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Breaking down technical tasks with Atomic Planning

Adam Hannigan

Adam Hannigan

Engineering Team Lead

The best thing about software engineering is that we get to build things. Cool, cutting-edge and complex things! Whenever I see a shiny new technical task I want to get my hands dirty straight away. From the outset it usually looks like it will only take a couple hours. I wave goodbye to my product manager and without much of a plan dive right into the code base, confident and full of hope.

Days later I emerge tired, defeated and with a monolithic commit that my team members refuse to review.

This is a common story in software development. Underestimated features and missed deadlines. We often have help from product and design in breaking down user stories and defining Vertical Slices, but it is up to the engineers to clearly define a technical solution and plan of attack. This article is a guide for engineering teams looking to break down, swarm and deliver features more efficiently.