My view of LeSS

As part of the LeSS trainer application, I was asked to give a graphical representation of LeSS. Here's the result showing my view of LeSS.

My view of LeSS.jpg

A series of choices

LeSS is a series of choices for the large-scale product development. We could make any choice if we were not clear about the optimizing goal. The choices made by LeSS are optimized for the agility and adaptiveness.

Among others, two choices stand out.

  1. One Product Owner and one Product Backlog, rather than many Product Owners and many Product Backlogs (team PO as anti-pattern; 1 vs. n product owners; 1 vs. n product backlogs)
  2. Feature team, rather than component team and feature group (component team vs. feature team; feature team vs. feature group)

To get the informed consent about adopting LeSS, i.e. making a series of choices, we should explore and see the system dynamics behind those choices. This is why systems thinking is critical in understanding LeSS.

Systems thinking

Systems thinking sounds great, thus, it could be claimed to be relevant anywhere. LeSS applies it concretely to evaluate the choices you make. What is the system optimizing goal? What are your choices? What are causes behind it? What are consequences from it? Is it consistent to your system optimizing goal?

I am often asked to compare LeSS with SAFe and others. I have no answer, but would like to offer doing an exercise of system modeling on the different choices they make. We evaluate those by applying systems thinking.

When team gets big, we split it into two. How? most typically by dividing into components or sub-components. Why do we split this way? What are the consequences? What are the alternatives? Often, we did not think them through. That is the typical manifestation of fast thinking. However, those choices are so important that they deserve slow thinking. System modeling helps us do slow thinking, and critical thinking.

Learning organization

If you practice systems thinking on your choices, you are free to do experiments that may not be consistent with LeSS. Eventually, you "own" what you do, rather than "rent" ideas from others. Less copying, more learning.

Systems thinking is the cornerstone (i.e. the fifth discipline) for a learning organization. LeSS opens up the stairway to a learning organization in the field of product development. By experimenting and practicing the five disciplines, we move toward the learning organization, while LeSS is a starting point in the journey.

This is my view of LeSS.

P.S. I had to ask my daughter for help in doing this graphical representation. I learned a small detail afterwards. There are two paths to the house representing the learning organization. One is through the back door, which is the shorter route; the other is through the front door, which is the longer route. They happen to be a good representation of fast thinking and slow thinking.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lv Yi published on June 15, 2018 4:28 PM.

Team Leader vs. Product Owner and ScrumMaster for component team was the previous entry in this blog.

Zoom out and see the big picture of Scrum roles is the next entry in this blog.

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