LeSS Complete Picture, 3-minute introduction to Large Scale Scrum

LeSS Complete Picture, 3-minute introduction to Large Scale Scrum

Here’s a quick glance at the LeSS Complete
Picture. First we’ll look at 10 principles at the heart
of LeSS. The principles were learned empirically, meaning
through experiments. Back in 2005 Craig Larman and Bas Vodde started
experimenting with Agile practices on large products. They documented 500 Agile experiments in their
first two scaling books, then spent a few years distilling their continued experience
down to these principles. Let’s touch on “more with less.” We get more responsible teams when we resist
the urge to carve out so many distinct roles. It’s often tempting to create more specialized
roles (like architect, release train engineer, many variations of middle managers, various
types of czars). But giving fixed responsibilities to named
roles takes them away from the team. Scrum and LeSS REDUCE the number of roles
instead. Less segregation means more team self management
and ultimately a simpler flexible organization. We’re better able to collaborate with each
other and the customer with fewer artifacts, handoffs, and fancy tools in the way. We want working products that meet the customer’s
needs, not intermediate inventory. There’s more learning and fun when there’s
less burdensome process. Big companies tend to turn these knobs the
wrong way. In LeSS we are quite explicit that an adaptable
organization is not designed the way yours is right now. There are several ways to learn about the
other principles at the heart of LeSS. A LeSS framework is “barely sufficient to
kickstart empirical process control and whole-product focus.” Just like Scrum (and chess), LeSS includes
a *minimal* set of simple rules to avoid excess process. The basic LeSS framework is for 2 – about
8 teams (50 people), and LeSS Huge is for 8 or more teams and sometimes thousands of
people on enormous products. All LeSS teams try to develop one integrated
shippable product every Sprint. Large Scale Scrum is *Scrum*, not Scrum underneath
layers of conventional management. Again: A LeSS framework is barely sufficient
to kickstart empirical process control and whole-product focus. Teams focus on the actual customer.. True agility is a difficult path for most
companies, so the third book introduces GUIDES. Guides are strong recommendations and tips
that are almost always useful but aren’t rules. Example guide topics are how to get started
when you’ve got less than 8 teams, vs. when you’ve got more than 8 teams, what kinds of
setbacks you can expect, specifically how to do multi-team backlog refinement, how to
split requirements that seem too big for one Sprint, how to stay sane. LeSS started with experiments in Scrum and
agility, eventually leading to everything else we’ve discussed. The first two books are quite thick and describe
hundreds of experiments, some of which will be useful in your context, and some won’t. The third book has the guides, framework rules,
and principles, so read that first. I’m MJ at the Seattle Scrum Company. I’m doing this because most of the companies
I work with won’t get the agility that Scrum promises without the fundamental organizational
design changes in LeSS.

3 thoughts on “LeSS Complete Picture, 3-minute introduction to Large Scale Scrum”

  1. Yves Morieux also advocates fewer rules, artifacts, and formal processes: https://youtu.be/t__NoFstCmQ?t=2m29s

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