Shape Up talks about two project sizes: 1-2 week “small batch” projects and 6 week “big batch” projects. Since my company adopted Shape Up I’ve noticed a tendency for our project appetites to be 3-5 week (with an average of 4 weeks) “medium batch” projects.
An informal survey of the builder teams indicates this isn’t working well – the majority said they had enough work to fill 6 weeks. I’m starting to think “medium batch” projects are a dangerous middle ground – the scope is large enough it’s likely to have unknowns but you lose the natural slack that cool down provides to prevent those unknowns from delaying the next project.
Has anyone else experimented with “medium batch” projects? What has your experience been?
If you’re not doing “medium batch” projects how are you scheduling them? If the work actually does seem like it will take 4 weeks do you make it a six week project with a smaller builder team?