Identify Dependencies

Dependencies are work item relationships such as parent-child, predecessors, and successors. Identifying dependencies includes the following:

Relationships and Associations

The CA Agile Central ribbon or sidebar displays on a work item detail page . It organizes related work item links and makes them easy to access. Use the links to manage and navigate to listings of associated work items for work items.

On a detail page:

ribbon on detail page

On a legacy detail page, such as test case :

Your display of ribbon or sidebar links will vary depending upon the work item being viewed.

Each ribbon or sidebar link shows additional work items in reference to the displayed work item detail. A number displays, indicating the number of related work items regardless of any project view scoping applied.

Use link... To go to...
Details The detail page of the work item.
Tasks A summary page of all tasks that are defined to implement the work item.
Children A summary page of related children.
Test Cases All test cases for the displayed work item
Test Run All related test cases including test steps for use in test execution.
Defects Any defects that have been recorded against the displayed work item.
Discussions A summary page of all discussion statements.
Revision History A listing of all change revisions recorded for the displayed work item.
Charts Displays a Story Burndown chart from the Story detail page.
Risks A summary page of risks associated to the work item.
Dependencies All work items that depend on the displayed work item for implementation.
Results (Test Case) All test case results for the associated work item.
Defect Suites (Defect) A summary page of defect suites.
Duplicates (Defect) A summary listing of duplicate defects.

What is an Association?

An association is a term that implies a general type of relationship and is used to assist you in tracking and relating your work items. Each association is displayed in the ribbon or sidebar found on the work item detail page.

When deleting any work item that has associations , you have multiple options for handling the associations. You may delete and remove the work item and its associations, continue with the delete and change the associations for the work item to none, or cancel the entire operation.

Test Cases

You can create a new test case result , log a defect , or add an attachment from a test case. View these associations from the Test Case detail sidebar.


Defects allow you to create a test case. The test case will display on the Defect detail ribbon. Deleting the defect automatically removes the task , but the test cases remain intact.

ribbon for defect in editor


Tasks are derived from user stories and defects, and can only be created from the user story or defect. There is an automatic association between the user story or defect and the task. View these associations on the sidebar of the work item or the task. An individual task may be deleted with no effect on the work item.

task ribbon in editor

What are Parent-Child Relationships?

In CA Agile Central, a parent-child relationship refers to a relationship between hierarchical projects, user stories, or test folders (requires CA Agile Central Quality Manager module ). This relationship implies ownership. The parent owns its child projects or user stories. Parents can be decomposed into infinite levels of children. All parent-child relationships for projects and user stories are displayed in sidebar or ribbon of the related detail page. The parent-child hierarchy for test folders displays on the Quality Management page. Actions performed on the parent have implications on the children.

If a parent user story has been scheduled and a new child user story is added to the parent, the following actions take place:

  • Tasks of a parent story are moved to the first child story .
  • Children inherit a copy of the values for Release , Iteration , State , Rank , Owner, and Blocked from their parent.
  • Test cases and defects remain associated with the parent.

What are Predecessor-Successor Relationships?

CA Agile Central uses predecessors and successors to indicate an ordinal relationship in which one user story is dependent upon the completion of another user story. By assigning a predecessor to an existing user story, an order is established between the two in which the successor user story is dependent upon functionality contained in the predecessor user story. Work should not begin on the successor user story until the predecessor user story is completed. User story states are rolled up to help you know when a predecessor is complete and work on a successor can begin. A blocked predecessor state is rolled up and easy to see from any User Story summary page.

In CA Agile Central you can:

  • Create user story predecessors. You can create a new user story as a predecessor, or choose an existing user story. Creating a predecessor automatically indicates a successor.
  • View all predecessors and successors from the User Story detail page.
  • View the predecessors and successors for a user story from multiple summary pages such as the User Story, Iteration Status , or Release Status pages.
  • View the rolled up state of predecessors from the Successor User Story detail page.
  • Receive email notifications when a predecessor or successor is changed.

Predecessors and successors can span projects within a workspace .

To view predecessors and successors on the Iteration Status and Backlog pages, select the Show Columns icon and search for Dependencies. Select the checkbox next to Dependencies and select Apply.

The Dependencies column will then display on the page.

Identify Dependencies

View Work Item Relationships

Each work item detail page contains a ribbon or sidebar, which displays all relationships to the current work item in a linked view. The ribbon or sidebar displays all possible associated work item types that are related to the current work item. Each link or icon is followed by a number indicating the number of associated work items that can be viewed in the resulting summary page.

On a detail page:

ribbon on detail page

On a legacy detail page, such as test case:

Select any association link or icon to navigate to the related work item summary page. The summary page offers all actions of the typical work item summary page. As you navigate through the related summary pages, the Actions button options vary in relation to the work item you are viewing.

On the legacy detail page, use the show and hide icons to control the sidebar display.

View the User Story Parent-Child Hierarchy

View the hierarchical tree from a child user story to its parent in a pop-up pane in the summary page from the user story ID.

To access the hierarchical user story display:
  1. Hover over any child user story ID and choose from a description or hierarchy view by selecting the related tab:
    • Choose Description and the full description of the child user story displays in the pop-up pane (default view).
    • Choose Hierarchy to view the hierarchical tree from your current child user story to the top-level parent user story.
    • Select the Show Detail icon to display a pop-up pane of the full detail of the selected user story.

Create User Story Predecessors

You can add a predecessor user story to a new or existing user story. A predecessor user story is one whose implementation must be completed before work on another user story can begin.

To create user story predecessors:
  1. From the User Story detail page, select the Dependencies link from the ribbon.
  2. To create a new user story as a predecessor to an existing user story:
    1. From the Predecessors summary page, select Add New.
    2. Enter the name of the predecessor and select either Add or Add with Details. Enter any additional details as needed.
    The result is a new user story with a predecessor relationship from the current user story.
  3. To create a predecessor relationship between two existing user stories:
    1. From the Predecessors summary page, select Choose.
    2. On the Choose Predecessors pop-up, check the user stories you wish to add and select Choose. You can select multiple predecessors.
    3. The chosen user stories display on the Predecessor summary page.

Predecessor-successor relationships are only allowed between user stories in the same workspace.

View the Predecessor Summary

The User Story Predecessor summary page displays all user stories that must be completed before work can be initiated on the currently viewed user story. Use the Predecessors summary page to manage each user story's ordinal relationships.

To access the User Story Predecessors summary:
  1. Select the Dependencies link on the ribbon of the User Story detail page.
  2. From the User Story Predecessors summary page you can:
    • Remove a predecessor user story by selecting the gear menu and selecting Remove. The user story remains intact.
    • Edit a predecessor user story by selecting the gear menu next to the story and selecting Edit to view the detail page.
    • Copy one predecessor user story to another new predecessor user story by selecting the gear menu next to the story and selecting Copy. The user story is copied and a predecessor implementation order is automatically set.

View the Successors Summary

The User Story Successor summary page displays all user story successors that depend on the completion of another user story before work can be initiated on the currently-viewed user story. Use the Successors summary page to manage each user story's successor ordinal relationships.

To access the User Story Successor summary:
  1. Select the Dependencies link on the ribbon of the User Story detail page.
  2. From the User Story Successors summary you can:
    • Edit a successor user story by selecting the gear menu and selecting Edit.
    • Copy one successor user story to another new successor user story. The user story is copied and a successor implementation order is automatically set.

View Predecessors and Successors Inline

You can view a collection of all predecessors and successors and their states for a single user story as you work and plan from a summary page that displays user stories. This includes the following pages:

  • User Story summary
  • Release Status
  • Predecessor or Successor summary
  • Work item status

This allows you to view any relationships that impact your targeted user story without leaving your current page.

To access the inline predecessor-successor display:
  1. Select one of the related icons below in any of the above listed summary type pages. You can easily determine if your user story has a predecessor and successor by viewing the related icon in a user story row.
    • predecessor The user story has one or more predecessors.
    • successor The user story has one or more successors.
    • both The user story has both predecessors and successors.
  2. Hover over any of the above icons to display a pop-up detail of the relationships. The resulting detail presents a header row containing the viewed user story, and two tabs that display predecessors and successors associated to the user story. From this pop-up you can also perform multiple activities.
  3. Use the pop-up Successors tab to view those user stories that are awaiting completion of the current user story before work on them can begin.
  4. View a rolled up state of the predecessors in the detail page of the user story.


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