I'm a beginner at Dwarf Fortress. I was just about keeping on top of things, until my first wave of migrants arrived. Now I have 15 dwarves to keep track of, and my previous strategy of micromanaging each dwarf is not scaling up. In particular, I'm having problems with "chains" of tasks, where something in the chain goes wrong, and the dependent job gets cancelled or suspended.
For example, I would like to be continually brewing ale, but occasionally I run out of barrels, either because the carpenter wandered off, was doing something else, or ran out of wood. When this happens, my dwarf gives up on brewing and moves on to other things. A similar thing happens regularly with potash production and food preparation.
How can I efficiently manage these chains of dependencies? Are there any strategies, or built-in mechanisms I've not learnt about that I can apply to relieve some of the micromanaging burden?