Your Pathway to Becoming a Certified LeSS Trainer
Interested in guiding others through the LeSS framework? As a Certified LeSS Trainer, you’ll be at the forefront of teaching the Certified LeSS Practitioner course and be an integral part of the LeSS Trainer community. Becoming a LeSS Trainer usually takes a long time and involves a significant amount of ontinuous learning and growth. If you decide to proceed, be patient and enjoy the journey.
If you already have read all below and you are already considering the exciting opportunity to become a LeSS trainer, feel free to reach out directly. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest. We’re here to answer your questions and guide you on the first steps of this rewarding journey.
What does it mean to be a Certified LeSS Trainer?
Quality education is the cornerstone of successful LeSS adoptions. As a LeSS Trainer, you won’t just deliver courses; you’ll share your rich experiences, engage with context-specific questions, and adapt the course content to best suit your teaching style. Therefor LeSS courses do not have standard course material and every trainer will fill in the course however he feels is best. We certify trainers who embody this ethos and can maintain the high standards our courses demand.
What We Expect From LeSS Trainers
- Contribute to the LeSS community
- Boost the visibility of LeSS
- Pursue continuous learning
- Share materials and experiences with fellow trainers
- Mentor other LeSS trainers, including co-training
- Maintain hands-on LeSS experience, typically as a coach
The Journey to Becoming a Certified LeSS Trainer
We want each LeSS trainer to be a world-class experienced LeSS organizational-design consultant, executive coach, change expert, team coach, and expert in the hands-on work of Product Management and/or Development.
The journey of becoming a trainer roughly follows the below path. These are clarified later
- Announce your interest in becoming a candidate LeSS trainer and confirm criteria
- Get yourself in-depth LeSS knowledge
- Find/describe a case study and get a mentor
- Wrap up with interview and graphics
For most people, this is a multi-year journey.
1. Express Your Interest
Are you ready to embark on a fulfilling journey as a LeSS Trainer? We are on the lookout for individuals who embody the essence of LeSS through their extensive experience and passion. Ideal candidates should possess:
- Profound and Extensive Experience with Scrum:
A deep understanding and practical application of Scrum principles over a considerable duration.
- Background in Training Scrum or Large-Scale Scrum
Demonstrated ability to educate others in Scrum methodologies, particularly in Large-Scale Scrum environments.
- Hands-On Experience with LeSS Adoptions
Involvement in the implementation of LeSS or LeSS-like structures within one or several large product groups.
If these attributes resonate with your professional journey, you are well-positioned to begin the exciting path towards becoming a Certified LeSS Trainer.
Kick off your journey by announcing your interest in becoming a candidate LeSS trainer and confirm you meet the criteria. You will join the Candidate Trainer Community
2. Deepen Your LeSS Knowledge
To fully grasp LeSS and its related principles, immerse yourself in the core LeSS books and other recommended materials. This foundational knowledge is crucial for any aspiring trainer. Through these readings, a trainer should be able to precisely and thoroughly describe the LeSS rules, framework and guides and experiments.
Read the LeSS Site
The following books are mandatory reading for every LeSS trainer
- Scaling Lean & Agile Development: Thinking and Organizational Tools for Large-Scale Scrum
- Practices for Scaling Lean & Agile Development: Large, Multisite & Offshore Product Development with Large-Scale Scrum
- Large-Scale Scrum: More with LeSS (or draft)
- Leading Teams - Richard Hackman
- The Fifth Discipline - Peter Senge
- Workplace Management - Taiichi Ohno
- Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths and Total Nonsense - Pfeffer, Sutton
- Extreme Programming (preferably 1st edition) - Kent Beck
- Thinking in Systems - Donella Meadows
- Software Engineering at Google - Winters, Manshreck, Wright
The following reading is, optional, but highly recommended.
- Recommendation from the Large-Scale Scrum - Managers chapter:
- Recommendation from the Large-Scale Scrum - Scrum Master chapter:
- The Toyota Way (and others in series) - Jeff Liker
- Lean Product and Process Development - Allan Ward
- Out of the Crisis - Deming
- Agile Software Development - Bob Martin
- Lean Startup - Ries
- Getting Naked - Lencioni
Attend Bas and Craig’s Practitioner Course
Engage in the course just like any other participant, immersing yourself fully in the learning experience.
At the end of each day, there might be a debriefing session with Bas or Craig. During these sessions, you’ll be encouraged to provide a summary of your daily insights and learnings, deepening your understanding and reflection of the course material.
Facilitating the Growth of Candidate Trainers
To support those on their journey to becoming trainers, we offer the following opportunities:
- Reserved Seats in Public Classes: In each public class led by Bas and Craig, we reserve three seats exclusively for candidate trainers, at no cost. Bas and Craig strive to conduct regular courses across various regions including the US, Europe, and Asia.
- Participation in both Bas and Craig’s Courses: We encourage candidates to experience courses from both Bas and Craig, as each class brings a quite different perspective and teaching style.
- Opportunity to Co-Organize a Class: We welcome and support the co-organization of classes. This collaboration not only aids in your participation but also deepens your involvement in the LeSS community. This makes it easier to do the participation when Bas and Craig are not frequently near your location.
Advancing to the Next Phase: Join the Candidate Trainer Community
Upon fulfilling the initial requirements – completing the recommended readings and participating in both Craig and Bas’s Certified LeSS Practitioner Courses – you are ready to progress to the next stage of your journey.
- Earning the “Candidate Trainer” Badge: Reach out to us at email@example.com. Upon verification, we will honor your progress by adding the “Candidate Trainer” badge to your profile, symbolizing your commitment and achievements.
- Visibility on the LeSS Website: Your profile, complete with the new badge, will be featured in the LeSS Site candidate trainer member directory, acknowledging your growing expertise within the LeSS community.
- Invitation to Candidate Trainer Meetings: As a candidate trainer, you will receive an exclusive invitations, to a special meeting held on the eve of the LeSS Conference and other community organized Trainer events. A perfect opportunity for networking, learning, and collaboration with fellow aspirants.
3. Document Your Experience and get a Mentor
The next step is to reflect on your LeSS experiences by writing a thorough case study. Then, seek a mentor from our pool of experienced trainers to guide you through your journey.
The hardest and most time consuming part of this step is to get real experience and write them down in a case study.
If you are currently involved in a LeSS adoption and want to write a case study about it, or you already have the experience and ‘just’ need to write them down, then you are ready to get a mentor. A mentor is an existing LeSS trainer who will help you in your growth, reflection, and in writing your case study.
You can learn more about what to expect from mentoring from the mentoring guidelines. These guidelines are to clarify the expectations for the candidate trainer and to support the mentor in the mentoring process.
If you are at this stage, please mail firstname.lastname@example.org to request for a mentor and share any preferences you might have.
Crafting Your Experience Report (Case Study)
Your journey and insights are invaluable to the LeSS community. We encourage you to share your experience in the form of a case study, aiming for publication on the less.works site and potentially on other renowned platforms like InfoQ or ScrumAlliance.
- Realistic and Honest Descriptions: Your case study should reflect the real-world complexities of major organizational changes. We value authentic accounts that include the challenges, compromises, and difficult decisions made during the process. Prevent “sugar-coated” descriptions.
- Learning from Difficulties: A key aspect of your report should be the exploration of problems encountered and how they were addressed. Such candid narratives provide profound learning opportunities for readers and fellow practitioners.
Inspirational Case Study Examples
For inspiration and a clearer understanding of what constitutes a thorough and effective case study, explore existing case studies on the LeSS website. These examples illustrate the depth and detail we’re looking for in your submissions.
Case Study Submission Standards
To ensure your case study effectively communicates your experience and insights, please adhere to the following requirements:
- Quality and Clarity: The case study should be well-written, with a clear narrative that reflects a high standard of professionalism.
- Length: A minimum of 1000 words to provide a comprehensive overview of your experience.
- Visuals: Including photos from the adoption process is highly encouraged, as they add depth and context to your narrative.
- Further Guidance: For a more detailed understanding of what we expect in a case study, please review our Case Study Guidelines.
Suggested Topics for Your Case Study
To guide your writing process and ensure a comprehensive case study, consider covering the following topics:
- Product Overview: Begin with a summary of the product involved in the LeSS adoption.
- Motivation for Change: Discuss the driving forces and context that necessitated the shift to the change.
- Introduction to LeSS: Describe how the organizations was introduced to the LeSS framework and why it was chosen.
- Initiating Change: Detail the initial activities and strategies employed at the start of the LeSS adoption.
- Organizational Structure – Before and After: Contrast the organizational structure prior to and following the LeSS implementation.
- Role Evolution: Explore how roles within the team or organization changed during the transition.
- Challenges Faced: Share the problems encountered during the adoption and how they were addressed.
- Positive Outcomes: Highlight the successes and benefits realized from adopting LeSS.
- Reflecting on the Journey: Conclude by evaluating whether the LeSS adoption met its objectives and if it was ultimately beneficial.
The Importance of Your Case Study
Crafting a case study is more than just a formality; it serves multiple vital purposes in your journey as a LeSS practitioner:
- Showcasing Expertise: Your case study is a platform to display your depth of knowledge and hands-on experience in implementing LeSS.
- Building Credibility: As trainers are linked to their case studies, yours will act as a valuable reference for potential clients, enhancing your professional credibility.
- Spreading LeSS Awareness: By sharing your case study, you contribute to the global LeSS community, offering insights for learning and aiding in the wider promotion of the LeSS framework.
Valid LeSS(-like) case studies
The case study must be a LeSS adoption or a LeSS-like adoption. LeSS-like adoption are adoptions that have been inspired by the first two LeSS scaling books, but at that time the LeSS rules weren’t explicated. So, the structure isn’t exactly LeSS, but the spirit of the adoption is the same.
We’re likely to look at these factors for LeSS-like adoptions:
- Not “small”. e.g., 2-3 teams in a localized change is too small, but we will consider each case separately.
- We expect LeSS trainers to speak out of experience and most 2-team product groups do not give enough experience for training LeSS.
- Move towards feature teams
- One Product Owner and One Product Backlog
- One Sprint
- PSPI each Sprint, or clearly moving to PSPI (Done each Sprint)
- Some decent structural change within an organization, and involvement of changes in management.
Cases weaker than the above are likely to be rejected and we’d ask the candidate trainer to first gain a bit more experience. The experience that is expected is a deep involvement with the adoption, not just giving training to the company.
Developing a Personal LeSS Graphical Overview, Mindmap, or Video
One of the creative and insightful steps in your journey is to develop a graphical representation or video that encapsulates your understanding of LeSS. This exercise is crucial for two main reasons:
- Forming Your Mental Model: By creating this visual or multimedia representation, you solidify your personal comprehension of the LeSS framework.
- Sharing Your Perspective: It provides us with a window into your interpretation and grasp of LeSS, enriching our understanding of your approach.
Guidelines for Your Creation:
- Originality is Key: Your submission should be an original piece, distinct from existing LeSS overviews or mindmaps. It should uniquely reflect your interpretation.
- Comprehensive Coverage: Ensure your creation captures the essence of LeSS, including its frameworks, rules, and guides.
- Potential for Sharing: Exceptional works may be selected for publication on the less.works website or included in our training materials, benefiting the wider LeSS community.
Explore the candidate trainer graphics currently published on the LeSS site for inspiration and reference.
4. Wrap up with interview and graphics
The graphical overview and the case study will be reviewed. When they are done, you are ready for the last step, the LeSS Trainer Interview.
The In-Depth Knowledge Interview: Assessing Your LeSS Mastery
As a critical step in your journey, you will engage in a comprehensive interview with Bas or Craig. The purpose of this interview is to understand the depth and breadth of your understanding of the LeSS.
Key Areas of Focus:
- LeSS Rules: Be prepared to discuss in detail the rules that govern the LeSS framework, demonstrating your grasp of their significance and application.
- LeSS Frameworks: You should be able to elaborate on the various frameworks within LeSS, showcasing your knowledge of their structure and function.
- LeSS Guides and Experiments: Expect to converse about the different guides and experiments in LeSS, reflecting on their practical implications and how they can be applied in various contexts.
This interview is an opportunity for you to exhibit your comprehensive understanding of LeSS, articulating concepts and practices fluently and spontaneously.
The interview is recommended to be done with the one of us you know least well.
Rules, Frameworks, Guides and Experiments
In the interview, you should expect to able to summarize and expand on all of these.
You will be asked:
- Summarize LeSS and how the rules follow the principles.
- For some chapters of the three LeSS books, explain some guides and experiments.
Describe how you plan to do your LeSS Practitioner course
Once being accepted as LeSS trainer, you’re able to do LeSS Practitioner (and Executive) trainings yourself. We (Bas or Craig) would like to hear how you plan to do your course. This could be by sharing the training material, the structure, the concepts or however you like to do it. This allows us to give feedback on your course, kick-starts your LeSS training, and gives us a better insight in how you plan to teach LeSS concepts.
Summary of the Criteria
Summary of Criteria:
- Ensure you have informed Bas/Craig of your interest, so they are tracking the progress.
- Complete the Readings
- Attend a LeSS Practitioner course
- Write an experience report (“case study”) of at least one of your LeSS(-like) adoptions.
- Create a LeSS graphical representation
- Pass the In-Depth Knowledge interview
Providing Support for Aspiring Trainers
We are committed to assisting trainer candidates every step of the way. Here’s how we support your journey:
Opportunities in Public Classes
In order to help the trainer candidates:
- Reserved Seats for Learning: In each public class conducted by Bas and Craig, we allocate three seats specifically for candidate trainers at no cost, offering a firsthand learning experience.
- Diverse Learning Experiences: It’s important to attend courses from both Bas and Craig, as their individual styles provide a broader perspective of LeSS.
- Collaborative Class Organization: We welcome and encourage candidates to co-organize a class with us. This not only facilitates your participation but also provides an opportunity for conducting your interview during the same visit.
Supporting the Growth of LeSS
In order to help us proceed with LeSS:
- Spread the Word: We ask our candidates to help in promoting the LeSS framework and its courses. Sharing information through social media and other channels greatly contributes to the wider adoption and understanding of LeSS. Your support in this regard is highly valued and plays a key role in our community’s growth.
Understanding the Financial Commitment for Certified LeSS Trainers
As a Certified LeSS Trainer, there are certain costs associated with maintaining the high standards of our training and resources. Here is a breakdown of the fees:
- Annual Fee: There is an annual fee of 5000 USD for Certified LeSS Trainers.
- Participant Fee: For each participant in your LeSS courses, there is a fee of 75 USD.
Allocation of Revenue
The revenue generated from these fees plays a crucial role in supporting the LeSS community and its resources. It is utilized in the following ways:
- Global Branding and Marketing of LeSS: Promoting the LeSS framework worldwide to increase its visibility and impact. Driving more business to the LeSS Trainers and Coaches.
- Support for Regional LeSS Groups: Providing resources and guidance to local LeSS user groups and meetups.
- Organizing Conferences and Gatherings: Facilitating events that bring the global LeSS community together for learning, sharing, and networking.
- Global Partnerships: Partnerships that benefit the LeSS community.
- Maintenance and Development of the less.works Site: Ensuring that our platform remains a comprehensive and up-to-date resource for all things LeSS.
- Creation of Student Ebooks: Developing and updating high-quality educational material for learners.
These contributions thus not only enriches your professional journey, but are vital in sustaining the quality and growth of the LeSS community and its offerings.
Begin Your Journey to Becoming a Certified LeSS Trainer
Are you prepared to take the first step towards this transformative and rewarding path? If you’re eager to join the ranks of our esteemed LeSS Trainers, we’re here to support and guide you through every step.
Initiating Your Application: To start your journey, express your interest in becoming a Candidate LeSS Trainer. Simply send us an email at email@example.com, and we will guide you through the subsequent steps.
Joining the Community: By reaching out, you’re not just applying; you’re taking a significant step towards joining a vibrant and dedicated community of LeSS professionals.
We are enthusiastic about accompanying you on this journey and eagerly await your contribution to the LeSS Trainer community!