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Analyzing projects dependencies

The following article is a sample from the full BVOP™ Ultimate Guide and is part of the preparation for the BVOP™'s modern Agile Certified Project Manager Program.

Dependencies amongst the projects need to be identified, described, and understood by the entire BVOPGM office and Business Value-Oriented Project Management (BVOPM) office if they need to be aware of them. Major dependencies may include:

  • A sequence of projects-realizations
  • A sequence of external activities not related to actual planned work
  • Usage of materials and tools
  • Stakeholders availability and involvement
  • Workforce availability
  • External parties availability

A sequence of projects-realizations

The sequence of realization of each project in the program may be essential for the success of the entire program. If the project “Y” really needs Project “N” to be created first and depends on it, logically project “N” is created before the project “Y”.

If projects do not depend on each other, and the organization has enough resources, they may be developed in parallel.

A sequence of external activities not related to actual planned work

External project activities that are important for defining the dependency between projects may include:

  • Hiring professionals 
  • Training sessions
  • Materials and tools supply 
  • Maintenance activities and plans
  • Sales and marketing activities
  • Procurement
  • Logistics

The sequence of all activities may be important.

Usage of materials and tools

Different teams and parties may need materials and tools at the same or different times.

Stakeholders availability and involvement

The availability of stakeholders may not be constant. Different parties may be available at a different time or interested and involved in different projects. The involvement level between stakeholders may also differ.

Workforce availability

The availability and the schedule of internal and external teams, consultants, or contractors may need to be considered in defining projects dependencies.

External parties availability

The availability of external parties like authorities, suppliers, providers, and supervisors need to be considered when projects dependencies are defined.

All defined dependencies between projects and constraints need to be taken into account in the program planning activities.

Analyzing projects dependencies in Project and Program Management
BVOP Community Reviews
  1. Annabel Wright, BVOP Program Director

    Defining dependencies between projects can be a very important activity that is underestimated by many organizations around the world. In fact, few project managers and program directors follow that.

    Although this activity may seem resource-intensive, it is not necessary to analyze project dependencies to take too much time and to involve a large mass of people in the definition.

    On the one hand, knowing the dependencies between projects really helps teams get the big picture. Planning becomes easier, communication will make sense at an early stage in project development, and the whole program and all projects are interconnected on the basis of dependencies. Teams know where to focus their efforts, project managers have an idea of where to look for the optimization of processes and increase the business value of projects.

    I recommend analyzing dependencies to take at least the time. Target quick meetings, easy-to-use tools, and share your defined information. Involve program directors, project managers and only key roles from development teams to save time and nerves for your colleagues. We all know that long encounters and meaningless initiatives in the eyes of others lead to a decline in morality.

Comments of our guests
  1. Donovan Thomas
    Thanks for the post. Project dependencies and their analysis are a very important part of the strategy and the full planning of the program. Keep in mind that if you do not know the dependencies between your projects entirely, you can not make adequate planning. If you do not have a clear picture of the projects, let all the people involved in your projects know that you are at high risk.
  2. Anna Haruto
    When it comes to project dependencies, I cannot disagree that External parties' availability is a significant and important topic that has a severe impact not only on task planning but also on work processes. Delays are most often due to external partners and their quick and adequate responses.
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