It would be helpful for the "yarn" on the Program Board to show red/yellow/green the same way it does for the dependency status icon.

This isn't something that a "paper" SAFe Program Board would show, but it would be helpful visual information for the teams during PI Planning. This is especially true when the "yarn" gets very long and it's hard to see the arrows between items. Note this is feedback we got from multiple teams on both of our new ARTs after our first PI Planning event.

It would also be very helpful in the case where a cross-team-dependent story is being done before the feature is done, but the dependency status is not actually "green." An example to clarify:

Story 1A is part of Feature 1. Story 1B is also part of Feature 1, and is dependent on Story 1A. Story 1A and Story 1B are being worked by Team X.

Story 1A is dependent on Story 2C. Team Y is working on Story 2C.

All of these stories are large enough that they cannot overlap in the same sprint.

Team X puts Story 1A in Sprint 2, and Story 1B in Sprint 3. Team Y puts Story 2C in Sprint 2.

If you were to go to the backlog or sprint scheduling screen (or elsewhere) and look at the dependency status icon for these three stories, Story 1A and Story 2C would show as yellow (Story 1B would show as green).

The Program Board will show Feature 1 in Sprint 3, with a dependency line back to Sprint 2 for Story 2C for Team Y. Everything looks good - but it's not. Team Y needs to move Story 2C back to Sprint 1 in order for the dependencies to all be "green," but to see this they need to drill in or look elsewhere in the system (e.g. backlog, sprint scheduling screen, etc.). They need to do this for all dependencies to fully check them.

If the "yarn" was yellow here (which is what the dependency status icon would show), it would call the team's attention to the potential issue immediately. Green "yarn" would mean dependencies are fully satisfied. Red "yarn" would indicate there was definitely an issue.


  • Love the stop light approach on dependencies (red, yellow, green) very clear and NO ambiguity - CLEAR statsu for all team members

  • Agree this will create consistency and will be more easily understood by teams. Hope this can be implemented. Thanks!

  • The proposed enhancement could differentiate V1 from the competition. Red yarn is simply an idea or solution to visualize the connections. Using colored lines to indicate good, caution and bad dependencies is a smart idea and worth deviating from the norm.

  • Color coding would help tremendously with identifying issues more quickly so that teams can work on resolving them in a more timely manner.