What is less?

LeSS (Large Scale Scrum) is a framework that applies scrum principles extensively through a defined set of rules. It enables multiple similar product teams across an organization to work together flexibly and promptly. Each team works on projects in parallel sprints of one month or less.

The LeSS Structure

In digital product development, LeSS begins with several cross-functional and agile teams. There are two prioritization frameworks, namely:

●     LeSS – Accommodates two to eight teams with no more than eight members each.

●     LeSS Huge – Can handle as many as 6000 workers working on one product.

Each team consists of similarly experienced members in design, coding, and business. Members work together to produce quality products in their field and collaborate with the other teams to build a complete product.

Coordination is regulated by a scrum master who guides the teams on how to work with LeSS. The product manager is tasked with assigning and defining tasks to each group.

LeSS Principles

Product managers apply LeSS differently according to the product and the organization. However, there are principles that LeSS uses to spread the ideals of scrum. They include:

●     Sprint planning should involve two meetings—one for all teams and the other for individual units to meet and discuss their work.

●      Teams should hold independent daily meetings to ensure no member is lagging. Then reports are shared across the groups to keep everyone involved.

●     At the end of every sprint, the product manager should hold a sprint review with every team presenting their product.

●     An overall retrospective focused on what worked and didn’t and how the team could improve the process.

Advantages of LeSS

LeSS does not introduce new frameworks. Instead, it applies scrum principles to many product management teams. Some benefits of using LeSS are:

  • Implementation costs are lower as more teams already use scrum, so there’s no need to implement new practices.
  • Product owners are involved in the process. This creates more understanding and bridges the gap between owners, product managers, and team members.
  • LeSS does not add more roles and overhead. It uses the current administration to implement scrum principles.
  • Regular general and team meetings enable continuous product quality improvement as teams exchange ideas.
  • Every team is in direct contact with customers. They give feedback that teams use to modify products.

LeSS vs Traditional Scrum

Scrum helps teams work together and encourages them to learn through experiences and reflect on their mistakes to improve continuously. It guides a team to work from its backlog, unlike LeSS, in which teams work from a shared backlog. Moreover, LeSS assigns a combined ‘definition of done’ for every team in the group. At the same time, traditional scrum gives a unit the freedom to choose when they finish their part of the product development process.

LeSS is not Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), which helps larger organizations to apply an agile framework like scrum to an entire product management system or even a whole product portfolio. LeSS enables teams to work on one product collectively by dividing the project into sprints and assigning them to every team.

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