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Large Scale Scrum

The Large Scale Scrum (LeSS) Framework is an approach to scaling Scrum. LeSS starts with one Scrum team and scales to multiple teams who work together on one product.

LeSS was created by Craig Larman & Bas Vodde, based on the idea of “One Team” that Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland introduced in the The Scrum GuideTM.

The LeSS framework is based on two pillars: single product and whole team, both of which are essential for scaling Scrum.

Large Scale Scrum Framework

The 10 LeSS principles help create more responsible teams with greater customer focus and collaboration. Teams focus on learning, transparency, and delivering customer-centric values that organisations need to remain competitive and responsive.

There are two LeSS frameworks for large scale Scrum. LeSS focuses on directing the attention of all of the teams onto the product as a whole rather than “my part.” The two frameworks are:

  • LeSS: Up to eight teams (of eight people each)
  • LeSS Huge: Up to a few thousand people on one product

The LeSS and LeSS Huge frameworks share common elements:

  • one Product Owner and one Product Backlog
  • one common Sprint across all teams
  • one shippable product increment

Origins of Large Scale Scrum

It all started in 2005, when Craig Larman and Bas Vodde created Large Scale Scrum working together at Nokia Siemens Networks. They applied Agile and Scrum to very large product development, across multiple locations.

Craig Larman and Bas Vodde have written three books together all focussed on scaling Agile & Scrum.

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The Road LeSS Travelled – Becoming a LeSS Trainer

When I first started working with multiple teams, I did not know where to start. Scrum is great at lowering the water and exposing rocks within organisations. Fixing them, on the other hand, is a different story. This is only amplified when you try to scale Scrum. Back when I started, I had very little to go on. I had to work it out. How should we structure teams? How can we coordinate between them? How can we scale the Product Owner? Thankfully, after consuming almost all of the published literature written on the topic, I discovered the book that was to become my bible. Scaling Lean and Agile Development by Craig Larman and Bas Vodde gave me the tools and techniques I needed to get going. Soon, I was implementing what I had learnt and running my own experiments. Seeing what worked and what did not in a given context helped to shape my belief that there can be no cookie-cutter solution. With high levels of complexity, it becomes even more important to rely on minimal prescriptiveness plus empiricism. See my post on prescriptiveness in large-scale product development.

Continue Reading The Road LeSS Travelled – Becoming a LeSS Trainer

How can we help?

Do you need help with applying Large Scale Scrum in your organisation?

Book a call to see how we can help you or find out more about The LeSS Company.