(If you are still interested in becoming a candidate LeSS trainer after reading all the below, please mail less_trainer AT less.works)
Becoming a LeSS Trainer
By becoming a LeSS trainer, you can give Certified LeSS Practitioner training and are part of the LeSS Trainer community. Becoming a LeSS Trainer usually takes a long time and involves a significant amount of learning. If you decide to proceed, be patient and enjoy the journey.
What is a Certified LeSS Trainer?
We believe successful LeSS adoptions start with high quality LeSS courses. In LeSS courses we expect that trainers do not just train standard material but we want them to share their experiences and to answer student contextual questions. LeSS courses do not have standard course material and every trainer will fill in the course however he feels is best. In order to ensure high quality courses, we certify trainers that we believe have enough experience in LeSS to give a course of the standard we expect.
Expectations to LeSS trainers
- Contribute to the LeSS community
- Increase the visibility of LeSS
- Keep learning
- Share training material and experiences with other trainers
- Be available to mentor other LeSS trainers (including co-training)
- Continue hands-on work with LeSS to increase experience (usually as a coach)
Becoming a 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. Announce interest and join candidate trainer community
We’re looking for people with:
- long and deep experience with Scrum
- experience in training Scrum or Large-Scale Scrum
- experience with one or several large product groups adopting LeSS or LeSS-like structures
If you have this, then you can start your journey in becoming a candidate trainer and eventually becoming a LeSS Trainer.
2. Increase your LeSS Knowledge
Reading about LeSS and related topics
LeSS trainers need to be deeply literate about LeSS and related principles and concepts. The basis of achieving this is reading the LeSS and LeSS related books. 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 LeSS rules
- All other core content and case studies at less.works
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
- Thinking in Systems - Donella Meadows
- Software Engineering at Google - Winters, Manshreck, Wright
Additional (optional but recommended) reading
- 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 Practitioner Course from Bas and Craig
Participate as a regular student.
After each day, there might be a debriefing with Bas or Craig and you’ll be asked for a summary.
Supporting candidate trainers
In order to help the trainer candidates:
- Each public class (from Bas and Craig) will have 3 seats available for candidate-trainers (for no cost). Craig/Bas will try to do regular courses in US, Europe, and Asia.
- Candidates should to join both Bas and Craig’s course as they are quite different.
- We are open (and encourage) candidates to co-organize a class with us. This makes it easier to do the participation when we are not frequently near your location.
After you completed the reading and have joined both Craig and Bas’s Certified LeSS Practitioner Courses, you can mail the less_trainer AT less.works and we’ll add the “Candidate Trainer” badge to your profile. You will be listed on the LeSS Site candidate trainer member directory.
You will also be invited for a candidate trainer meeting, which is organized the day before the LeSS Conference.
3. Find/describe a case study and get a mentor
The next step is to start reflecting and documenting your LeSS experiences.
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 less_trainer AT less.works to request for a mentor and share any preferences you might have.
Write Experience Report (or case study)
The goal is to both publish an experience report at the less.works site (and potentially at a public site such as InfoQ, ScrumAlliance, etc.,)
Most major changes involve challenges and compromises, and we’re interested in seeing realistic descriptions, rather than “sugar-coated” descriptions. Readers learn a lot from descriptions that involve describing problems and forces that were difficult, and how they were handled.
You can find example of case studies on the LeSS site. It will need to be very thorough.
Highly polished, quality writing and story. At least 1000 words. Preferably with adoption photos. Additional guidelines can be found at the guidelines for case studies page
- product summary
- forces compelling the change, and context
- how got introduced to LeSS
- change kickoff activities
- structure before & after
- role changes
- was it worth it?
Why case study?
The case study serves three purposes:
- it demonstrates the authors LeSS knowledge and experience
- trainers will be linked to case studies (in the near future), so it serves as a reference for potential clients
- it exposes LeSS usage to the world for learning and promotion
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.
Create a LeSS Graphical Overview or Mindmap or Video
Motivation: This will help you form a mental model of LeSS, and help us understand your mental model
Without copying an existing LeSS graphical overview or mindmap, create one of your own that summarizes:
For the best ones, we migh ask if we can publish them at less.works or in all of our training materials, for the benefit of others.
You can find the currently published candidate trainer graphics on the LeSS Site
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.
In-depth Knowledge Interview
Bas or Craig will spend time in an interview to understand your depth of understanding of LeSS. Essentially, we are looking to see that the candidate has a deep and thorough understanding of LeSS by being able to extemporaneously discuss and describe:
- the LeSS rules
- the LeSS frameworks
- the LeSS guides and experiments
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.
The interview is recommended to be done with the one of us you know least well.
Describe how you plan to do your LeSS Practitioner course
After 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
In order to help the trainer candidates:
- Each public class (from Bas and Craig) will have 3 seats available for candidate-trainers (for no cost).
- Candidates must join both Bas and Craig’s course as they are very different.
- We are open (and encourage) candidates to co-organize a class with us. This makes it easier to do the participation and interview in the same visit.
In order to help us proceed with LeSS:
- Please get the word out and promote the LeSS site and courses via social media or other ways. (Thanks, appreciated)
Costs to LeSS Trainers
- Annual fee (5000 USD)
- Fee per participant (75 USD)
Revenue from fees is used to pay for the creation and evolution of the less.works site, student ebooks, global LeSS branding & marketing, conferences and gatherings, etc..
How to apply?
You can apply to become a Candidate LeSS Trainer by sending an email to less_trainer AT less.works. That will start the typically long process of becoming a LeSS Trainer.