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Julee Everett (PST)



Stage 2

Agile IQ® Level






Dependencies are an epidemic in software development. There could be many reasons why – perhaps your organisation has adopted an Agile framework, but you’re not yet structured to support sustainable teams. You may have a strong reliance on vendors or specialists when you start your Agile journey. And, some large-scale systems changes require some level of dependencies. The reality is, dependencies are not going to go away. As you scale your Agile efforts, the dependencies scale as well. The good news is, there are strategies you can use to move your teams from managing dependencies to mitigating dependencies.

What the Scrum Guide says

The Scrum Team is responsible for all product-related activities from stakeholder collaboration, verification, maintenance, operation, experimentation, research and development, and anything else that might be required. They are structured and empowered by the organization to manage their own work. Working in Sprints at a sustainable pace improves the Scrum Team’s focus and consistency.

Ken Schwaber & Jeff Sutherland (2020)

That’s typically not the reality for teams new to Scrum, or organizations new to Agile. While cross-functional teams are the cornerstone of Agile, it might take a very long time for your organization to evolve. If you want to fully realise the benefits of Scrum, don’t just manage dependencies, ruthlessly mitigate them.

Things we hear

Organisational Design

  • My team is mostly back-end
  • We rely on another team for the <…> (fill in with any component of software – front end enhancements, database layer, integration, API)

Immature Agility

“My team is using Scrum, but many of the other teams we work with are using more traditional approaches, like Waterfall.”

Not Cross-Functional

“My team uses a for a specialised skill; they are in a completely different time zone; a different team.”

Complicated Architecture:

“We work with so many different <systems, tools, technologies> that it’s impossible to be truly cross-functional and loosely coupled.”

What are the reasons behind these issues?

Things To Do

Communication and Pro-active Planning



Everett, J. (2020) Dependency Management – the Good, the Bad, the Ugly., Aug 3. Online at:

agile iq academy logo 2022-05-05 sm

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