How Atomic Goes About Setting a Project Budget

If you’ve worked with other custom software companies, you’ll notice that Atomic’s approach to budgeting is unique. It’s a lot more time-intensive and comprehensive. In fact, when I deliver a budget model to a customer who is comparison shopping, they often tell me something like, “This is the most comprehensive analysis I have seen from […]

Why Milestone-Based Payments Are Never a Good Idea for Custom Software

During two separate meetings with potential new accounts this week, milestone-based payments (sometimes also called fixed-bid payments) came up in conversation. One potential customer was interested in working this way; the other one had just been burned by it. These conversations reminded me of the reasons milestone-based payments are a bad idea when you’re building […]

How I’m Getting a Business Education Without Going to B-School

For several years now, I have wanted to further my professional development in business administration and management. I researched MBA programs and other related certificate programs, but the timing never felt right for me in terms of the time and financial commitments that business school would require, and the other life goals and activities I […]

2 Design Techniques that Can Make You a Better Influencer

In the decade I spent as a designer, the most important skills I learned weren’t about user interfaces or color theory. They were about working with people—juggling different ideas, priorities, and personalities. Finding a way forward that everyone can agree on. Here are two people-wrangling techniques I still use nearly every day, in my career […]

Seven Quick Strategies for Effective Scrum Stand-Up Meetings

The daily stand-up meeting is an important component of the SCRUM process. It helps the whole team stay in-sync and up-to-date on what’s happening with the project, and it alerts everyone to blockers as soon as they become an issue. However, if you do a stand-up meeting wrong, it can become a real drag—and a […]