Shape Up Forum

Who's writing the pitches?

Hey there. I’ve adopted a good amount of the Shape Up process with much success! One thing that seems to be a challenge is who actually writes pitches and shapes the work. In the beginning I knew I would have to take on the majority of that shaping work in order to demonstrate how the process works and to get buy-in on Shape Up as a whole. As new ideas get floated around I’ve tried to employ the “soft no”, but I’ve come to realize that if I’m not the one advocating for the idea and ultimately creating a pitch for it, it ultimately won’t happen. And not in the sense of there are other pitches being written and therefore the ideas are not as important as part of the process. But in the sense of I’m the only person currently working on pitches and I’m curious how others have brought other “pitch-writers” and “shapers” into the mix. I’m also curious if anyone has successfully empowered anyone on their team to shape and pitch work?

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Hey Omid, I’ve recently been working through this challenge as well. Our company adopted Shape Up in September/October.

There are a few people on our team who expressed interest in shaping and pitching and asked for help getting started. There were also some folks (mostly designers) who felt like the projects they were being assigned were too prescriptive.

In order to help both types of people contribute at a more strategic level, I created a pitch template that has been working pretty well for us. You’re more than welcome to copy it and make it your own.

I’m also happy to chat through any of the details here.

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Hey @Omid,

At Avocode we set up a group of Shapers right at the beginning. It wasn’t some “pick random people” through the company, but we wanted to have a person from “every department” (we are 37 people so we don’t have any huge hierarchy).

The key point is that currently, members of the shapers are head of product, head of marketing, CEO, head of sales, creative lead, product manager, CTO, design lead etc. Of course, not everyone is shaping something all the time, but the main idea behind all of this was to not miss any important ideas from various parts of the company e.g. requests from potential clients which the head of sales knows the best about. Also, we know that not everyone can shape the whole idea on its own. That’s why we made a clear point that shaping is also about delegation and cooperation with others, that’s why for example the head of sales can be a shaper if he is helped with the sketches part and so on.

Hope it helps :wink:

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That’s a super interesting approach and sounds like it might be something our org could benefit from. How has it been having people who have less (or no?) experience designing software shaping pitches?

We are currently running our 1st dev cycle and 2nd round of shaping so I think it’s too early for any conclusions.

But so far, it works, I am really curious about the outputs from this round of shaping coz more ideas are being shaped. As you have written it may be challenging for people to shape, but we really made ourselves clear that you should delegate. So when guys from sales have some ideas about what our clients want, they discuss it with product lead, design lead if it makes sense then ask for data backup from data guys etc. and with all of those people (mostly other shapers) around they can finish the pitch. Also, they are learning a lot :slight_smile:

Hope it helps, more info about how it went I’ll be able to share later.

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