In a story workshop, a small group of people from a product team get together to build shared understanding by answering the question, “What are we going to build?” Put another way, it involves examining one piece (story) of the bigger picture (story map) through conversation. The goal of this workshop is to build a […]
You just kicked off a project, and it went well! Everyone is happy, hopeful, and on the same page. But how do you keep that momentum and camaraderie going?
Projects with big teams introduce a slew of interesting problems–problems like keeping developers fed with multiple tracks of work, understanding areas with large technical risks, and sharing knowledge. On a recent project, we developed a role to help solve these problems. I call it the utility player. In this post, I’ll define the role, the […]
“The weather’s beautiful—let’s go for a nice bike ride!” You’re picturing a five-mile route along a trail, right? If so, we’re in trouble. I’m hoping for a 100-mile ride, hopefully on roads I’ve never traveled before. If we ride off together without getting our expectations aligned, we’ll soon find ourselves unhappy.
Your backlog is an imperfect, always changing, self-fulfilling prophecy for how your software will be built. Not only that, but at a software consultancy like Atomic, it’s also a prophecy for how the engagement will end and deliver on your brand promise. All this to say: Tending to the backlog is one of the most […]
The sprint retrospective is one of the main Agile ceremonies. By definition, it is an opportunity for the team to reflect on the work completed over a short period of time and make changes. However important that may seem, eventually, you’ll consider canceling your team retros.
As consultants, we always have to be prepared for the unexpected. In rare cases, the surprise can be that a project is suddenly wrapping up. This can happen for a number of reasons. It could be a clerical error in accounting that resulted in the project unexpectedly reaching the limit of its budget. It could […]
When companies make technological changes to keep pace with their industry, they inevitably have to make culture and process changes, too. And those are often significantly more difficult. I was struck recently by similarities between modern corporate culture changes and those described by Dan Carlin in one episode of his Hardcore History podcast.
Atomic is home to lots of very high-level wizards. Their abilities and specialties span the whole of the software craftsmanship space, and each one has their own skill set to leverage when tackling the many unique problems that come through our door. I’m not a very high-level wizard yet, but I’ve found that deliberately striving […]
Having new team members join a project is an exciting time, but it can often be difficult. Projects can have a huge variety of things to learn: new technologies, application architecture patterns, business models, etc., so it’s good to find a balance between ramping them up quickly and overwhelming them.