LeSS (also known as Large Scale Scrum) is an agile approach that shares many similarities with the traditional Scrum framework but is ultimately different. LeSS is a way to scale Scrum for a number of teams working in unison on one product.
While traditional Scrum was conceived as a way for individual teams comprising a small number of people to work together in Sprints, LeSS can apply to cross-functional teams consisting of thousands of workers.
While the Scrum ways of working were designed for small individual teams, LeSS aims to apply Scrum principles to companies operating on a larger scale, implementing cross-functional teams that vary in size. There may be just eight workers in one team, or there may be 800… or 8,000!
LeSS has 10 principles, enabling teams to apply the general Scrum philosophy throughout entire organizations. The principles include:
More with less
You may also hear of LeSS in two formats: Basic and Huge.
Basic LeSS is suitable for two to eight teams consisting of 10 to 50 individuals. LeSS Huge can be used by more than eight teams, encompassing potentially thousands of people.
The main differences between traditional Scrum and LeSS include:
Groups work from shared backlogs for the whole product being developed, rather than team-specific backlogs
All teams share one “definition of done”
Teams operate in a common Sprint, instead of a team-specific Sprint