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I read the book and I very much like what they propose. Is also interesting that they show what parts you can "do without" as a small team.
In my team we have organically come to a very similar process (which we stablished before Shape Up came along).

Here is how we are similar to it, and what I like about Shape Up:

  • Defining the problem that we are trying to solve, establishing constraints, and slicing vertically.
  • Handing this shaped problem to the team/individual and giving them latitude to design and implement a solution to the problem

Where we are different:

  • We work on a Kanban style, so no cycles, iterations, or sprints. So no cool down periods either.
  • We keep involved in the design and implementation process after we have shaped the problem, to help the team further refine the problem statement and amend it when new information surfaces