Why You Should Trust Your Software Vendor – From a Guy who Fears the Mechanic

Buying custom software design and development services, especially for the first time, can be scary. There is clearly a knowledge imbalance between you and your service provider. They (hopefully) understand the effort required to successfully build your product, and you don’t. This puts you at risk of being taken advantage of. I understand this fear. […]

Time-Based Estimates Are for Suckers! (Size-based Is the Way to Go)

I gave a talk entitled “Time-Based Estimates Are For Suckers! Size-based is The Way to Go” at this year’s GLSEC on April 29. It’s meant as a call to action for those who haven’t made the leap to size-based estimation, or who have been beaten back by some of the challenges you’ll encounter when trying, […]

Moving Beyond Story Points, Iterations, and Burn Charts

If your team is not focused on delivering intermediate project milestones, they are missing what’s really of value. It’s easy to miss the forest for the trees if you’re only focusing on task-level points estimates and velocity tracking. I’ve become frustrated with how burn charts focus on showing progress through an entire backlog and don’t […]

Agile at Scale – The Small Scale

Every project has its challenges. Sometimes the challenges are technical, such as unfamiliar or immature technologies, and sometimes the challenges come from the business, such as people, schedule, or money. Over the past year or so, I’ve finished a couple of projects where the challenges were small size, short timelimes, and limited budgets. I’d like […]

Breaking Down Epic Stories

A couple of years ago I wrote about how I was using Epic stories for early project estimations. Recently John Rusk posted a question in the comments: I have a question about this: “We make no attempt to restrict that the total number of points from the resulting stories adds up to the previous estimate […]

Fixed-Budget, Fixed-Scope, High-Quality Custom Software

Atomic creates custom software for our clients. Our work ranges from greenfield web application development to creating backend data-centric applications. In most projects, we work with multiple technologies and we integrate with other systems. We’re not experts in every technology, but we’re experts at becoming experts with any technology we work with. Every software project […]

A Responsible Alternative to Time and Materials

Vendors may use the phrase “time and materials” (t&m) to describe how they engage in projects and invoice their clients. The phrase t&m has been laid to rest at Atomic for several reasons. First, the phrase doesn’t accurately describe how we engage with our clients. At Atomic, we certainly don’t work without profit. And we […]