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Dependency Management 
12 Strategies for improving systemic flow 
Introduction to Kanban 
Lean Estimation, Tracking & Plan...
Cycle Time Variation
80% OF YOUR CAPACITY IS ABSORBED 
IN WASTEFUL ACTIVITY
Develop self-serve capability 
Develop self-serve capability within the team to remove the dependency (self-serve). 
1. De...
Systemic Swarming 
In a multi-kanban environment (multiple delivery streams / teams) move people with the 
right skills be...
Consumer Driven Contracts 
Check out the article on Martin Fowlers blog where Ian Robinson discusses a Service 
Evolution ...
Fake Objects, Mocks, or Stubs 
Think carefully about the consequences of using these approaches from a testing 
perspectiv...
Queue and Wait 
Move the Story out of flow whilst you wait for the dependent requirement to be fulfilled. 
Once fulfilled ...
Planning & Scheduling 
Schedule the various requirements to be complete in line with a plan (in my experience 
the odds of...
Visualise Blockers 
If you uncover or stumble across a dependency during dev use blocker stickers to raise 
the awareness ...
Use Explicit Policies to Expedite 
Below you’ll see an External row in the backlog. Agree an org-wide policy that anything...
Avoid Self-Competing 
If you are dependent on a shared service team, make sure your tribal leader attends their 
prioritis...
Re-Architect 
…to remove / reduce dependencies (stovepipe solution?). 
1. Develop self-serve capability 
2. Systemic Swarm...
Remove Environment 
Contention 
…invest in more / better environments. 
1. Develop self-serve capability 
2. Systemic Swar...
Merge hell – Feature Toggles 
…to remove / reduce dependencies (stovepipe solution?). 
1. Develop self-serve capability 
2...
Further Information
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Strategies for Managing Dependencies

With scaling Lean and Agile practices comes new challenges for dealing with handoffs and dependencies. Dependencies are inevitable. Trying to avoid them is one strategy with lots of effort commonly put into this strategy in the form of upfront planning.

But, managing dependencies is not just about avoiding them. It’s also about working to minimise the impact (to flow) of dependencies. In this workshop we will work through several strategies (and hopefully uncover more along the way) with participants leaving the session armed with an array of strategies to improve systemic flow.

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Strategies for Managing Dependencies

  1. 1. Dependency Management 12 Strategies for improving systemic flow Introduction to Kanban Lean Estimation, Tracking & Planning Making Software Delivery more Predictable 12 Strategies for Managing Dependencies Advanced Kanban – classes of service and backlog mgmt
  2. 2. Cycle Time Variation
  3. 3. 80% OF YOUR CAPACITY IS ABSORBED IN WASTEFUL ACTIVITY
  4. 4. Develop self-serve capability Develop self-serve capability within the team to remove the dependency (self-serve). 1. Develop self-serve capability 2. Systemic Swarming 3. Consumer Driven Contracts 4. Fake Objects, Mocks, or Stubs 5. Queue and wait 6. Planning & Scheduling 7. Visualise Blockers 8. Use Explicit Policies to Expedite 9. Avoid self-competing 10. Re-Architect 11. Invest in Env’s
  5. 5. Systemic Swarming In a multi-kanban environment (multiple delivery streams / teams) move people with the right skills between delivery streams to deliver the dependent requirements (so as to respect the release cadence) before returning to their own delivery stream. 1. Develop self-serve capability 2. Systemic Swarming 3. Consumer Driven Contracts 4. Fake Objects, Mocks, or Stubs 5. Queue and wait 6. Planning & Scheduling 7. Visualise Blockers 8. Use Explicit Policies to Expedite 9. Avoid self-competing 10. Re-Architect 11. Invest in Env’s
  6. 6. Consumer Driven Contracts Check out the article on Martin Fowlers blog where Ian Robinson discusses a Service Evolution Pattern called Consumer Driven Contracts. 1. Develop self-serve capability 2. Systemic Swarming 3. Consumer Driven Contracts 4. Fake Objects, Mocks, or Stubs 5. Queue and wait 6. Planning & Scheduling 7. Visualise Blockers 8. Use Explicit Policies to Expedite 9. Avoid self-competing 10. Re-Architect 11. Invest in Env’s
  7. 7. Fake Objects, Mocks, or Stubs Think carefully about the consequences of using these approaches from a testing perspective. 1. Develop self-serve capability 2. Systemic Swarming 3. Consumer Driven Contracts 4. Fake Objects, Mocks, or Stubs 5. Queue and wait 6. Planning & Scheduling 7. Visualise Blockers 8. Use Explicit Policies to Expedite 9. Avoid self-competing 10. Re-Architect 11. Invest in Env’s
  8. 8. Queue and Wait Move the Story out of flow whilst you wait for the dependent requirement to be fulfilled. Once fulfilled return the Story to flow. This is shown in the “3rd party blocked” section in the Dev column above. 1. Develop self-serve capability 2. Systemic Swarming 3. Consumer Driven Contracts 4. Fake Objects, Mocks, or Stubs 5. Queue and wait 6. Planning & Scheduling 7. Visualise Blockers 8. Use Explicit Policies to Expedite 9. Avoid self-competing 10. Re-Architect 11. Invest in Env’s
  9. 9. Planning & Scheduling Schedule the various requirements to be complete in line with a plan (in my experience the odds of success of this technique are similar to a seven horse accumulator!). BUT, you do get value from flagging up known dependencies earlier in the backlog to help with your selection policy. 1. Develop self-serve capability 2. Systemic Swarming 3. Consumer Driven Contracts 4. Fake Objects, Mocks, or Stubs 5. Queue and wait 6. Planning & Scheduling 7. Visualise Blockers 8. Use Explicit Policies to Expedite 9. Avoid self-competing 10. Re-Architect 11. Invest in Env’s
  10. 10. Visualise Blockers If you uncover or stumble across a dependency during dev use blocker stickers to raise the awareness then focus on unblocking. 1. Develop self-serve capability 2. Systemic Swarming 3. Consumer Driven Contracts 4. Fake Objects, Mocks, or Stubs 5. Queue and wait 6. Planning & Scheduling 7. Visualise Blockers 8. Use Explicit Policies to Expedite 9. Avoid self-competing 10. Re-Architect 11. Invest in Env’s
  11. 11. Use Explicit Policies to Expedite Below you’ll see an External row in the backlog. Agree an org-wide policy that anything arriving into this row is expedited or prioritised as part of the selection policy. Don’t use this for shared service teams. Incidents Unplanned Planned Tech Debt External Breakdown Establish a class of service policy across all work streams 1. Develop self-serve capability 2. Systemic Swarming 3. Consumer Driven Contracts 4. Fake Objects, Mocks, or Stubs 5. Queue and wait 6. Planning & Scheduling 7. Visualise Blockers 8. Use Explicit Policies to Expedite 9. Avoid self-competing 10. Re-Architect 11. Invest in Env’s
  12. 12. Avoid Self-Competing If you are dependent on a shared service team, make sure your tribal leader attends their prioritisation / selection meeting because you may end up competing against yourself or other squads within your tribe for what should be a tribe level prioritisation call. Backlog Select WIP DONE Squad A Squad B Squad C Squad D Tribe 2 Tribe 1 1. Develop self-serve capability 2. Systemic Swarming 3. Consumer Driven Contracts 4. Fake Objects, Mocks, or Stubs 5. Queue and wait 6. Planning & Scheduling 7. Visualise Blockers 8. Use Explicit Policies to Expedite 9. Avoid self-competing 10. Re-Architect 11. Invest in Env’s
  13. 13. Re-Architect …to remove / reduce dependencies (stovepipe solution?). 1. Develop self-serve capability 2. Systemic Swarming 3. Consumer Driven Contracts 4. Fake Objects, Mocks, or Stubs 5. Queue and wait 6. Planning & Scheduling 7. Visualise Blockers 8. Use Explicit Policies to Expedite 9. Avoid self-competing 10. Re-Architect 11. Invest in Env’s
  14. 14. Remove Environment Contention …invest in more / better environments. 1. Develop self-serve capability 2. Systemic Swarming 3. Consumer Driven Contracts 4. Fake Objects, Mocks, or Stubs 5. Queue and wait 6. Planning & Scheduling 7. Visualise Blockers 8. Use Explicit Policies to Expedite 9. Avoid self-competing 10. Re-Architect 11. Invest in Env’s
  15. 15. Merge hell – Feature Toggles …to remove / reduce dependencies (stovepipe solution?). 1. Develop self-serve capability 2. Systemic Swarming 3. Consumer Driven Contracts 4. Fake Objects, Mocks, or Stubs 5. Queue and wait 6. Planning & Scheduling 7. Visualise Blockers 8. Use Explicit Policies to Expedite 9. Avoid self-competing 10. Re-Architect 11. Invest in Env’s 12. Feature Toggles
  16. 16. Further Information

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