Carl Erickson & Mike Marsiglia: Lightweight project tracking with burn-up charts

When: June 28, 2011

Carl and Mike will be talking about the use of burn-up charts as a vital element of data-driven project management. Atomic has been using this simple technique for more than five years.

Burn-up charts are a lightweight method of tracking a team's progress toward completing a project. Burn-up charts do this by visualizing overall project scope and the rate of task completion over time. These highly visible charts help facilitate predictable (in time and money) delivery and increased customer/team alignment.

During this hands-on presentation, Carl and Mike will break down how Atomic creates and uses burn-up charts to manage projects. Participants will learn about complexity points, relative estimation, burn-up chart creation/management and pitfalls associated with using burn-up charts.

About the presenters

Carl Erickson received his MS and PhD in computer engineering in 1991 from Michigan State University, and a BS in electrical engineering from Purdue University in 1985. As a faculty member at Grand Valley State University from 1991 to 2000, he taught computer science courses in networking, operating systems, architecture, and object technology. During this time, Carl was principal investigator on two National Science Foundation grants for developing operating systems and architecture laboratories.

In early 2000, seeking an opportunity to apply his teachings, Carl took a position as Vice President of Technology Development for Deltamode, a startup company based in Austin, Texas. Twelve months later, Deltamode was shuttered due to insufficient working capital, providing Carl with two life-changing lessons: (1) write software for the REAL needs of REAL people, and (2) agile practices can change the software world. Partnering with Bill Bereza, Atomic Object was born in the summer of 2001.

Michael Marsiglia began working with the founders of Atomic Object in the summer of 2000 after his freshman year in college. After completing the computer science degree at Grand Valley State University in 2003, Michael made the transition from intern to full time employee. Over the next few years Michael played a vital role in helping to establish the identity and best practices of the small company.

In 2005, Michael took a life opportunity when he decided to take a job on the east coast with X-Rite Inc. While at X-Rite, he helped to bring an agile atmosphere and culture to his team. By showing others his excitement for pair programming and testing, he helped raise both the morale and productivity of the team. During his time at X-Rite, Michael also had the opportunity to interact with a wide range of people from different departments. He engaged in international business development including facilitating sales while traveling in Japan. Living on the east coast and working for X-Rite was a very positive and educational experience for him.

In the summer of 2008, Michael moved back to Grand Rapids. He was delighted to find a welcome home at Atomic Object. He looks forward to helping Atomic Object sustain its impeccable reputation for first class software, and extend its business offering.