Fighting Project Decision Fatigue with Policy

When it comes to matters of policy, our goal at Atomic has always been to provide “just enough” to avoid unexpected conflicts or confusion. We rely strongly on personal responsibility, transparency, and our self-organizing nature to bring order and direction to our projects and internal company workings.

Atoms enjoy the freedom this brings—we share the burden of learning and making things work the way they should without being bound by miles of policy red tape. We have to live out our “Own It” value mantra.

However, there is a potential cost for this freedom: decision fatigue. Read more on Fighting Project Decision Fatigue with Policy…

Tips for Joining an Existing Software Team

At least once in our lives, most of us get thrown into an ongoing project and forced to bring ourselves up to speed as quickly as possible. This process is rarely simple and can often feel like being thrown into a pool of ice cold water—stressful, frustrating, demoralizing, numbing.

Read more on Tips for Joining an Existing Software Team…

The Consultant’s Craft: Becoming More than a Programmer

As developers, we all like to believe we’re more than just “code monkeys”—those interchangeable, expendable cogs in the software-making machine.

But to be more, we have to bring more. We must contribute more than code—even code that’s bug free, on time, and on budget. We must become consultants, helping our clients make smart decisions and getting the maximum value out of every hour we invest.

Read more on The Consultant’s Craft: Becoming More than a Programmer…

Consulting and the Four Stages of Competence

Recently I read an article that referenced The Four Stages of Competence, a learning model developed in the 1970’s by Noel Burch of Gordon Training International. The model is helpful for understanding the progression of learning as it applies to any skill–music, math, language, woodworking, skydiving, and yes, software. Read more on Consulting and the Four Stages of Competence…

Keeping Your Large Development Team Efficient

At Atomic, it is rare to see a project with 4 or more full-time developers on it at a single time. In general, we tend to lean toward smaller teams. However as our projects become more complex, our teams start to grow.

As a member of two of Atomic’s largest projects-to-date, I have noticed a few things we do to keep our big teams working effectively. Read more on Keeping Your Large Development Team Efficient…

9 Essential Tools for Project Communication

There are many things that contribute to the success of a project, but one of the most important is good communication with our clients.

Every project has its unique set of individuals and circumstances that dictate which forms of communication will work best, but for all projects the goal is the same: help everyone on the team make good decisions. Decisions require open channels of communication so information can flow back and forth as needed. Read more on 9 Essential Tools for Project Communication…

Making Smart Assumptions in a Project Budget

When we’re working with a client to define a custom software proposal and create a responsible budget, we’re always going to be in a position where there are unknowns. For example, a project may need to integrate with a third party service we’ve never used before. We have to assume the service works as advertised, but we really won’t know until we do some additional research and start working with the service. Read more on Making Smart Assumptions in a Project Budget…

Remote-First Communication for Project Teams

“If anyone is remote, you’re all remote.”

At Atomic Object, we value co-located teams. But not every team member can always be co-located. Larger project teams may have members from multiple offices. Some projects might involve working closely with other vendors. I experience this “remoteness” when I support the infrastructure needs of teams in our Ann Arbor and Detroit offices.

Read more on Remote-First Communication for Project Teams…