Scaling Scrum: Doing more with LeSS

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Large-Scale Scrum, or LeSS, is a framework for scaling Scrum to multiple teams working on a single product. LeSS is based on Scrum principles and values, emphasizing customer focus, continuous improvement, and self-organizing teams. LeSS is a set of rules, roles, and events that assist organizations in scaling Scrum while adhering to its core principles.

Scaling Scrum: Doing more with LeSS

Craig Larman and Bas Vodde, both experts in Scrum and Agile development, created LeSS. Larman and Vodde are authors and consultants who have assisted numerous organizations in scaling Scrum.

Key concepts

The LeSS framework’s models and rationale are based on several key concepts, including system optimization, lean thinking, and organizational design. By identifying and eliminating waste, reducing complexity, and increasing transparency, LeSS aims to optimize the entire system rather than individual teams or departments. LeSS also applies lean thinking to product development, focusing on value delivery, continuous improvement, and collaboration across all teams and stakeholders. Finally, LeSS encourages organizations to adopt a more adaptable and flexible organizational design based on self-organization and decentralized decision-making principles.


The framework is based on the following principles:

  • Large-Scale Scrum is Scrum
    • LeSS is a Scrum framework extension, not a separate or distinct methodology;
  • More with LeSS
    • LeSS provides a framework for scaling Scrum while retaining the framework’s simplicity and flexibility;
  • Systems Thinking
    • Understanding the complex relationships and interactions between various parts of the organization and how they contribute to the project’s overall success;
  • Lean Thinking
    • Minimizing waste, increasing value, and optimizing the entire system rather than individual parts;
  • Empirical Process Control
    • Data and feedback are used to inform decision-making and to continually improve processes and practices;
  • Transparency
    • Ensure that everyone in the organization has access to the same information and can see how the project is progressing;
  • Continuous Improvement Towards Perfection
    • Continuously inspecting and adapting processes and practices to improve performance and outcomes;
  • Customer Centric
    • Putting the customer first by understanding their needs and delivering working software that meets those needs;
  • Whole Product Focus
    • Rather than focusing on individual parts, take a holistic view of the product, taking into account all of its features and components;
  • Queueing Theory
    • Work in progress and flow management entails limiting the amount of work in progress and ensuring that work flows smoothly through the system.

These principles assist organizations in scaling Scrum in a flexible, adaptive, and customer-focused manner. By implementing these principles, organizations can build a framework for continuous improvement and deliver value to customers while adhering to Scrum’s core principles and values.


What distinguishes LeSS from other frameworks is its emphasis on simplicity, transparency, and customer value. LeSS, in contrast to many other scaling frameworks, does not necessitate a large number of additional roles, ceremonies, or artifacts. Instead, it focuses on providing a simple and adaptable set of rules and guidelines that can be tailored to the organization’s specific needs. LeSS also emphasizes the importance of transparency, providing all stakeholders with a clear and visible picture of the entire product development process. Finally, LeSS prioritizes customer value, encouraging teams to prioritize features and functionality that provide the most value to the customer.

For what organizations?

LeSS can be used in a variety of situations, but it works especially well in large, complex organizations with multiple teams working on a single product. LeSS provides a framework for these teams to coordinate their efforts while adhering to Scrum’s core principles of self-organization and continuous improvement. LeSS can also help organizations that are struggling with coordination, communication, or alignment because it provides a clear set of rules and guidelines for working together. However, the success of LeSS, like any framework, is dependent on the organization’s willingness to adopt its principles and values, as well as continuously adapt and improve its practices over time.

LeSS has two models: Basic LeSS for two to eight groups (10-50 people) and LeSS Huge for more than eight groups (50-6000+ people).

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