Ryan Singer Felt Presence LLC Product Strategy & Tooling

Posted in: Sparks Ideas, connecting the dots

Shaping isn't writing

By Ryan Singer •

I just finished a 90-minute live shaping session with four other people. This is what was on the wall afterward:

A lot of people who know Shape Up think that shaping means writing a pitch document with Problem, Solution, etc. That's not what the shaping step is.

Shaping is getting to that "a-ha" moment together where the concept crystalizes. Where we know what to do. When we say: "We've got it!" When we have something we know we can build in the time that we have that scratches what we want to scratch.

The shaped work itself looks like a mess. But the people who were there know exactly what it means.

As a next step, we can package what's on the wall into a document, so we can help the people who weren't there get to the same a-ha we had. (We'll definitely need to do that if we're going to involve more people in the project.)

But that's all about the packaging, not the shaping. Shaping is not filling in a template. It's not a document. It's the concept: the parts, the links between them, the things that are "in" and the things that are "out" that make it all work.

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