Dependency Management Techniques

Splitting Requirements

The strategy of breaking up requirements into smaller pieces can be used in dependency poker to manage dependencies between tasks, user stories, or backlog items. This involves dividing larger requirements into smaller, more manageable pieces, which can help to identify and manage dependencies more effectively.

When requirements are too large, it can be challenging to identify all dependencies. Breaking them into smaller pieces makes it easier to identify and manage dependencies between the different parts of the requirement. This approach can also help to prioritize work and reduce project timelines.

Based on Happy and UnHappy Path

One way to split up dependencies is to focus on both the happy and unhappy paths, starting with the happy path. The happy path represents the most common and straightforward way of executing a feature or user story, while the unhappy path represents less common scenarios or exceptional cases. By starting with the happy path, the team can gain a clear understanding of the core functionality and develop the basic infrastructure needed to support the feature. Once the happy path is well understood, the team can move on to the unhappy path and handle any edge cases or exceptions that may arise. This approach allows the team to prioritize the most important parts of the feature or user story and ensure that the core functionality is in place before addressing less common scenarios.

Based on User Roles

Another way to split up requirements is to focus on specific user roles. This involves identifying the different user roles that will interact with the system and defining their specific needs and requirements. By focusing on these specific roles, the development team can prioritize and plan features that are most important to each role and ensure that the system is designed to meet their unique needs. This approach can help to reduce complexity and ensure that the software is developed with a user-centric approach.

Based on Channels for the User

An additional way to split up requirements is to focus on specific environments, such as browsers, operating systems, or devices. By doing so, the team can identify the unique needs and constraints of each environment and prioritize the requirements accordingly. For example, if the product needs to be accessible on both desktop and mobile devices, the team can focus on the requirements specific to each device type and create a separate backlog for each. This can help to ensure that the product meets the needs of each environment and that dependencies are managed effectively.

Based on Different Domains

Focusing on specific domains from Domain-Driven Design (DDD) is another way to split up requirements. DDD is a software development approach that emphasizes modeling complex business domains and ensuring that the software architecture aligns with the business needs. By focusing on specific domains, such as customer relationship management, inventory management, or order fulfillment, the team can break down the requirements into smaller, more manageable pieces that align with the specific business needs of each domain. This approach can also help identify and manage dependencies between different domains and ensure that the software meets the needs of each domain.

Based on Processes

Focusing on one process in the software only is another way to split up requirements. This involves breaking down the product backlog into smaller pieces that correspond to individual steps within a specific process, such as user onboarding or order fulfillment. By doing so, the team can focus on the details of each step and identify any dependencies that may exist between them. This can help to streamline the development process and ensure that each step is completed in a logical and efficient manner.

Based on Priority

Prioritizing requirements based on their importance and focusing on implementing the "must-haves" first is another option. This ensures that the most critical features or functionalities are developed and delivered first. By prioritizing requirements, teams can also identify any dependencies that may exist between different features or functionalities and plan accordingly. This approach can help to reduce complexity and ensure that the most important aspects of the software are addressed before moving on to less critical features. Additionally, by starting with the "must-haves," teams can deliver value to stakeholders early on in the development process.

Based on Business Rules

Another way to reduce the scope iof requirements is to focus on one business rule first. This approach involves identifying the most critical or complex business rule that the software must support and breaking it down into smaller, more manageable pieces. By focusing on one rule at a time, the team can ensure that each requirement is clearly defined and understood and that dependencies between requirements are carefully considered.

Based on Technical Operations

A separate technique to split up more technical requirements is to focus on the specific operations needed to be performed, such as the CRUD operations (Create, Read, Update, Delete). This approach involves breaking down the requirements into smaller, more manageable chunks based on the specific operation that needs to be performed. For example, if a requirement involves updating data in the system, it can be split up into smaller requirements for updating specific fields or records. By focusing on the specific operations needed, the development team can more easily identify the necessary components and dependencies, and work on them in a more targeted and efficient manner.

Gaining Insights

Gaining insights is a critical aspect of backlog refinement and dependency management strategies, as it helps establish a shared understanding of the work among the Scrum Team and stakeholders. Through a collaborative process of exploring and analyzing the problem or opportunity at hand, potential solutions can be identified and agreed upon, leading to a clearer vision of what needs to be done and how to proceed. By working together to gain insights, the team can ensure that everyone is aligned and committed to the work ahead, improving the chances of success.

Creating Hypotheses

One effective approach to gaining insights during backlog refinement is to create and discuss hypotheses, which can facilitate communication and foster a deeper understanding of the domain. By formulating tentative explanations or assumptions about a problem or opportunity, the team can focus on the original problem rather than being constrained by preconceived solutions. Through the process of discussing and refining these hypotheses, the team can gain a shared understanding of the work and potential solutions.

Pair Programming

Pair programming can be an effective strategy for managing dependencies in several ways. First, it allows developers to work together more closely, sharing their expertise and knowledge to identify and resolve dependencies more quickly. This can help to reduce the risk of introducing breaking changes or technical debt, and ensure that the system is developed in a more cohesive and consistent manner.

Second, pair programming can help to improve communication between developers, making it easier to coordinate work and ensure that dependencies are managed effectively. By working together in real-time, developers can identify potential issues more quickly, share their insights and ideas, and come up with solutions to resolve dependencies more effectively.

Job Shadowing

Job shadowing provides a hands-on experience for team members, exposing them to the daily responsibilities, tasks, and interactions of the role they're shadowing. It allows them to understand the nuanced challenges and opportunities related to that job, leading to a more informed and comprehensive perspective on the requirements, expectations, and complexities of the role. As they observe work processes and interactions directly, they gain insights not typically accessible through written documents or verbal explanations. This increased understanding can foster empathy, promote collaboration, and ultimately enhance the design and implementation of solutions that meet real needs.

Reducing the Scope

Reducing the scope of user stories or backlog items can help to manage dependencies by simplifying the work and eliminating non-essential features.


This strategy involves making changes to the codebase to improve its structure and maintainability, which can help to identify and remove dependencies that may be hindering development.

When dealing with complex software systems, dependencies can be a major source of technical debt, causing the codebase to become rigid, inflexible, and difficult to maintain. Refactoring can help to address these issues by breaking down dependencies and improving the overall structure of the codebase.

Release Strategies 

Feature Toggles

A feature toggle is a strategy that can be used to manage dependencies between different features or components of a software system. It involves adding a configuration option that enables or disables a particular feature or functionality at runtime, allowing teams to manage dependencies more effectively and reduce the risk of breaking changes.

Git Branching

Git branching can be a useful strategy to deal with dependencies in software development projects. By creating separate branches for different features or components, teams can work independently and reduce the risk of code conflicts or integration issues. This approach allows each team to focus on their specific dependencies and work at their own pace, while still maintaining a cohesive overall project. Branching also enables teams to experiment with new features or approaches without impacting the main codebase, as well as to test and debug their code before integrating it into the main branch. With proper communication and coordination between teams, git branching can be a powerful tool for managing dependencies and delivering high-quality software products.

Adapter (from Domain-Driven Design)

Using Adapters from Domain-Driven Design can be an effective strategy for managing dependencies in software development. Adapters are design patterns that provide a layer of abstraction between different components or systems, allowing them to communicate and work together without having to depend directly on each other. By using Adapters, developers can decouple the dependencies between different parts of the software, making it easier to manage and maintain over time. Adapters can also be useful for integrating third-party libraries or services, as they provide a way to adapt the interface of the external system to fit the needs of the software. Overall, using Adapters is a powerful way to manage dependencies and promote loose coupling in software architecture.

Ports (from Domain-Driven Design)

Using Ports (from Domain Driven Design) can be a strategy to deal with dependencies. A Port is an abstraction that defines a set of operations required for interacting with an external system or a different bounded context. By defining Ports and their associated interfaces, the implementation details of the external system or context can be decoupled from the current system, making it easier to switch to a different implementation or make changes without affecting other parts of the system. This can help to manage dependencies and reduce the impact of changes in external systems on the current system.

Visualize the Dependencies

The use of information radiators, such as dependency boards or spider boards, can help teams to gain a clear understanding of the dependencies that exist between different tasks, components, or teams. Information radiators allow team members to quickly identify potential bottlenecks, prioritize their work, and make informed decisions about where to focus their efforts. They also facilitate communication and collaboration between team members and promote continuous improvement by providing a visual representation of the dependencies that exist between different tasks or components. Ultimately, information radiators can help teams to work more efficiently and effectively by promoting collaboration, transparency, and continuous improvement.


Focus on the most important and highest value backlog items first. This can help to reduce the overall complexity of the backlog by ensuring that the most critical items are completed first.