Large-Scale Scrum is Scrum
LeSS is Scrum with more than one Development Team. As a result, it does not alter Scrum and is based on the same principles. If the plan is for several teams to collaborate, it is important to pay attention to particular principles. This ensures that it is not just the teams but the entire development organisation that is consistently optimised to become more agile.
- More with LeSS
- Continuous improvement to achieve perfection
- Focus on the overall product
- Customer centricity
LeSS offers a framework to help a development organization transition to Scrum with several teams.
The best way to explain how and why LeSS works is to look at the fundamental LeSS principles.
The Scrum, LeSS and LeSS Huge frameworks help an organisation to gradually transform into an agile organisation.
Never lose sight of the definitions of Large-Scale Scrum with our LeSS Poster. Perfect for any workshop, office wall or corridor.
The LeSS Framework
The Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS) framework makes it possible for several teams to use Scrum together. The LeSS framework can be used to develop products with between 2 and 8 teams. To achieve success, it is important to establish the entire framework for a product development group from the outset. The LeSS Huge framework is intended for use by larger organisations.
The rules of the LeSS framework are either identical to those of Scrum or build on them to facilitate work in several teams. Following the principle of “less is more”, there are very few additions – all of which have been thoroughly tried and tested. We’ve outlined the LeSS flow and all the rules of the LeSS framework on our poster.
The LeSS Principles
More with LeSS
LeSS changes an organisation by systematically applying fundamental structures. This leads to new experiences that ultimately shift the organisational culture to become more agile (cf. How can a company become agile?). On the other hand, the framework offers enough scope for the organisation to continuously develop and improve. It is essential that the framework does not pose a burden. Instead, the organisation should experiment with innovations and learn from them before establishing fixed rules for the long term.
All Scrum and LeSS principles are based on transparency. Direct communication between individuals diminishes exponentially when more people are involved. All the more essential, then, to ensure that scaling up still allows all participants unfiltered insight into the status of product development.
Continuous improvement to achieve perfection
For many organisations, LeSS represents a profound transformation. It is important to remember that it will not deliver improvements overnight – instead, LeSS enables an organisation to start improving. Making continuous improvements to achieve perfection must remain a key focus.
Focus on the overall product
Teams are even more likely than individuals to sub-optimise their goals. With this in mind, the biggest challenge facing teams is to integrate their work on a project. The only way to help them do this is to make the purpose of the overall product as clear as possible. This helps each and every individual to focus on the overall product. Teams are able to define their own suitable sub-goals if they wish.
Only teams that work directly with the customer will be able to maximise the product’s value. Unfortunately, organisations have a tendency to disconnect teams from customers as soon as they start to grow. To counter this, you should make sure that teams are organised around the customer and their needs.
Agile Transition With Scrum, LeSS and LeSS Huge
Scrum, LeSS and LeSS Huge help an organisation to become more agile over time. This process is highly individual for each company and, depending on the framework conditions, can progress at different speeds. The transformation is not a linear progression; instead, the changes occur in batches and demand restructuring of the organisation to match The image below is therefore only an example of how the transition can progress.
Where to Start?
Adjusting the team culture
We recommend starting with one Scrum Team to begin with and waiting until the team and the organisation have gained enough experience with the new, agile culture. At that point, the individuals making the decisions can initiate the next steps. This reduces the risk of undesirable developments.
Improving capacity for teamwork
Scaled working with several teams focused on a single product means agile practices need to be introduced. Practices that make it easier for teams to coordinate their efforts are particularly important. The first teams still need to experiment a great deal in their role as trailblazers for the rest of the organisation. If the teams are effectively detached from the rest of the organisation, they will be able to make progress quickly. A straightforward, well-structured framework helps them to do so faster and with less risk.
Changing the company structure
As agile organisations continue to grow, it is important that they restructure their operations at all levels. By this point, the owners of the business must name the sponsor of the change. Every level of the company, from the teams to the top executives, is put under the microscope – and the organisational structure becomes as lean as possible.
Adjusting the company culture
By applying the Scrum and LeSS frameworks and suitable agile practices in every area of the company, the entire organisation learns and adopts agile culture. The process never comes to a standstill – ultimately, there is no such thing as the perfect agile organisation. Being agile means being able to constantly react to new changes with little expense and effort, which inevitably requires an organisation to continuously change and adapt.
An agile transition using Scrum, LeSS and LeSS Huge requires a far-sighted strategy. It also needs corresponding advice, training and education.