It doesn’t matter from which perspective you look at the world; no one operates in a silo. This is a fact that you must accept as everyone out there is dependent on something or someone, and this is one rule of nature that no one can break.
You can see this type of dependency everywhere – such as in politics (politicians are dependent upon citizens for vote), personal life (infants are dependent upon their parents for safety), computer science (addition of dependence in the computer library), and so on.
In this world of dependencies, even project management is not an exception. No activity or task involved in a project operates in isolation; And such type poses a critical challenge to almost all the project managers out there.
The word project dependencies are a hot topic of debate among most project managers since it poses a long list of challenges. In this blog post, we will dive into the details of project dependency and unravel the secrets behind it.
What are project dependencies?
Project dependencies are any events, situations, or tasks that are either dependent on completing the existing ones or the ones that are relying on them. It is a relation between activities contributing to the same project.
You don’t need to start thinking about all the complex aspects of running a project while thinking of project dependency since project dependency can be as simple as waiting for a response from another team like data center migration through a third-party vendor.
The one thing that you must know about project dependency is it’s pervasive in every industry. And if the project dependency is not managed well, it can lead to inundated backlogs, risk of project failure, ineffective work, and even postponed value.
So, it doesn’t matter which type of project you are handling or with which perspective you move forward with your project, always expect dependency in your project.
Constraints, bottlenecks, and blockers
If you are exploring the world of project dependency, you must get familiar with a few words about the world of project management. Some of these words that we will discuss in this section are constraints, bottlenecks, and blockers.
Blockers are all those factors that prevent a task from moving through the workflow, and the one crucial aspect of blockers is they can be both internal and external. While on the other side, bottlenecks are constraints that can confine the flow of the work in the project.
Constraints and dependency are co-related with each other when it comes down to project management. A constraint in a project is a restriction, setback/ limitation within the scope of a task already in progress. They can also be internal, like not enough resources, skills, or workforce.
For example – You need to polish 20 cars but have only one person skilled enough to do this work. Thus, the polishing of the vehicles becomes automatically dependent upon the completion of one at a time.
Different types of project dependencies
Various types of project dependencies can be categorized based on different parameters. Some of these project dependencies are;
These are usually found in the natural flow of the task in a project. For example, you first need to buy cheese, buns, meat, sauce, and veggies, make the pattie, toast the buns, and then finally put everything together for making the burger. Every task depends on completing the previous task, and skipping any one of them will hamper the outcome.
Resourced based dependency
These are outcomes of constraints, and they don’t have any causal dependency. This means that if you have all the resources, then all the project tasks can be completed. For example, there can be a constraint of not understanding the technical terms in technical user stories.
These types of dependencies are determined through protocols, practices, and preferred processes. For example, for painting a house, the sequence in which the rooms must be painted can be decided based on different factors or preferences.
This is one of the biggest challenges for giant firms. This type of dependency exists when more than one team is needed to complete an end-to-end project. But such dependencies don’t exist in small firms.
Project dependency is something that can become a massive challenge for the project manager if it is left unattended. Analyze the type of project you are managing, the scope of dependencies it can bring, and then address every dependency with a well-planned approach.