Shape Up Forum

Limit access to pitches?

I’m running a Shape Up book club at the moment and someone asked why in Chapter 6 Basecamp limit access to pitches to those that are part of the betting table only.

Re-reading it, I’m not quite clear on if that means pitch documents are restricted to only those people or not - so my question is - what access to pre-betting table pitches, if any, do people provide outside of the immediate strategy and product teams?

Has anyone experienced any pitfalls of opening up pitches too early in the process? :pray:

We keep our circle tight and do not actively share what the feature being shaped looks like. Not that it is a secret or that we wouldn’t share if asked. My mentality is that the feature is a work in progress and is not open to review, feedback, discussion, criticism, introduction of bias etc. The biggest pitfalls that I see are the too many cooks in the kitchen or the full blown problem that will likely happen. Or even worse, the stakeholders at the betting table were biased by the feature while it was being shaped and it affects their bet / decision.


The main reason is large groups of people can’t make trade-offs. Anything one person says “yes” to ends up stuck in the design and you can’t get it out.

See also: Our pitches are full of must-haves. Need help to convince CEO to trust the teams!