What is LeSS?

Large Scaled Scrum, abbreviated as LeSS, is one of the leading frameworks of agile software development. It is a multi-team scrum framework which can be applied to an agile team consisting of twelve, hundred or even thousands of individuals, all of whom are working together on one specific shared product. In LeSS you can create large or small sized products.

The Structure in LeSS

It starts off with cross-functional agile teams. These teams range from having 8–12 members which are experienced and seasoned in coding, testing, design, architecture and business domain knowledge. There can be multiple teams depending on your company’s structure.

  • LeSS Huge for more than 8 teams

Planning in LeSS

Sprints are planned in which the teams create a deliverable product in every sprint. These sprints may last for 1–4 weeks. The development is iterative and incremental.

  1. In the second stage of planning, team discusses selected items. Once a team has chosen its items from the product backlog, planning is done to achieve the sprint goals.

LeSS in a nutshell

  • LeSS provides the entire product view which guarantees transparency in the work you do.
  • The teams are in direct contact with the customer which enables the teams to grasp the actual idea of what the customer really needs.
  • With lean thinking, there is minimal waste, thus ensuring focus on what really needs to be done. There is ample room for the team to learn and grow consistently.
  • Teams are feature oriented, customer centric and their approach is multi-component.
  • Dependencies are handled at the integration level by sharing code base with other teams. More frequent code integration is recommended to avoid complexities.
  • The role of management is focused on defining the vision and nurturing of the team members. Product Owner defines and prioritizes the high level requirements for the teams.
  • Teams coordinate with each other frequently and share the code base.
  • There are design and architecture workshops to align synergy across all the teams and focus towards the end product.
  • One big room backlog refinement session is kept for each sprint where each team works on their own backlog and have the opportunity to contact the other team at the same time.
  • DevOps and Continuous Integration is key for smooth delivery to the customer. A team should deliver a shippable increment at the end of each sprint.
  • Frequent retrospectives and inspect and adapt sessions are helpful in ensuring continuous improvement.

Takeaways from LeSS

LeSS emphasizes on learning by doing, hence giving freedom to the teams to adapt with their own pace. Relying on the team’s capability and their experience is critical. Coordination among teams and customer may need some discipline and transparency when there are multiple teams.

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