Large Scale Scrum – The LeSS Framework

LeSS Framework

Large Scale Scrum or LeSS is a framework that enables the usage of Scrum for large teams. It is about applying the principles, elements, and purpose of Scrum for multiple-team Scrum, not multiple Scrum teams.

It is a simple and minimalistic framework where there is less enforcement of rules, processes, roles or artifacts. Unlike SAFe, there are only conventional scrum roles such as the product owner, scrum master and the team.

LeSS is Scrum and not a “new and improved Scrum”.

LeSS Frameworks

Large Scale Scrum has two frameworks:

  • LeSS Basic: 2–8 Teams
  • LeSS Huge: 8+ Teams

The difference lies in the size of total teams involved. Basic LeSS is 2 to 8 teams of eight each working on the same product development. LeSS Huge is up to 2,000 plus people working on the same product development. In other words, how big would you like large to be? It can scale scrum up or down to work in many environments.

Basic Rules

As mentioned earlier, Large Scale Scrum has very minimalistic rules. The complete list is defined on the their website. Some of the key ones are captured here.

LeSS Framework - Principles

  • One Product Owner covers up to eight teams and each Scrum Master serves up to three teams.
  • Managers are optional, but if managers do exist their role is likely to change. Their focus shifts from managing the day-to-day product work to improving the value-delivering capability of the product development system.
  • Sprint reviews are done with representatives from each team and the product owner.
  • One Definition of Done for the whole product common for all teams.
  • There is one product-level Sprint, not a different Sprint for each Team. Each Team starts and ends the Sprint at the same time. Each Sprint results in an integrated whole product.
  • Each Team has their own Sprint Backlog.

Have you used Large Scale Scrum in your organization? Do share your thoughts in the comments below.

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About the Author: Anuj Seth

Anuj is a certified PMP with over 20 years of Software Development and Management experience. He founded PM Tips in 2020. Contributors are welcome. Drop him a note via the Contact page.

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