within the project portfolio.

Understanding Project Dependencies

Outgoing Dependencies:

  • Definition: These are dependencies that your project has on other projects. They represent elements or deliverables that your project requires from another project to proceed.
  • Creation: To create an outgoing dependency, an impact of type "Dependency" is declared, and a dependency is added to the relevant project.
  • Handshake: Once declared, a handshake is sent to the other project to ensure they are aware of the dependency. This ensures both projects are aligned and acknowledge the dependency relationship.

Incoming Dependencies:

  • Definition: These are dependencies that other projects have on your project. They indicate that other projects require elements or deliverables from your project.
  • Notification: When another project declares a dependency on your project, you receive a notification (handshake) to ensure you are aware and can manage these dependencies appropriately.

Importance of Managing Dependencies

  1. Resource Optimization: Dependencies help in identifying resource needs and allocation. By understanding dependencies, project managers can ensure that resources are available when required, avoiding delays and bottlenecks.

  2. Risk Mitigation: Identifying dependencies early allows for proactive risk management. Potential issues can be addressed before they become critical, ensuring smoother project execution.

  3. Improved Planning and Scheduling: Dependencies provide a clear picture of project interdependencies, aiding in better planning and scheduling. This ensures that project timelines are realistic and achievable.

  4. Enhanced Communication and Collaboration: Dependencies necessitate communication and collaboration between project teams. This fosters a cooperative environment where teams work together towards common goals.

  5. Visibility and Control: Managing dependencies gives project managers greater visibility into the project landscape, enabling better control over project outcomes.

Using Fluid to Manage Dependencies

Impact Section:

  • Viewing Dependencies: Project Managers (PMs) can see both outgoing and incoming dependencies in the impact section of the project workspace. This section provides a detailed view of all dependencies related to the project.

  • Handshakes: Each dependency declared initiates a handshake, ensuring that the relevant project is aware of the dependency. This mutual acknowledgment is critical for managing dependencies effectively.

    Handshakes are sent to the project and are listed in the Actions and decisions dashboard.

Project managers can accept or reject the dependency by opening the handskake dialog which will also displays more information about the dependency.

Network Map:

  • Interactive Visualisation: The Network Map provides an interactive chart representing project impacts and their dependencies. It grows organically as impacts and dependencies are defined within the portfolio.

  • Egocentric View: In this view, project nodes are coloured based on their current RAG status, making it easy to identify the status of dependent projects at a glance.

  • Navigation: Clicking on an impact within the chart opens its dialog box, allowing for detailed management of that specific dependency. Additionally, clicking on a project and selecting "OPEN PRINCIPAL" opens the project workspace, while "SHOW DEPENDENCIES" pivots the chart to focus on that project's dependencies.

Practical Tips for Managing Dependencies in Fluid

  1. Regular Review: Frequently review both incoming and outgoing dependencies to ensure they are up-to-date and accurately reflect the current project needs.

  2. Proactive Communication: Engage with project teams involved in dependencies regularly. Ensure that all parties are aware of the dependency status and any potential changes.

  3. Document Everything: Keep detailed records of all dependencies, including any handshakes and acknowledgments. This documentation is invaluable for tracking and resolving dependency-related issues.

  4. Use the Network Map: Use the Network Map to get a holistic view of all project dependencies. This tool is especially useful for identifying potential bottlenecks and areas that require attention.

  5. Mitigate Risks Early: Address any issues related to dependencies as soon as they are identified. Early mitigation can prevent minor issues from becoming major roadblocks.

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