Why we transitioned from Sprints to Basecamp’s “Shape Up” methodology
- URL: https://medium.com/adventures-in-consumer-technology/why-we-transitioned-from-sprints-to-basecamps-shape-up-f416114224e7
- Published Date: 2022-07-07
- Large epics always overlapped into additional sprints
- little time to pause, review, and refine the process itself
- Reflection every few weeks is key to growth.
- Our decisions should solely be based on moving the product forward in the next six weeks, not micromanaging time.
Dual Tracks: Shaping & Building
- asked to swarm a project together and give it their undivided attention to see it through to completion.
- During any six-week cycle, teams are building work that’s been previously shaped,
- Two tracks when in-cycle (6 weeks):
- Building: Uninterrupted work on approved pitches
- Shaping: Gathering requirements for the next cycle
- Work on the shaping track is kept private and not shared with the wider organization until the commitment has been made to bet on it (see “betting”).
- The main focus of shaping is to go really deep into understanding the problem
- Understand the audience (users or stakeholders) and any insights (qualitative or quantitative) that help you understand the problem or the user more.
- The Pitch’s ingredients include:
- Problem Statement
- Rabbit Holes
- Out of Scope (no-gos)
- Trust the team to take on the entire project and work within the boundaries of the pitch (see setting boundaries/appetite). The team is going to define their own tasks and their own approach to the work.
- They have to acquaint themselves with the relevant code, think through the pitch, bring up questions, and go down some short dead ends to find a starting point.
- Backlogs are often big time wasters and anxiety builders.
- Another concept that might help you let go of backlogs is that important ideas come back,
- you host a betting table to decide what to build next cycle. This meeting should be extremely focused on reviewing what was previously shaped, and the deliverable of the meeting is a few pitches we decide to build next cycle — these are our “bets”. Anything not bet on, we let go of it for now, but they can be bet on again next cool down if you decide to.
- Bets have a payout.
- The pitch defines a specific payout that makes the bet worth making.
- Bets are commitments. If we bet six weeks, then we commit to giving the team the entire six weeks to work exclusively on that thing with no interruptions.
- smart bet has a cap on the downside.
- We don’t allow ourselves to get into a situation where we’re spending multiples of the original estimate for something that isn’t worth that price.
- Who takes part in the betting table?
- highest people in your company,
- buy-in and alignment from the very top
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