What is Large Scale Scrum (LeSS): A Quick Overview

Bydrec, Inc.
2 min readJan 28, 2021

Large Scale Scrum (LeSS) is a way to scale Scrum. More specifically, it’s a framework for scaling Scrum to multiple teams that work together on the same product. Each team works on several projects in Sprints (short-term increments of one month or less). Take a look at the LeSS concept here.

The Structure in LeSS

LeSS starts with multiple cross-functional agile teams. The members are experienced in coding, design, architecture, testing, and business. These teams produce quality software while coordinating and collaborating with the other teams. They are customer-centric and feature-oriented.

A scrum master is in charge of guiding and teaching the teams how to work in LeSS. Then, there’s the head product owner who defines and prioritizes requirements for the teams. There’s also the team of product owners that report to the head product owner.

There are two large scale Scrum frameworks:

  • LeSS — two to a maximum of eight teams, each with no more than eight members.
  • LeSS Huge. — more than 6,000 people working on one product.

It is a simple, basic, and minimalistic framework that has been labeled as being “barely sufficient,” but by no means in a negative way. The LeSS framework aims to apply Scrum’s concept and principles in a large-scale enterprise context through a set of rules that provide guidance. It is recommended that businesses start with the basic LeSS in order to experiment before switching to LeSS Huge.

LeSS Principles

The ten principles defined by LeSS for applying the elements, purpose, and values of Scrum across the enterprise are:

  • Customer-centric
  • Continuous improvement
  • Empirical process control
  • Large Scale Scrum is Scru
  • Lean thinkin
  • More with les
  • Transparency
  • Systems thinking
  • Whole product focus
  • Queuing theory

LeSS Guides

The guides are recommendations provided by Bas Vodde and Craig Larman, the creators of the LeSS framework, based on experiments conducted with LeSS. While these guides are optional, they are truly helpful in understanding how to adopt the Less framework, including the roles and responsibilities of all members involved in the product development. The guides can also offer insight on how to coordinate and integrate between teams, among many other aspects.

The Takeaway

In order to adopt LeSS, organizations may need to entirely change their current development techniques. The organizational structure is not the same as that of a traditional program management. As such, it is advisable to start applying the principles described above with one Scrum team and adapt to this new framework step by step.

Originally published at https://blog.bydrec.com.