Large scale agile adoptions


When it comes to multiple product teams, it is critical to know how you want work at scale. Here’s why we devote ourselves to the Less framework and mindset.

Developing software products and projects is challenging.
Adopting new ways of thinking is challenging.
It is challenging enough when doing it for one team with a relatively small number of people.
So how does one approach dealing with these challenges when the number people and teams involved increase?

At practical Agile we believe at doing “More with LeSS”.

What is LeSS?

LeSS (Large scale Scrum) is a framework developed by Bas Vodde and Craig Larman, both ranked with the most influential agile experts worldwide.
The LeSS framework tries to balance between the need for concrete practices and empirical process controls, this balance allows each organization to find its own solution while basing the solution on a set of elements which have been repeatedly tested and found like a good match for many organizations and teams.

Guiding principles

LeSS was created while focusing on these 3 concepts:

  • Simplicity – When scaling, there is a tendency to add roles, artifacts, processes, etc. This should be avoided so that a process can be empirically be created by the product group. Most other scaling frameworks fall into the trap of over-prescribing a defined process. In LeSS we want to avoid that trap.
  • LeSS is Scrum Scaled – Rather than having Scrum as a building block for a scaled framework, we need to look at Scrum and for each element ask “Why is it there?” followed by “If we have more than one team, how can we achieve the same purpose on a larger scale?”
  • Scaled up instead of tailored down – Unlike other current agile scaling framework, LeSS is designed to be kept to the minimum. We acknowledge that scaling will require “more” but instead of “polluting” the LeSS framework with optional elements we let the customer (With us as coaches) responsibly perform the relevant adjustments.

LeSS is experiment based

We do not think that there is a “one size fits all” solution for the scaling challenge; We believe that agile should fit to your context, and scaling is no different; we believe that every organization is unique, and LeSS approach helps every organization find its own ways.
The way the LeSS framework suggests to achieve that is by doing controlled experiments, which will assist the organization in tailoring their process to fit their needs, allowing to reach the organization’s business goals.   

The LeSS rules

LeSS does provide a set of rules. The LeSS Rules define what is LeSS (and what isn’t) and they provide a concrete framework for applying LeSS. Within the LeSS Framework, product groups can apply the experiments and discover what works best for them at a certain moment.

LeSS and LeSS huge

The LeSS framework has two flavors:

  • LeSS – Designed for up to 8 teams for a single product.
  • LeSS huge – For products that are bigger than 8 teams (LeSS Huge was successfully implemented for groups of more than 500 people)

Interested in learning more (about LeSS)?

Elad Sofer, co-founder at Practical Agile and co-founder at Practical Software, is also one of the few certified LeSS trainers in the world today. If you would like to learn more about the LeSS framework, please contact us. We also provide Certified LeSS Practitioner training and LeSS coach platform and guidance.

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