We shape the work before giving it to a team. A small group called shapers works in parallel to the development teams. They define the key elements of a solution before we consider a project ready to bet on. Projects are defined at the right level of abstraction: concrete enough that the teams know what to do, yet abstract enough that they have room to work out the interesting details themselves.

<aside> ☝ Be sure to be familiar with Shape Up lifecycle - template



Shaping is a creative process at which we are trying to find a solution to a given problem or a use case. At the beginning of Shaping process, there is an idea we pick at the To Shape - template meeting. Each shaping idea has a responsible person who manages the labor of work, such as researching part, proposing a rough solution, and technical viability. The shaping cycle has four weeks and ends with the Betting table - template.

For more in-depth explanation; read the five chapters in the Shape Up book (30 minutes read).

How we do it

  1. We pick ideas at the To Shape - template meeting and decide who is responsible for each idea.
  2. The actual Shaping process takes four weeks during which we must come up with a solution which is well thought out, based on data from research and checked with technical people, that the proposed solution is shippable within a given appetite (the amount of time we want to spend on a project).
  3. The Shaping process ends with the Betting table - template at which each solution is presented in the form of a pitch. The Betting table committee decides which solutions are save to bet on for the Development cycles - template.

Read more in the Principles section in which all phases are explained in fine detail.