What is the shape up method?

Definition of the Shape Up Method

Through the use of specific definitions and prioritization of goals and objectives, this product development technique aims to aid teams in designing and constructing products to higher standards.

According to a tight, iterative structure, small teams will complete project tasks in six-week cycles before distributing their work to the general public. Each cycle is followed by a two-week cool-down period, during which teams may take on unscheduled work as needed during the period of idleness.

Each cycle often starts with an issue that must be solved and continues until a good solution is found. Teams will reflect on what they’ve learned at the end of each cycle and recognize how they may use these new approaches, talents, and problem-solving abilities in future projects to achieve success.

Designers and programmers form teams, which are allowed more autonomy than they would have had under traditional product development methods. They have complete control over the management of tasks, the definition of goals, and achieving those goals.

What exactly does a leader accomplish during the six-week cycles in this case? They can focus on developing pitches that will eventually lead to new initiatives rather than being sidetracked by micromanagement responsibilities. They will be able to focus on projects that provide actual value to both the organization and its target clients and users.

Origins of the Shape Up Method

The Shape Up Method was created with the help of Basecamp, a widely known project management program. The company’s internal approach inspired this technique for product development. Ryan Singer, the Head of Product Strategy at Basecamp, wrote this piece published in 2019.

The Shape Up Method was implemented after the company searched for an appropriate technique to address a variety of challenges, including large projects with ambiguous parameters and fixed deadlines and day-to-day product development and management issues that interfered with overarching strategies. The requirement to supply significant goods at the right time was another critical factor in developing the Shape Up Method.

Key Concepts of the Shape Up Method

Following are some of the key concepts used in the Shape Up Method regularly:

●      Six-week work cycle: Provides a reasonable timeline for developing something valuable and a definite deadline that motivates the team to use time wisely.

●      Work Shaping: Before handing off a project to the team to build, a small leadership group explores and defines it. Pre-work, or shaping projects, aims to balance being concrete enough to provide direction while remaining abstract enough to allow teams to innovate. Before releasing it to a project team, the shaping process aids in the resolution of open questions.

●      Responsibility on the teams: Teams have more freedom to define tasks, make scope adjustments, and perform their best work down to business. This also means that managers may focus on molding more robust initiatives instead of micromanaging teams.

●      Reducing the Risk: The Shape Up Method has a very high emphasis on reducing the risk of not shipping on time.

Advantages Of Employing The Shape Up Method

Before putting development teams to work, it assists and encourages product teams to describe problems that need to be handled in a deeper, more detailed approach. As a result, the likelihood of teams needing to essentially guess their way through tasks and being unsure of the value of a given product is minimized. As a result of these enhancements, teams are considerably more likely to build successful products and deliver them on time.

The Shape Up Method also enables managers to give more authority to their teams, freeing them from the time-consuming task of micromanagement. Teams are free to create their solutions under the straightforward instructions provided at the start of the cycle because they are no longer subjected to regular and potentially intrusive monitoring.

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