LeSS (Large-Scale Scrum) is the simple high-impact framework for scaling lean and agile development designed to optimize the whole system.
It’s based on over a decade of adoptions in many big groups worldwide (e.g., see case studies). In addition to learning about it atless.works, it’s described in the three books on LeSS that come from that decade of experience:
(1) Scaling Lean & Agile Development: Thinking & Organizational Tools with LeSS
(2) Practices for Scaling Lean & Agile Development: Large, Multisite, & Offshore Development with LeSS
(3) the upcoming third book, More with LeSS.
Although LeSS is described as for scaling, a key purpose of LeSS — the implication of its name — is actually descaling through organizational simplification. Descaling the number of roles, organizational structures, dependencies, architectural complexity, management positions, sites, and number of people. LeSS is not about ‘enabling’ an existing big and clumsy organization to “do agile” by painting agile labels on top, it is about scaling up the simple Scrum framework itself to achieve organizational descaling.
In a way, LeSS is simple because there’s only a small set of elements, whose purpose is transparency and empirical process control. It’s ‘hard’ because transparency reveals weakness, and empiricism requires learning and change rather than following a recipe.
Unlike some other scaling frameworks, LeSS does not define a one-size-fits-all detailed recipe, and like Scrum, is based on recognizing that development is too complex and situational for a prescriptive detailed recipe that a group can just “buy and install.” Rather, it will require creating a learning organization, and lots of situational adaptation.
There are no fancy titles, no trains, no layers of management, but when you simplify and descale, you ought to be able to achieve more impact and flexibility with LeSS.