Two Ways to Improve Your Daily Stand-Up with a Large Team

At this point, anyone who is doing Agile software development is familiar with the daily stand-up. Traditionally, during that meeting, each team member answers the following questions for the larger group: What did you do yesterday? What did you do today? Is there anything blocking you from moving forward? This approach works well for teams […]

What Makes a Good Scrum Master?

Atomic does not have a dedicated scrum master position. The closest comparison is our delivery lead role, which is a blend of project management, account management, and product management. However, we often work with clients that do have dedicated scrum masters. Many times, the people in these roles were hired as traditional project managers, but […]

Cross-Functional Development Teams – A Thought Experiment

Publication of the Agile Manifesto in 2001 turned the software development world on its head. Waterfall, with its months of comprehensive planning followed by months of heads-down development, was out; Agile was in. The Agile Manifesto lays out its values and the principles behind them, but it avoids defining a process. And this is good. […]

Bring Focus to Your Check-Ins with a Six-Step Meeting Guide

In my last post, I described a process for keeping a large Agile team focused on getting work ready for developers. The process includes a few crucial check-in meetings: product backlog refinement, design refinement, and technical refinement. Because the check-ins are so few, it’s very important to keep that time focused on the work at […]

Accounting for Bringup Time on Software Projects

Building a new system from scratch is hard. There is research and experimentation to do and hurdles that can blow apart the feedback loop you use to measure velocity and fuel progress toward your first release. This can be frustrating for project managers who want to convey progress, as well as developers who are trying […]

Three Ways to Make Your Client’s Life Easier

Taking care of your clients is, as everyone knows, vital for a service-based organization. You were hired to do a job for one or both of these reasons: The client doesn’t have the expertise to do it. The client doesn’t have the time to do it. Reason 1 requires some targeted education and consulting from […]

How to Apply Control Engineering Theory to Your Relationships

Managing a long-term client relationship, or any relationship for that matter, takes work. You have two organizations, each with its own business goals, attempting to interact with one another through two or more people. Those people also each have their own personal goals and their own way of interpreting and applying all of these goals […]