Ditch your Backlog and Shape Up your product development

Room 1
11:40 - 12:40

Talk (60 min)

In this talk, we look at the Shape Up methodology, a project management approach, or more correctly, a risk management technique, developed by Basecamp.
Soft Skills

We'll be focusing on its application in a real-world startup environment, drawing from two years of experience in implementing Shape Up. You'll get an overview of how this method contrasts with traditional project management techniques, particularly in terms of team organization and project execution. We will talk about our transition away from the traditional backlog system to embracing six-week work cycles and a project 'betting table', which has brought notable changes in our approach to task prioritization and execution.

Our journey with Shape Up has given us several advantages, especially in moving away from exhaustive and often overwhelming backlogs. Another key aspect of our experience has been the shift from using time estimates over to implementing time budgets.

While the approach has helped with our focus and with managing the uncertainties inherent in product development, it has not been without trade-offs. The talk will provide attendees with real-life examples and actionable insights, aiming to show how the Shape Up methodology can be effectively adapted in various organizational contexts and what challenges you can face. Whether you are part of a startup or a larger company, the session will offer valuable perspectives on balancing structure with flexibility in project management.

Glenn F. Henriksen

Glenn F. Henriksen is a mentor and developer from Norway. As the co-founder and CTO of Justify, he gets to build new legal tools for everyone to use, helping to create better communication and less conflict in relationships. He's continuously exploring new tools, processes and technologies, and improving how he and his fellow developers work with code, tasks and projects. He has been a Microsoft Development MVP, a part of the Microsoft Regional Director program and is an ASP.NET Insider and an Azure Advisor. In the past 20+ years he has co-owned two companies, worked as a consultant, manager, support tech, network admin, developer, architect, technical lead and more, but his favorite things are still swapping code for food and building stuff that makes a difference in people’s lives.