Projecting Total Project Scope in the Face of Uncertainty

Scrum-like Agile project management gives teams many tools for projecting progress and timelines. At Atomic, we diligently track budget and scope, but I’ve seen teams struggle with understanding the full scope of significantly complex projects early enough to make course corrections. Read more on Projecting Total Project Scope in the Face of Uncertainty…

Holding Effective Attendee-Driven Meetings

The format of a meeting is shaped by the attendees, meeting goals, and type of work that needs to be done. A presentation to a Fortune 500 board of directors might have a detailed agenda and slide deck that’s been rehearsed and polished down to the precise number of minutes available, whereas a weekly check-in with your team might have a loose agenda and be open to extending the time if needed.

For certain types of meetings, we’ve found treating the meeting a bit more like a small unconference is highly effective. Read more on Holding Effective Attendee-Driven Meetings…

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…

Using “We” Language to Build Bonds with Clients

My wife and I typically visit family on the weekends, which involves a couple-hour drive and spending the night somewhere. She loves to have the house cleaned before we leave. That’s her goal. My goal is to leave on time. Those goals don’t line up very well unless there is a strong partnership effort. Read more on Using “We” Language to Build Bonds with Clients…

Three Ways to Improve Your Sprint Demo

The demo is one of the most important aspects of the sprint ceremony. At this point, your client has already seen the visual design of new features, but this is their first chance to see features in action.

I’ve been a part of some very successful feature demos, and some that haven’t gone so well. Here are three tips to make your next sprint demo a successful one. Read more on Three Ways to Improve Your Sprint Demo…

Managing Product Dev. with a Digital Story Map

Have you ever scrolled through your product backlog and thought, “I wish I had a better way to visualize product development?” Development tools like Pivotal and JIRA are great for developers working through their stories, but they fall short when you want a holistic picture of the project. They can’t help you understand how a given feature or the addition of another story will affect the scope, either. Read more on Managing Product Dev. with a Digital Story Map…