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  1. World
  2. Agenda
  3. 6th October 2023
  4. Session: Ryan Singer

Applying Shape Up in the Real World

Teams everywhere are tired of scrum and curious about Shape Up. But very few of them are able to apply it by-the-book. That’s because most companies aren’t structured like 37signals, the makers of Basecamp, where Shape Up was created. They aren’t self-funded, with a close-knit team of senior programmers and plenty of designers who code.

That hasn’t reduced the demand. People understand that estimating story points and writing better tickets isn’t going to solve their problems. There are disconnects between the vision of what to do and what actually gets built. Building takes longer than expected and scope gets out of control. Programmers are treated like ticket-takers when what they really want is to see the whole problem and creatively solve it.

Over the last couple years, Ryan has worked with a wider variety of companies with very different structures — teams with big gaps between junior and senior, where programmers far out-number designers, and where external pressures make six-week cycles out of the question. The result is new language, new techniques, and some broken rules, that will help you apply Shape Up in a way that’s custom-fit to your team.

  • 13:30 - 14:00
  • 6th October 2023
  • Track 2

Session Speaker

Ryan Singer

Owner, Felt Presence

Ryan has worked on all levels of the software stack, from UI design to programming to strategy. Over 17 years at 37signals, he designed features used by millions and eventually became Head of Strategy. He is the author of Shape Up. In 2021, he founded Felt Presence to help product teams stop running in circles and regain the thrill of building.

Ryan's Profile Picture