Episode 389: Ryan Singer on Basecamp’s Software Development Process

Filed in Episodes by on November 19, 2019 2 Comments

Ryan Singer, head of strategy at Basecamp, discusses the “Shape Up” method of software development with host Nate Black. Scrum pushes too many strategic decisions down on development teams, without giving them enough time to do meaningful work. Instead, Basecamp uses an up-front mix of strategy and design called “shaping”. Basecamp sees backlogs as a psychological weight and a credibility problem. They replace up-front front task assignment with strategic “bets” on time-limited projects. Teams handle task discovery and “map” the solution space. Rather than completion status, they focus on knowns and unknowns — risk — using tools like scope mapping, checklists, and hill charts.

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SE Radio theme: “Broken Reality” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com — Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0)

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