While going through the second chapter of Shape Up book, just want to summarise some of the key points of it.

Real-world scenario with “calendar feature” was perfectly broken down to the points, except of “point-zero” that is constantly missed out in Cyprus:

With only six weeks to work with, we could only build about a tenth of what people think of when they say “calendar.” The question became: which tenth?

We did some research (discussed in the next chapter) and narrowed down a use case that we wanted to solve.

The following bullet point list I’m going to copy as is:

Shaping has four main steps that we will cover in the next four chapters.

  1. Set boundaries. First we figure out how much time the raw idea is worth and how to define the problem. This gives us the basic boundaries to shape into.
  2. Rough out the elements. Then comes the creative work of sketching a solution. We do this at a higher level of abstraction than wireframes in order to move fast and explore a wide enough range of possibilities. The output of this step is an idea that solves the problem within the appetite but without all the fine details worked out.
  3. Address risks and rabbit holes. Once we think we have a solution, we take a hard look at it to find holes or unanswered questions that could trip up the team. We amend the solution, cut things out of it, or specify details at certain tricky spots to prevent the team from getting stuck or wasting time.
  4. Write the pitch. Once we think we’ve shaped it enough to potentially bet on, we package it with a formal write-up called a pitch. The pitch summarizes the problem, constraints, solution, rabbit holes, and limitations. The pitch goes to the betting table for consideration. If the project gets chosen, the pitch can be re-used at kick-off to explain the project to the team.