Shape Up Forum

My ShapeUp Project has an imbalance of FE to BE resources

I am shaping up my first ShapeUp project I find myself in a position where the project that is shaped requires a large amount of a Front End resource and a small amount of a Back End resource. (My team is 2 FE and 2 BE resources) I’ve heard that my Job as Product Manager is to “keep them busy”. I am unclear on how to handle these situations.

What do I do with the developer’s extra time?

Am I shaping up projects that aren’t meaty enough?

Am I gauging my team by the wrong metrics - output vs. outcomes?

Currently I find bugs to work on but that feels misaligned with the ShapeUp system to fill out a sprint.

Context: I am trying to migrate my team to a ShapeUp mentality so these first project wins are crucial.


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Hey Ervin,

When we make bets at the betting table we choose the team size to fit the size of the work. One project might get 6 weeks, 1 designer, and 2 programmers. Another might get 6 weeks, 1 designer, and only 1 programmer. Those are all variables you can play with. And then whoever isn’t part of that team is available for a different bet in the same cycle.

Another possibility is to include both programmers in the team for that cycle, but give them more than the one project. This is kind of a mixture of big batch and small batch. There might be one major project that the team should accomplish in that time, and then you might also shape a few small things that you think the others can also accomplish knowing the mix of work.