Strategies for Resolving Dependencies Between Scrum Teams in a Scaled Agile Approach

Posted by Brian Porter on April 03, 2023

Scaling agile processes can present challenges, especially when it comes to managing dependencies between scrum teams. In this blog post, we will explore various strategies to effectively resolve these dependencies, ensuring smooth collaboration and delivery of value to stakeholders.

Visualize and map dependencies

Use tools like dependency maps or program boards to visualize and manage dependencies. This will help teams identify and address them early in the development process, reducing delays and risks. Maintain these visual aids regularly to track progress and manage changes.

Establish cross-team communication channels

Encourage open communication between teams through regular cross-team meetings, shared chat platforms, or other collaboration tools. This will foster a culture of transparency and collaboration, making it easier to address dependencies as they arise.

Use a shared backlog

Create a shared backlog of items that have dependencies across teams. This will make it easier to prioritize and manage work across teams, while also ensuring that everyone is aware of the dependencies that need to be resolved.

Implement feature toggles

Feature toggles can help manage dependencies by allowing teams to work on features in isolation. This reduces the risk of broken builds and promotes independent development. When a feature is complete, it can be toggled on without impacting other teams.

Focus on API and contract-first development

By defining contracts and APIs early in the development process, teams can build their components in isolation while ensuring compatibility. This reduces the likelihood of unexpected issues when integrating components.

Appoint a dependency manager

Designate an individual or a small team to oversee dependency management across the organization. This role will be responsible for identifying, tracking, and resolving dependencies, as well as ensuring that teams have the resources they need to address them.

Prioritize dependency resolution in sprint planning

During sprint planning, prioritize resolving dependencies to minimize the risk of delays and blockers. This can include allocating time for cross-team collaboration, addressing known dependencies, and planning for potential issues.


Managing dependencies between scrum teams in a scaled agile approach is a challenging yet essential aspect of successful project delivery. By implementing these strategies, organizations can promote collaboration, increase efficiency, and ensure the timely delivery of value to stakeholders.

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