Pitfalls of Integrated Design and Development Burn Charts

When managing a software project that has both design and development scope, I have come to prefer using an integrated backlog of tasks and separate burn charts to track design and development efforts. Atomic continuously experiments with project management practices that help our poly-skilled teams manage their efforts and predictably deliver custom software products. I’ve […]

Tear Down the Walls! – Shattering Team Boundaries

One of the biggest complications in large software development projects is overcoming the boundaries between teams. When (and if) things are rolling smoothly on a project, these lines can be nearly non-existent. But when push comes to shove and deadlines are looming, these boundaries tend to rear their ugly heads. Applying agile project management to […]

Generalist Makers: The Unicorns of the Software Industry

At software conferences, I often meet people who have titles. I’ve made connections with a bevy of “Information Architects,” “Usability Specialists,” “Visual Designers,” “Front-End Designers,” and even some “Project Managers.” They are able to quantify their role within one statement: “I write the HTML and CSS.” “I create the wireframes.” “I do usability testing.” Whenever […]

Organizational Departments Aren’t Aligned with Innovation

Dedicated, poly-skilled project teams are more effective at delivering innovation projects than well-honed, departmentally-distributed, operationally-focused teams. The choice of using an internal vs. external team is often considered when planning how to take on a significant innovation project. Internal expertise and capacity are two common factors used to assess the viability of the internal team. […]

Diversity – A Powerful Force for Innovation

Steve Denning, author of The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management: Reinventing the Workplace for the 21st Century has published a succinct overview of  Scott Page’s book The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies in Forbes this week. I found Denning’s review of Page’s perspectives on the potential for diversity fascinating. This […]

Poly-skilled Teams Deliver Products

A lot of what sets Atomic Object apart is our people – we work very hard to ensure we hire the best. But hiring great people isn’t enough. The best people need to be set up in an environment where they can use their skills effectively and translate their excellence into business value. Atomic’s strategy […]

Managing Agile, Poly-skilled Teams with Intermediate Milestones

During the myGRcitypoints project we used a backlog that integrated design and development tasks. To minimize rework, we strived to complete design and markup tasks before writing the related code. We thought an integrated backlog would allow for better collaboration and task sharing between team members (especially on IA, IxD or markup tasks that can […]

The Benefits of Poly-Skilled, Co-Located Project Teams

This year at Atomic Object, we implemented a new practice: designers, instead of sitting all together in a group, sit co-located with the developers on their project. There is no “design team” or “development team” here; we all belong to “project teams.” This is just another step in our continued efforts to tightly integrate application […]