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Managing programme & project dependencies 101

This tutorial introduces the new programme and project dependency matrix functionality that has recently become available in Psoda.

What are project or programme dependencies?

Projects may sometimes depend on other projects, for example if the budget of project A changes this might impact project B as there might be a fixed budget for the overall programme, or overruns in project A’s schedule may mean that resources are not available to start working on project B.

There may also be dependencies between projects and programmes, or even between programmes. This is especially true in larger organisations where multiple projects or even multiple programmes may be active at the same time.

Types of dependencies

There can be many different types of dependencies between projects. We’ve already mentioned budget and schedule in the examples above. There may also be a scope dependency, for example if project A cannot build all of the features that we need we may have to push some of those features into project B. Finally there may be a dependency in terms of the risks on different projects and programmes.

Dependency matrix

The dependency matrix helps you to visualise the dependencies between projects and/or programmes. This allows you to quickly identify how changes on a project or programme might impact other projects and programmes.

Project Dependency Matrix

On the left is an example of a dependency matrix. It shows four projects and one programme. The names for these projects and programme is shown in both the left-hand column and the top row. The intersection between the rows and the columns indicate a dependency between the corresponding projects/programmes.

For example the intersection of the first row and the second column shows that project ADF v0.2 depends on project ADF v0.1 with an 11% impact.

The meaning of the 2×2 traffic light is described in detail below, but in this example it shows that there are dependencies in both budget (red dot) and in schedule (green dot). The two grey dots show that there is not a dependency in scope (left) or in risk (right).

You can click on the empty cells to add new dependencies or you can click on the traffic lights to update the existing dependencies. You can also click on the pencils in the left-hand column to set or reset the flags indicating that that particular project or programme has changed in one of the four dependency areas, i.e. budget, schedule, scope or risks.

Psoda allows you to see the dependency matrix across the whole organisation or limited to a particular programme. Look for the Dependency Matrix tab on the View Organisation or View Programme pages. The dependency matrix will be updated automatically to include any new programmes and projects.

Traffic lights

Traffic lights - Budget, schdule, scope and risk

Each intersection of the dependency matrix will contain a 2×2 traffic light to show the types of dependencies between the projects and/or programmes.

The image on the right shows an example traffic light with the types of dependencies in each of the corners: Budget, Schedule, Scope and Risk.

The colours of the lights show:

grey The selected projects/programmes are not dependent in this particular aspect.
green The selected projects/programmes do have a budget/schedule/scope/risk dependency.
red The selected projects/programmes do have a dependency and the parent project/programme’s budget/schedule/scope/risks has been modified.

Adding new dependencies

You can add new dependencies between projects/programmes by clicking on the intersecting cell in the dependency matrix. The following dialogue box will show:

Create Dependency Form

This form allows you to enter a description for your dependency and impact as a percentage. Set the check boxes in the Impact areas to indicate in which areas there are dependencies. The Change flags check boxes allows you to mark impact areas that have changed and needs to be high-lighted on the matrix.

Updating dependencies

If you want to update a dependency you can click on the traffic light in the dependency matrix. This will bring up a form very similar to the one above.

Dependency list

The screenshot below shows an example of the dependency list for a particular project:

Project dependency list

From this list you can update the dependencies or delete a dependency that is no longer required.

Follow this link to learn more about the Psoda dependency matrix.


  • May 18, 2010

    Thekla Laux

    I’m very interested on having more knowledge on program manageent aspects of risk versus value. Do you have any information for me you would like to share. Thanks.

  • August 4, 2011

    I am very intestested in the dependency matrix tool. Can someone please contact me so that i can get more information.

    THank you

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