Your Backlog Isn’t a To-Do List – It’s Self-fulfilling Prophecy of Success or Failure

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 important activities development leaders can engage in to ensure a project goes well overall. Read more on Your Backlog Isn’t a To-Do List – It’s Self-fulfilling Prophecy of Success or Failure…

How to Estimate an Agile/Scrum Story Backlog with Points

When you’re trying to get started on your first agile/scrum project, it’s easy to find arguments about why it’s a good approach. But it’s a lot harder to find clear, step-by-step explanations of the tools and processes you need to succeed. I’m trying to fill that gap by answering the question: How do you estimate story points on an agile/scrum project?
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Increasing Pivotal Tracker Usability with Shorter IDs

We’re using Pivotal Tracker to manage the backlog on my current project. I initially really appreciated the simplicity of the way Tracker presents stories just by their human-readable name. But as the project progressed, there came a point where there were so many stories that it started to become difficult to find stories quickly.

One of the clients made a mention in passing about how they wished they had a short story ID like they had seen in previous projects. Having previously worked with JIRA’s project-unique issue-ID system, I realized how much easier it would be to make quick reference to existing stories, and started looking for a solution. Read more on Increasing Pivotal Tracker Usability with Shorter IDs…

Eliminate Your Team’s Task Backlog

Your team won’t have a traditional task backlog if you stage it out through scheduled iterations.

Staging your team’s task backlog into scheduled iterations is an important part of managing your project to intermediate milestones. Atomic’s teams commonly decompose a project into a backlog of tasks that can accomplished in a day or less. Backlogs will have detailed tasks estimated for the near-term and larger chunks staged for later work.

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Prune Your Backlog

When did you last prune your backlog?

When you started the project, the team sat together for a planning poker session to provide the initial definition of the project. Now it’s six months later – or six weeks or even days later. You’ve been paying attention to the stories in your current iteration. Have you thought at all about the items in your backlog?

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