Unveiling the Power of the Dependency Discovery Deck: A Game-Changer for Agile Teams

28 Jun 2024

Hello everyone,

I'm Nils, an Agile coach, and today I want to share a story of frustration, innovation, and transformation. For years, I grappled with the complexities of scaling Agile frameworks like SAFe. Despite their promises, these approaches often left my team and me feeling overwhelmed and disconnected. The endless layers of processes, the bureaucratic overhead, and the constant struggle to manage dependencies took a toll on our productivity and morale.

The Title Card of the Dependency Discovery Deck

One particularly challenging day, after yet another frustrating backlog refinement session, I realized we needed a change. We needed a tool that could cut through the chaos, bring clarity to our processes, and truly empower our team. That's when I, along with some dedicated colleagues, invented the Dependency Discovery Deck. This innovative card deck has since revolutionized our backlog refinement process, making it more structured, collaborative, and, most importantly, fun. Here's how it all happened.

The Chaos of Dependency Management

Before discovering the Dependency Discovery Deck, our backlog refinement sessions were a nightmare. Dependencies were often overlooked until they caused bottlenecks, leading to delays and frustration. Our team struggled to visualize the interconnections between various tasks, resulting in missed deadlines and scope creep. Communication gaps and misaligned priorities further exacerbated the issue, making it difficult to maintain a clear and consistent workflow.

Every meeting felt like a battle against an invisible enemy, with team members growing increasingly disheartened. We needed a lifeline, a way to turn these sessions into something productive and engaging.

The Birth of the Dependency Discovery Deck

One evening, after a particularly draining day, we gathered for an informal brainstorming session. Fueled by coffee and a shared determination to find a better way, we started sketching out ideas. We wanted something simple yet effective, something that could bring a sense of play into our work. That's when the idea of the Dependency Discovery Deck was born.

The Dependency Discovery Deck is a collection of gamified cards designed to help Agile teams systematically identify and manage dependencies during backlog refinement sessions. Each card represents a specific strategy or tool to uncover hidden dependencies and ensure that all potential blockers are addressed before they impact the project timeline.

Card for missing External Tools

How the Deck Transformed Our Process

  1. Structured Framework: The Dependency Discovery Deck provided us with a structured framework to approach dependency management. Instead of ad-hoc discussions, we now had a clear process to follow, ensuring that no stone was left unturned. The cards guided us through various aspects of dependency identification, from analyzing stakeholder relationships to mapping out technical requirements.

  2. Enhanced Collaboration: Using the deck fostered a more inclusive and collaborative environment. Each team member was encouraged to actively participate in discussions, share insights, and contribute ideas. The gamified nature of the cards made the process engaging and interactive, ensuring that everyone’s voice was heard. This newfound engagement not only improved our sessions but also fostered a sense of shared responsibility and ownership.

  3. Improved Planning and Estimation: By systematically identifying dependencies early in the refinement process, we were able to create more accurate and realistic project plans. This proactive approach allowed us to allocate resources more effectively, manage risks better, and set achievable milestones. Our planning accuracy improved significantly, leading to more predictable and reliable project outcomes.

  4. Visualization of Dependencies:

  5. The visual aspect of the Miro Board, combined with the Dependency Discovery Deck, made it easier to map out and visualize dependencies. We could see how different tasks and features were interconnected, helping us to anticipate and mitigate potential blockers. This clarity was instrumental in maintaining a smooth workflow and avoiding last-minute surprises.

  6. Empowering the Team: One of the most significant benefits of using the Dependency Discovery Deck was the empowerment it brought to the team. By providing a clear and structured approach to dependency management, the deck instilled confidence in our ability to handle complex projects. Team members felt more equipped to tackle challenges and were motivated to contribute to the collective success of the project.

    Card for Specialist Knowledge


The Dependency Discovery Deck has been a game-changer for our Agile team. By providing a structured framework, enhancing collaboration, improving planning and estimation, and empowering the team, it has transformed our backlog refinement process. For any team struggling with dependency management, I highly recommend exploring this innovative tool in the Miroverse. Give it a try, and watch how it can revolutionize your Agile workflow just as it did for us. Have fun with the cards and the board, and check out other card decks like the Dependency Discovery Deck in the Miroverse to further enhance your Agile practices!

Here's to turning frustration into innovation and finding joy in the journey of Agile development.

Free Card set on GitHub:


Free Miro Template:


Cards on Etsy