LeSS is more – Large-Scale Scrum

ING, the Agile Consortium and the nlscrum user group organized an evening last week with Bas Vodde on scaling Scrum with LeSS. Bas is, together with Craig Larman, the co-creator of LeSS, which was extracted from their experiences on adopting Scrum on a large-scale.

LeSS framework

Large-Scale Scrum framework

What is LeSS?

Large-Scale Scrum is basically a scaled-up version on Scrum for one team. It is not a new and improved version of Scrum, but rather adds a set of rules on applying it in a large-scale context. It consists of a set of principles, guides and provides two lightweight (agile) frameworks for scaling Scrum to more than one team working together on one product.

While we didn’t get into much detail on the differences, the idea behind it is that above approximately 8 teams additional structure is required. This structure is provided by creating requirement areas and area product owners to divide the backlog into major customer-centric concerns, while maintaining a single backlog and one single product.

LeSS vs. other frameworks

In his talk Bas emphasizes on the differences of LeSS compared to other frameworks that it provides only a minimalistic framework to decrease organizational complexity. It is based on the foundation of Scrum and only adds one additional ceremony, the Overall Retrospective. With the philosophy of “Build it Up – Don’t Tailor it Down” it encourages organizations to conduct experiments, try what works for them and frequently inspect and adapt.

The approach truly lives up to the Agile Manifesto (individuals and interactions over processes and tools) and the foundation of Scrum, but relies heavily on the responsibility of individuals. To ensure the right conversations occur on the right time, with the right people. And would therefore be more beneficial for teams and organizations who’re familiar and experienced with Agile.

What are your thoughts or experiences on Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS) vs. other Scaled Agile frameworks?