At the end of November, pretty much exactly 4 years after my certification to a product owner, I joined a training to become a Certified LeSS Practitioner, held by Mark Bregenzer. He is a colleague of mine at Valtech and the first and only certified LeSS trainer in Germany.
LeSS is a framework for a scaling approach, dealing with Scrum in multiple teams or larger organizational contexts. I personally find LeSS very attractive, as the changes to one-team-scrum are rather lightweight, especially from the team’s perspective. We still have a backlog, a product owner and a scrum master, still the planning session, refinements, reviews and of course retrospectives. And of course it’s still self-organized.
But instead of having a variety of scrum teams, LeSS connects these. The most obvious connection in my opinion is the backlog. There is only one. For all teams. And there is only one product owner taking care of it. For all teams. The idea is, that the teams decide on which items from the backlog they want to pull into their sprint backlog in a first planning session, held together. Later in the second planning session, held for each team separately, the teams then plan their sprint.
In all this the impact of the product owner is being reduced a lot. While they are a part of the team in scrum, this is not the case anymore in LeSS. Wouldn’t work anyways, too much. Also the PO is surrounded by a group of people supporting them with the backlog work.
So the work for the PO changes a lot, while the difference for the teams is not so big. This makes it very easy for organizations that are beginning to scale. If scrum is already in place, they don’t have to implement all new processes, but can adopt to scaling. Hence the training was not only very interesting to me, but also fruitful for my tasks as an agile coach.