Project Team Roles and Responsibilities at Atomic Object

At Atomic, we expect every member of a project team to be a consultant. That means everyone should:

  • Understand the big picture and how their work fits in.
  • Collaborate with the client to help them make smart decisions.

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How to Estimate Big, Scary User Stories

Let’s talk about how to deal with stories that are hard to estimate. (If you’re interested in a broader discussion of Agile point-based estimation, check out this post over here.)

In every backlog I’ve estimated, I can recall running into a handful of stories for which I had no idea what point value to assign. I’d usually be using the following scale: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20, 40, 100. Most of my estimates would fall in the 1-13 range–nice and concise. I could feel a pattern coming together directing where every story would fit. Each one would take about the same amount of time to discuss. And then… Read more on How to Estimate Big, Scary User Stories…

Working with Atomic After Our Initial Engagement – Three Options

So, your product development engagement with Atomic Object is nearing an end. At this point, we have finished and launched your MVP, worked through your scope-controlled budget for app updates/improvements, or handed the reigns to your internal team. You now have three distinct options for continuing to work with us.
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How to Run a Sprint Planning Meeting for a Happy, Productive Team

So you have your product backlog chock-full of sprintable items. User stories, dev chores, a few bugs—all estimated, of course, right?!? Your team is ready to rock, so where do we start?

We start with my favorite scrum thing: the Sprint Planning Meeting. Read more on How to Run a Sprint Planning Meeting for a Happy, Productive Team…

Collaborating? Frame Your Ideas with Curious Humility

Humility is a highly valued trait in our team members at Atomic Object. This is best exemplified when Atoms admit that they do not know the answer to a question—something I drive for when interviewing developer candidates. How they respond can tell a lot about how good of a fit they will be. Is their “I don’t know” defensive and argumentative, or is it curious and collaborative? Read more on Collaborating? Frame Your Ideas with Curious Humility…

How to Estimate an Agile/Scrum Story Backlog with Points

When you’re trying to get started on your first agile/scrum project, it’s easy to find arguments about why it’s a good approach. But it’s a lot harder to find clear, step-by-step explanations of the tools and processes you need to succeed. I’m trying to fill that gap by answering the question: How do you estimate story points on an agile/scrum project?
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Three Goals for Effective Backlog Management

I encourage all of our Delivery Leads to measure how effectively they are managing their backlog through the lens of three goals. These goals can be phrased as the following questions:

  1. Do you have four to six weeks of sprintable stories at the top of your backlog?
  2. Is your backlog completely estimated up to your next end-of-project milestone?
  3. Does your dev team understand the project goals through the lens of the stories in your backlog?

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