Keeping Distributed Teams Unblocked with Azure Boards’s “Remaining Work” Field

The Remaining Work field in Microsoft’s Azure Boards is usually talked about in the context of burndown charts. But if you are in a scrum master role and have more than a few developers on your team, you might find the Remaining Work field useful for helping you coordinate work. What Is “Remaining Work”? You […]

4 Steps to Starting a Daily Standup with Your Family During Remote Work/School

Since mid-March, my husband and I have been working from home full time; our two teenagers also began online schooling around that time. Like many households, we suddenly had to figure out how to maintain harmonious relationships while keeping the same levels of productivity. Influenced mostly by having to compete for office space and bandwidth, […]

Abstraction Laddering – An Easy, Effective Problem Framing Exercise

Atomic helps clients solve all sorts of business problems with custom software. Unfortunately, most clients don’t know how to describe their problems in a useful way. They usually just list symptoms instead of getting to the root cause. These conversations remind me of a quote from Gino Wickman: When addressing issues, leadership teams spend most […]

Sunsetting a Product? First Use HCD to Understand Who Uses It

Atomic’s product teams start software projects with Human-Centered Design (HCD) practices and Design Thinking activities that help us focus on the customers who will use the software. But that’s not the only use for this type of user-centered thinking. I’ve also found HCD incredibly helpful for teams who are deciding whether to continue supporting a […]

Bringing the Customer Along Is Worth It

As a Delivery Lead at Atomic, I sit between the client and the product team and one of my responsibilities is to enhance the client’s experience. What does that really mean? It varies depending on the makeup of the client team and the objectives for their project. However, a common element of any client enhancement […]

How I’m Improving Predictability with Pivotal Tracker’s ‘Team Strength’

I was reluctant to embrace Pivotal Tracker when I joined Atomic because I valued Jira so highly. But over the last year, I’ve come to rely on a handy feature that I didn’t have with Jira — Team Strength. Why? It allows me to adjust overall velocity by configuring variations in my team’s schedule from […]

Need to Assess Project Value without Hard Metrics? Measure Customer Behaviors

I’m busy closing two long-running projects because we met the terms in the contractual agreement. Both have been active projects for over two years. Both are the types of projects that are “rewrites of existing software.” I’ve been trying to assess the value of these projects to their respective organizations throughout their lifecycles. The project […]

A Structure for Collecting Useful Customer Feedback

Every product team strives to create a strong connection with the customers they serve. Keeping a finger on the pulse of what customers find valuable increases your chances of building products that they will buy and use loyally. As a software product owner, I’ve been directly involved with various initiatives to gather customer feedback. One […]