• Marco Toscano

What is LeSS? Guide to Scaling Agile with Large Scale Scrum

Updated: Dec 24, 2021

LeSS (commonly called Large Scale Scrum) is an agile technique close to but not identical to the common Scrum framework. LeSS is a means to scale Scrum for several teams working on the same project simultaneously. Scrum's main principles are preserved in LeSS: revealing organisational design flaws through a simple framework and allowing you to handle the complex problems that arise during construction via empirical process control and continuous refinement.

LeSS aims to implement Scrum's "principles, purpose, components, and beauty as easily as feasible in a large-scale setting." It employs Lean Thinking and Systems Thinking, among many other ideas and techniques, to make the structure and overlay as lightweight as possible while still guiding you through strategic choices.


Development of LeSS framework


LeSS was developed by over 600 trials involving the expansion of the scrum technique, which was previously assumed to only support small, co-located groups. To suit the demands of bigger teams, the LeSS experiments, guidelines, frameworks, and principles were developed. LeSS rules were also subsequently issued to define and provide direction on building and executing LeSS and adoption guidelines.


Origin of LeSS framework


Many people thought Agile development was only for small organizations at the century. Craig Larman's book "Agile and Iterative Development," published in 2002, considerably aided this decision. Scrum was increasingly requested to be used to big, multi-site, and offshore development projects over time.


10 principles of LeSS


  • Large-Scale Scrum is Scrum

  • Empirical process control

  • Transparency

  • More with LeSS

  • Whole-product focus

  • Customer-centric

  • Continuous improvement towards perfection

  • Systems thinking

  • Lean thinking

  • Queuing theory


Benefits of using the LeSS framework


  • It has strong Scrum roots, so if you're already familiar with Scrum, it'll be a lot easier to adopt than alternative frameworks that aren't built on Scrum.

  • The business and technical teams gap is then bridged by one product owner who knows the structure and concepts.

  • The number of persons required to deliver a product is reduced. LeSS doesn't linearly increase responsibilities and overhead.

  • Emphasis on system-wide thinking

  • There is just one Product Owner and one backlog, which eliminates the complexity and discord that arises on bigger teams with several Product Owners and multiple backlogs.

  • Within the focal area, it shows the complete product.

  • Customers and business stakeholders are in direct touch with teams.

  • Rather than being project-oriented, the focus is on the product.

  • Reduce the cost of adoption by using scrum methods currently in use by teams.

  • Frequent retrospectives and other meetings, which are key Agile Manifesto practices, enable constant improvement.

LeSS is based on Scrum ideas like transparency and cross-functional self-managing groups. It offers a structure for implementing these at scale. It explains how to use Scrum in a large-scale product development platform using basic structural guidelines, recommendations, and experiments.


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