Certified LeSS Practitioner Course Review

We’ve got a guest post from Ran Nyman who briefly reviews last weeks Certified LeSS Practitioner course:

Last week I participated Certified LeSS Practitioner course that was thought by Bas Vodde in Helsinki, Finland. Bas is one of the key persons behind the LeSS-framework, who has co-authored 2 and half books on the subject (The half if upcoming Large-Scale Scrum book that is not published yet). Before the course, I had spent time at reading already published books and draft of the upcoming book. The amount of material is overwhelming, and it was interesting to see how all the content can be compressed to 3 days course.

Overall impression was that Bas covered the relevant content in great detail, and some of the topics he just mentioned. This approach worked well since no one wants to see a slide show with five slides per minute and be overwhelmed by information overflow. Bas managed to select key topics to focus, so the training created logical whole.

I picked some themes from each day that I felt important from each course day. In day one we focused on learning and knowledge in an organization and what impacts on organizational design those have. In day two we started by defining products and how the definition affects LeSS adoption. Bas linked the Definition of Done as one of the key driver for LeSS adoption which was surprising. Day 3 we spent in great detail looking how LeSS works what structures it has and looking at steps that are needed to start LeSS adoption. One takeaway from this was that after having initial LeSS structure in place focus on the outcome instead of trying to form the organization to perfect shape.

I am strongly recommending this training to all doing or considering doing any format of Agile product development in large organizations since it will give you principles, framework and guides that will increase your success in it.

First Certified LeSS Practitioner course in Helsinki

Last week, I finished the first Certified LeSS Practitioner course in Helsinki, Finland. It went really well I think. A lot of my training material is in a new order than I’m used to so that caused me to be somewhat uncertain about timing and things like that. Also the participants were probably above average in LeSS knowledge as some of them I’ve been working with for years (whereas some were quite new).

The first day, we focused on the LeSS overview and the LeSS principles. We also did some causal loop diagramming. One team decided to use it to ‘proof’ that offshoring was a bad idea but the further they went the better it started to loop. It wasn’t what they were expecting making it quite amusing. We also looked at feature teams and component team structures.

The second day started with some reflection and we discussed a lot about what the products where that people were working on. Mostly what the advantages and disadvantages were at defining product at a certain level (and how that impacts management practices). The biggest thing for this group was probably the creation of Feature Team Adoption Maps which caused long discussions about what steps the selected products would need to go next in their LeSS adoption. We discussed the Product Owner in-depth and spend time looking at changes in management practics and organizational structures when adopting LeSS.

The last day started off with the LeSS events and a discussion on how to deal with really large backlog items (with the concept of Leading Teams). We stil dived a bit into engineering practices and moved on towards adoption of LeSS in your organization. I spend about an hour sharing two case studies of LeSS adoptions with the group and the last day ended with ScrumMaster discussions.

All in all, I felt the course went pretty well. It gave me a lot of feedback on further improvement, but the feedback from the group was very positive. I’m excited about it and looking forward to the next course, hopefully in Melbourne. If you are in Australia, don’t forget to register for the course

Site Live (with new Logos)

Today, we’ve finally ‘released’ the site. Calling it released is a bit funny for us as we continuously deployed it, but we deleted the “under construction” sign :)

The last tweaks to the site were some big improvements in the front picture, navigation and some of the technical excellence content. Though, by far the most interesting tweaks have been the logo. We’ve iterated perhaps 100 different variants (thanks for your patience, Fred) and continuously asked people for different opinions and they constantly gave all different opinions. :) That said, I think the current logo is an improvement over earlier one and I’m liking it.

Working on site and book

I’m typing this small post as I’m in the plane to Korea for a short training session. The last weeks have been amazingly busy yet exciting. The upcoming LeSS book is really shaping up well and this site also. It has been quite a struggle to get the design right and the content right. On the site, I don’t think we’re there yet, but at least it is good enough now and hopefully useful for people.

What’s coming up next? Still more work on the book. We’re getting to the end of this 2 year project. I should remind Craig about his statement of this being a short book project… Next year the LeSS trainins and working with other people becoming LeSS trainers. Exciting times.