Do you have items on your board with due dates that are dependent on one another? Can one item not start until the other is complete? That's where dependencies comes into play! Dependencies can help create vital connections between items that are dependent on one another to help better manage projects in a more efficient way.
To start working with dependencies, you'll first need to add the Dependency Column onto your board. Using the Dependency Column, you'll be able to define the dependency relationships between the items on your board!
You can add the column by clicking the "+" icon to the right of your last column, and select "More columns". In the Column Center, search for dependency and click on "Add to board", as below:
As soon as you add your column, a window will pop up prompting you to choose the time column which your items will be dependent on. You can connect any time column including:
If you have more than one time column on your board, you can choose one of them from the drop-down menu. If you only have one time column (like in the example below), it will automatically be selected for you unless you choose to add a new time column. When you have completed your column selection, click "Connect columns".
Now you can begin outlining which items are dependent on other items! To set dependencies, click a cell in the Dependency Column. By doing this, a drop-down menu will open, allowing you to select any of the items on your board.
In our example, we've made every item on our board dependent on the item above it! As an example, you can see that our item "Increasing conversion rates on landing pages" is dependent on the item above it titled "Competitor analysis".
It's important to note that the Date Column or Timeline Column will not auto-populate after you set your dependent items in the Dependency Column. You must fill in your Date Column or Timeline Column for each item for the dependencies to work.
Once all of your dates are set, you will only see an automatic change in a date once a change is made in the date's dependent date, depending on the dependency automation that you have set up. More on this in the section below!
When adding the Dependency Column, an automation is automatically added to your board! To check it out, click on the "Automate" button at the top of your screen:
The automation that's added ensures that the date or timeline of the dependent item never starts before the item which it is dependent on.
This dependency automation can come into play whenever an item is delayed. As an example, in the board below, our second item "Increasing conversion rates on landing pages" is dependent on "Competitor analysis".
With this said, something came up and "Competitor analysis" now needs to be delayed to Feburary 1-15th. After changing the timeline dates for this item, "Increasing conversion rates on landing pages" will be automatically adjusted to start on February 16, ensuring that the timeline dates of this item will be after "Competitor analysis" is set to be completed. 🙌
- Other dependency automation recipes
If the pre-set dependency automation recipe doesn't suit your needs, you can head over to the Automations Center to choose from our other dependency recipes:
To make sure weekends are skipped, you'll first need to set this up in your admin settings. To do so, go to your profile picture on the bottom left corner of your screen and click "Admin". Within the admin section, under the "General" heading, click on the tab "Account". There, you'll see the option to "Hide Weekends" under Timeline Weekends.
- Ensure that the date of an item always starts after the date of its dependency item:
In this use case, using the dependency column and recipe above, we've maintained our waterfall workflow and assured that no timeline will start before the other ends:
2. Adjust the date of an item to reflect the changes made in the date of its dependency item
This recipe will serve us when a change has happened and now we need to push out the dates of the dependent items. In the below example, when a timeline date is shifted out an X amount of days, the items dependent on this date are shifted out X days accordingly.
3. Ensure that this date in them item always starts after this other date
For this example, we have a set of tasks under "Phase A" and we want to maintain the chronological order of our workflow. To do so, we need to make sure that the "Review status" due date will always start after the "Design status" due date. This is where the below dependency automation comes into play:
Available dependency automation recipes
- Ensure that this date in the item always starts after this other date
- Ensure that this date in the item always starts after this other date has passed
- Note: The "ensure" recipes will allow you to set a date that occurs prior to the date that item is dependent on. The "ensure" automation only triggers when a change is made to a dependent date.
- When a status changes to something, change the status of its dependency to something
- Adjust this date to reflect the changes made in this other date of the same item
- Adjust the date of an item to reflect the changes made in the date of its dependency item
If you are intrigued to learn more about our variety of automations, please check out this article.
If you have any questions, please reach out to our team by using our contact form. We're available 24/7 and happy to help!